John Stossel, the evangelist for laissez faire economics at ABC News, gave a revealing talk in September to the Federalist Society, a group of conservative lawyers (reported in Corporate Crime Reporter, 9/23/96). Stossel told the audience why he quit doing consumer reporting: “I got sick of it. I also now make so much money I just lost interest in saving a buck on a can of peas.” Stossel also gave the crowd an indication of how his beloved free market really works in media: “I certainly would encourage any of you who knows somebody who buys advertising on television to say ‘please buy a couple of ads on those Stossel specials,'” he said.
And ABC News revealed why its employee could speak before a partisan group involved in the “tort reform” issue, which Stossel has covered intensively, despite an ABC policy barring reporters from speaking before groups that they cover. Stossel is “not charged with covering anything in particular,” an ABC spokesperson told Corporate Crime Reporter; “he covers everything,” and so the rule does not apply to him.