Monday, September 23, 2013

John Stossel is the Daniel Tosh of the libertarian corners of the internet...

...with the principal difference being that he is not trying to be funny.

15 comments:

  1. Could you give some specific examples?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every single libertarian internet personality has been featured: Murphy, Caplan, Carden, Boudreaux, Henderson, Horwitz, Tucker, Woods, etc. (I'm sure I'm missing a bunch - these come to mind). It also follows hot topics in libertarian internet circles rather than current events (or at least he doesn't follow current events quite as closely as other TV personalities). A recent example that inspired this was Julie Borowski. His show is build around gimmicky presentation of all this.

      If I didn't know any better I'd say the whole point of the show was to be a libertarian Tosh: aggregating the libertarian internet for TV in a goofy way.

      Delete
    2. I had to youtube Tosh (something I will never repeat). I get what you're saying, but the obv difference is that Stossel really cares about his stories, whereas Tosh is purely an entertainer (nothing wrong with that, except I personally don't care for his humor). I only watch Stossel segments occasionally, but generally he seems to promote libertarian topics in an entertaining, albeit occasionally dumbed-down, way (but this is inevitable on TV).

      Basically, Stossel is doing the same thing he always was with this 20/20 segments (promoting libertarianism), now just on a slightly bigger scale. He gets a thumbs up from me.

      Delete
    3. re: "I get what you're saying, but the obv difference is that Stossel really cares about his stories, whereas Tosh is purely an entertainer"

      That's what I said, wasn't it? He's not trying to be funny.

      Delete
    4. Just saw the Borowski piece. I didn't think it was particularly gimmicky, she was just an example of someone using social media to expose people to libertarian ideas (I can't stand her videos, but if some ppl like them... whatever).

      Do you mean Steve Horwitz was on Stossel? (I can't find it) I'm still hoping he'll interview Selgin (Stossel did another free banking interview, but it wasn't that great).

      Delete
    5. "That's what I said, wasn't it? He's not trying to be funny."

      Right, my mistake. I guess I'd state it thus: Stossel's intention is to promote viewpoints that he thinks are important but underrepresented on TV. Tosh otoh has no such thought process.

      I suppose in a meta sense you could say that Tosh is trying to do the same thing (here's some funny internet shit that's more entertaining than "2 Broke Girls" etc). But Tosh of course doesn't care about the actual content of the videos, just whether it gets ratings. I don't think Stossel is quite like that--he's not going to do a piece on something b/c it's controversial or topical (I realize you're not implying that either).

      Sorry to split hairs. But I do think, from a cursory glance, that Stossel has shown pretty good integrity over the years, and it's more than just gimmicks. I can't really glean whether you are trying to criticize Stossel, or whether you're just making a non-judgemental observation.

      Delete
    6. I just found it remarkable that Julie Borowski was on a major news network. That's nothing against her. It's great she's so entrepreneurial. But it's weird. How many people are sounding off on the internet and have some sort of following, after all?

      And then it struck me - this is the common thread of all of Stossel's shows. He's a libertarian internet presence aggregator.

      Delete
    7. "this is the common thread of all of Stossel's shows. He's a libertarian internet presence aggregator."

      I'd say it's a part of what he does (he does shows on perennial libertarian issues as well: taxes, war, etc). It's pretty natural that he often features libertarians who already have an internet presence--being well known on the internet is like the minor leagues of media influence today.

      And isn't this what most news shows do? Just about every major news story and personality trends on the internet first nowadays. What/who's hot on the internet will usually filter up to the mainstream media eventually.

      I see this as a good thing. There are a lot of great internet commentators and bloggers who aren't as prominent as they should be (based on how insightful they are). Not just libertarians, either.

      Delete
    8. Perhaps this is a better metaphor.

      Stossel is like an indie rock DJ. He thinks, "Here are some cool, unsigned bands you might like. Take a listen." And he genuinely wants those bands to succeed.

      Tosh is a shock jock. He doesn't really care what he says or plays as long as it's "edgy" and gets listeners.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Has he ever been on a Comedy Central roast? He'd be awesome at that.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Not really a joke.

      He seems to be an aggregator of all the hot topics and personalities of the libertarian corners of the internet.

      Delete
  4. I like it when Daniel makes these assertions with such authority. It's like fortune cookies in your blogroll.

    ReplyDelete

All anonymous comments will be deleted. Consistent pseudonyms are fine.