Around the New Year, many people resolve to cut back on “vices”. What’s nice about New Year’s resolutions is that the choice to cut back is ours. We get to decide if drinking or smoking is right, or moral, or not. That’s freedom.
But when government makes resolutions for us … we don’t have a choice. That's why I call tonight's show "Forced Resolutions" (FBN @ 9pm ET). It’s important to keep in mind that government is force. When government decides that we shouldn’t do something, bureaucrats enforce that decision with guns.
They use lots of guns to try to enforce their bans on certain kinds of drugs. The government says 20 million Americans used illegal drugs in the last month and that’s 20 million too many. Ann Coulter agrees. She supports that War on Drugs, so I’ll bring the libertarian argument to her tonight.
Some of her positions surprised me, but her main argument is that as long as America has welfare state, drugs must remain illegal; if they were legal, we responsible people will have to pay much more to take care of the slackers. Of course, that assumes that drug laws deter drug use--that many more than 20 million people would use--if drugs were legal. I doubt that.
I also reject the assumption that drug users are unemployed deadbeats, living off the taxpayers. The government's own statistics don't support that. According to the National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 20% of the unemployed used drugs in the last month. Most current drug users (70%) have full time jobs. Those rates are comparable to people who drink 5 or more drinks at least once a month--75% of which have full time jobs.
Catch the full debate, plus reaction from four libertarians -- Harvard economist Jeff Miron, blogger Megan McArdle, Cato's David Boaz, and radio host Larry Elder -- tonight at 9pm ET on FBN.
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