On my Fox Business program this week (Thursday 8pm & 11pm ET), we'll ask the question, "Who owns your body?"
People like the FDA. It makes them feel safe and protected. No one wants unscrupulous snake oil salesmen selling us poison. But in this week's show and syndicated column, I point out that there are risks both ways. When the FDA protects us, it also blocks drugs that might help people. It allows terminally ill patients to die rather than choose to take a chance on a promising experimental drug.
Why, in our "free" country, do Americans meekly stand aside and let the state limit our choices, even when we are dying?
Dr. Alan Chow invented a retinal implant that helps some blind people see (optobionics.com). Demonstrating that took seven years and cost $50 million dollars of FDA-approved tests. But now the FDA wants still more tests. That third stage will take another three years and cost $100 million.
But Chow doesn't have $100 million. He can't raise the money from investors because the implant only helps some blind people. Potential investors fear there are too few customers to justify their $100 million risk.
So Stephen Lonegan, who has a degenerative eye disease that might be helped by the implant, can't have it. Instead, he will go blind.
The bureaucrats say their restrictions are for his own safety. "There's nothing safe about going blind," he says. "I don't want to be made safe by the FDA. I want it to be up to me to go to Dr. Chow to make the decision myself."
But it's not up to Lonegan and his doctor. It's up to the autocrats of the Nanny State.
Full column here.
- Pre-October 2009
This Week's Show -- July 10, 2014
CENSORSHIP AT CBS: Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has a similar story. She explains why she left CBS after it became "harder and harder to get stories on television" that criticized this government and "any powers that be."
IS STOSSEL BIASED?: Years ago, journalist Howard Kurtz criticized me for not being objective. I said it's impossible for any journalist to be completely objective. Now that Howard Kurtz is on Fox, we debate again.
THE OBJECTIVITY MYTH: Andrew Kirell of Mediaite.com says, "every journalist has a point of view and they don't just magically check it the minute they walk in the newsroom door."
NEW MEDIA: Reason TV's Remy Munasifi uses music videos and parodies to complain about things like politicians' spending. One of his latest parodies highlights the scandal surrounding the VA hospitals. Munasifi discusses his videos, which have gone viral on YouTube.
RETRO REPORT: It's great there's a new media organization called Retro Report, which reveals media hype of the past ("crack babies," America's landfill "crisis," the "superpredator," etc.) and corrects stories everyone in the media got wrong. I discuss the new show with its executive producer, Kyra Darnton.
REAL OR FAKE?: Sometimes people in the media say things that are so bizarre, you'd think they were made up. Kennedy of The Independents quizzes FoxBusiness.com's Kate Rogers, Fox Business host Charles Payne and me to see if any of us can tell which quotes are real, and which were made up by my staff.
MY TAKE: I used to report on lots of scares. CBS even ran an ad for me where someone called me a "guardian angel."
That's bunk. The only guardian angel is a free and open society. That's what allows innovation, gives people longer lives, and lifts billions out of poverty. But these gradual improvements aren't newsworthy. Scares and disaster make the news.
News is broken not just because we're biased but because most good and important news happens slowly.
9PM ET on Fox Business Network