I can’t believe in this day and age, people are still stupid enough to try to argue this point, but then again, John Stossel is an avowed Libertarian and he does work for Fox News, so wonders never cease.
A decade ago, I butted heads on the old Topix forums with people who claimed secondhand smoke was harmless and the anti-tobacco Nazis were exaggerating the dangers from it. Dave Hitt and the Smoker’s Club used to be really hung up on the secondhand smoke is harmless argument (haven’t checked out either Website in several years, they probably still do).
Remember, decades ago, the tobacco industry argued, with some success that there was no proof that cigarettes caused lung cancer. My own parents argued that lung cancer was caused by air pollution; my mom continued to argue this even after her four-pack-a-day husband died of lung cancer at 49. They totally bought into the industry propaganda.
But, the narrative completely changed with the U.S. Surgeon General’s report on secondhand smoke that came out in 2006 detailed unequivocally, with considerable backing from the science community, that yes, secondhand smoke is bad for you and that yes, people have actually gotten sick and died from longterm exposure to it. This was followed up with a second U.S. Surgeon General’s report in 2014 with even further details, again with considerable backing from the science community, that secondhand smoke is bad for you and that people have died from breathing it constantly.
In addition, the World Health Association, the American Cancer Society, the International Center for Research on Cancer and National Academy of Sciences all also agree — secondhand smoke kills.
OK, that big run-up brings me to Libertarian stooge idiot John Stossel, who recently claimed, and I quote: “There is no good data showing secondhand smoke kills people.”
You mean there are still clowns trying to claim this? The Tampa Bay Times Pundit Watch, in doing a study on Fox News lies, found that 61 percent of the time, Fox News employees (not guests, employees) are making false statements or outright lying. Stossel’s whopper about secondhand smoke made the list as plain old “false.”
Good, thanks guys for catching it and calling out Stossel.
The Pundit Watch story does a pretty good job of explaining how the data is determined to calculate deaths from secondhand smoke. It’s just idiotic to claim there is no “good data,” but then again, science is hard for people whose worldview revolves around the fairy tales of Ayn Rand.
From the Pundit Watch story:
It’s a complicated statistical analysis, one with which Stossel obviously finds fault. But it’s not unusual. The same method is used to attribute the number of deaths from obesity through diabetes, for example, Samet said.
“This is the basic way to use to understand how the disease is exposed to this risk,” Samet said. “We understand that there are uncertainties that go with this, but this is a very basic tool. … The approach here is embedded in science and policy and understanding how much a disease is caused by something.”
Now, part of me doesn’t care what idiotic things global-warming denialist Stossel says (Offhand — Earth to John Stossel, the porn stache hasn’t been a “look” since 1978). One thing I learned about Libertarians, don’t waste your time arguing with them. The U.S. Surgeon General, the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society, the Academy of Sciences can all agree on a point … “Nope, I’m a Libertarian, I’m smarter than thou. You’re all wrong.” Never met a Libertarian yet who wasn’t convinced he was right about everything and had all the answers.
I mean there’s a reason that Stossel is on Fox, where once-legitimate journalists go to watch their integrity and careers wither and die (Brit Hume, Geraldo Rivera — yeah, Geraldo was considered a legitimate journalist at one time). I mean the guy has claimed that the U.S. government has helped Native Americans more than anyone, and he’s been a sexist, misogynist male chauvinist pig on not one, not two, but three separate occasions. So, I can’t take his ignorant crap about secondhand smoke terribly seriously based on his track record.
What bothers me is people who watch Fox believe whatever swill Fox pundits put out there. There’s a reason why they’re watching Fox in the first place. They only want to hear things that fit their worldview, which is immigrants are taking over, blacks are all thugs, Obama is a communist Muslim tyrant and that women are begging to be raped. So, when Libertarian moron John Stossel makes up crap on Fox and Friends, Fox viewers buy it hook, line and sinker — like my parents bought the propaganda by the tobacco industry 40 years ago hook, line and sinker.