Tag Archives: Fox News

Libertarian stooge John Stossel: No data showing that secondhand smoke kills

Ladies — I’m a Libertarian … I’m smarter than you. Now make me a sandwich!


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.

john stossel

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.”

fox part 2

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.

Tucker Carlson is peeved that the new Popeye has no pipe — smoking is “masculine”

new and old popeye

Fox News dweeb Tucker Carlson continues to, well, be a irrelevant right-wing dweeb.

Carlson on a Fox News segment, complained that the new CGI Popeye no longer has his telltale corncob pipe in his mouth, that liberals are “wussifying” Popeye by taking away his pipe.

Carlson adds:

 “Nothing is scarier to a modern liberal than tobacco. If Popeye were driving around giving the morning after [birth control] pill to fourth graders, that would be totally fine.”

That just leaves me …. WT…F? … what does birth control have to do with Popeye?


Carlson, you twit, if liberals are scared of tobacco, it’s maybe because they’ve watched their parents, partners and other loved ones die of lung cancer, COPD or the other myriad of diseases that tobacco causes. Yeah, liberals are afraid of tobacco — they’re also afraid of drunken drivers. It’s called COMMON SENSE.

OK, I don’t have a strong opinion about Popeye’s corncob pipe, but Carlson, wake up. This isn’t about political correctness.  Times change. 60 years ago, it was common for cartoons to show Daffy Duck getting shot point blank with a shotgun, and then simply readjusting his bill and wiping off the gunpowder — dimwit. Do you have cartoons today showing people getting blasted point blank in the face with a shotgun? NO. Why? Because it’s a stupid thing to depict and enough stupid people with little kids leave loaded guns lying around their homes that it might give kids the idea that it would be funny to shoot their little brother in the face with a gun. So, cartoon makers have bought a clue that it isn’t cool to depict “harmless” gunplay in cartoons anymore.

The same thing about Popeye. I mean, if they had left the pipe, I would have been fine with it, but I’m also fine with removing it because it’s aimed at small kids — not you or your bizarre ideas of liberals and smoking being cool. Ultimately, Popeye isn’t about his pipe, he’s about his canned spinach. In any case, it’s just a stupid thing to feign outrage about and typical of Fox to go mining for things to feign outrage over.

Carlson goes on to make the asinine statement that somehow:

 “… smoking a pipe, a symbol of freedom and masculinity in America itself, the reason this country exists, tobacco, that’s like, ‘Oh, that’s outrageous. That’s a major sin.’”

Wrong on so many levels. A) smoking a symbol of freedom and masculinity? Ask anyone attempting to quit cigarettes if they feel “free.” Ask anyone with smokers’ hack at 5 a.m. or any smoker getting the shakes on a long flight because they haven’t had a cigarette in 8 hours if they feel “free.”

Gable and Bogart

B) Masculine? Who are the best examples of Hollywood’s Golden era of  “masculinity” and smoking? Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable. Bogart made smoking cool. He also died at age 57 of esophagus cancer. Gable made smoking look suave. He died of a heart attack at 59. (I would love to post a photo of Bogart’s last year alive, but you know what, there aren’t any. He didn’t allow any photos to be taken of him while he was dying from cancer.)

C) Tobacco made America? Tobacco made the South … sort  of. So did cotton, but what really made the South wasn’t tobacco or cotton, it was slaves. What made America? The railroads did. Industry did. The oil industry did. Henry Ford did. Tobacco was never big north of Kentucky or west of Arkansas. It made a handful of people filthy rich … and killed millions in the process.




Response to CVS Pharmacies ban on tobacco: Tom Brokaw intelligent, Fox News …. blathering idiots

gretchen carlson
Gretchen Carlson

Shaking my head at this one.

The Mensa crowd at Fox News blew a gasket when CVS Pharmacies announced it would not longer be selling tobacco products. First of all, Fox News tried to blame Barack Obama somehow for a private company’s decision not to sell a poisonous product because Obama had the audacity to (gasp!) express his support for the decision. On three separate occasions, Fox analysts used the CVS decision to attack Obama (Neil Cavuto claimed CVS was becoming “scaredy-cat” because of the ACA … that doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense).

What’s interesting is Fox promotes free market capitalism pretty unabashedly. Well, here you have a company, making a decision of its own free will, to no longer sell a product — what is that? FREE MARKET CAPITALISM.

Even more ludicrous was a comment by Gretchen Carlson asking out loud if it was legal for CVS Pharmacies to not sell tobacco products since they are legal. “Is it OK legally … to restrict tobacco availability in a private store like this?” she asked her guests.

Oh … my … freaking … God. Do they give IQ tests at Fox News? And then if you fail the test, you get the job?

There is no requirement anywhere that forces businesses to sell products they choose not sell? That would impinging on FREE MARKET CAPITALISM. My question to Gretchen. So, using your logic, are you saying that CVS Pharmacies should also be required to sell guns and vibrators? Since, these are both legal products? Just frightening how stupid these arguments become.

Tom Brokaw chimes in


Retired NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw had a — not surprisingly — much more intelligent response. In his op-ed piece, “Bravo, CVS, for banning tobacco products,” Brokaw admits he is a “cigarette scold,” who is not shy about confronting smokers about their habit (Personally, I don’t take it this far, unless smokers start telling me about their Aunt Mabel who smoked and lived to be 92.).

Brokaw says he feels this strongly partly because he counts 11 friends and family members who have been killed by tobacco, and partly because he is aware of the damage smoking does to health care costs.

Brokaw writes:

So I was thrilled to see that CVS — the giant pharmacy chain — announce it was going out of the cigarette business even though it meant a two billion dollar loss in sales. Two billion, with a “b.”

CVS is more and more in the health care business — providing vaccinations, clinics and the like — and selling cigarettes was not just inappropriate, but not good for the growing health care piece of their business plan.

Smokers will say they have a right to make their own decisions. We heard those same arguments about drinking and driving and about resisting seat belts. Think of how many lives and dollars the two changes in driving have saved.

I grew up in the smoking Fifties and couldn’t wait to graduate from high school sports to Lucky Strikes or whatever brand tobacco companies would distribute free to incoming freshmen classes.

 What madness.

So thank you, CVS for putting health, a national security issue, over profit.

You didn’t lose my cigarette business because I haven’t smoked in 45 years. But you did gain my admiration — and I now know where I’ll buy my toothpaste, razors, shampoo, cold tablets, cough drops, sunscreen and vitamin pills.