John Stossel has really embraced the Fox culture since moving from ABC News onto Fox Business. So far, we’ve seen him join Bill O’Reilly’s War on Christmas bandwagon, adopt a Glenn Beck-esque “green phone” (for Al Gore, of course), and drive around the News Corp building in a government-subsidized golf cart, visiting his buddies’ programs on Fox News when he’s not on Fox Business to tell them all the immoral free stuff they can get from the government, and why they shouldn’t. The golf cart made another appearance last night on The O’Reilly Factor, but rather than being a simple goofy representation of the perils of over-sized government, it represented something much more sinister.
“We will all be working for the government. We’ll all have some form of chain around us,” Stossel told O’Reilly. He then proceeded to wrap a complete ball and chain set around himself and declare that America is “on the road to serfdom” (which is also the name of a special on his Fox Business program airing this Thursday). While this shocking declaration hit a road bump as O’Reilly began daydreaming of his new role as knight in shining armor, Stossel insisted that the threat of a complete government takeover of American lives is very real – he’d explain later. And Stossel delivered with a Town Hall piece that touches on everything from his initial serfdom accusation to “Harrison Bergeron” to why the government doesn’t want students to have Amazon Kindles.
So far, the Handicapper General is just fantasy. But Vice President Joe Biden did shout at the Democratic National Convention: “Everyone is your equal, and everyone is equal to you.” If he meant that we’re all equal in rights and before the law, fine. If he meant government shouldn’t put barriers in the way of opportunity, great. But statists like Biden usually have more in mind: They want government to make results more equal.
When colleges innovated by having students use Kindle e-book readers instead of expensive textbooks, the Justice Department sued them, complaining that the Kindle discriminates against blind students.
Stossel had a point there: the Obama administration tends towards obsessive micromanagement and unnecessary spending on things that the private sector could probably take care of itself. But throwing the gimmicky kitchen sink at Americans in the hope that one of these outrageous comparisons sticks dilutes the entire argument. It’s hard to imagine how Stossel will top his chain ensemble on The Factor, but chances are he’s saving the best for Beck (or the FBN special).
Yesterday’s O’Reilly Factor segment below: