John Stossel is at it again, trashing lawyers. Why? Two reasons:
1. When lawyers shoot back we sound like lawyers. Thus, easy fodder.
2. He makes good money doing it. How? Well, the Fortune 500 companies and conservative “think tanks” have tons of conventions, conferences and trade shows. And speakers are nice to have and can get paid well for it.
Could he be anti-lawyer on the merits? Funny joke, I know, but some will ask anyway. No, he actually confessed in a moment of candor that, while he was a consumer advocate in the past, he makes a lot more dough running around trying to get immunity for corporations. He said once:
In what was perhaps a moment of candor back in 1996, when he was giving a speech to the conservative legal group, the Federalist Society, someone asked Stossel why he had abandoned consumer reporting to bash government and trial lawyers. According to the Corporate Crime Reporter, Stossel replied, “I got sick of it. I also now make so much money I just lost interest in saving a buck on a can of peas.”
In his most recent attack (July 7th, Parasitic Tort Lawyers), he makes this claim, that kids have suffered because playgrounds are safer:
Even when the lawyers do help their clients, they hurt everyone else because fear of their lawsuits takes away many good things: Swimming pools, playgrounds and gymnastics programs close because liability insurance is so expensive. Kids lose their favorite places to hang out in the summer.
Now when I was a kid, there was concrete or asphalt under the monkey bars. Kids got hurt. It was dangerous. Lawsuits were brought because there were easy, reasonable fixes. Now you see wood chips or mats. We do not have fewer playgrounds today, though we do have fewer serious injuries. And I see plenty of public pools and school gymnastic programs. Stossel is utterly full of it. According to Stossel, safe playgrounds are a bad thing. Up is down. Black is white. And all hail his Orwellian Doublespeak.
And then there is this:
Look at health care. The lawyers claim they punish bad doctors and win compensation for injured patients, and their suits add “less than 2 percent to the cost.”
This is deliberately misleading. The costs are actually less than one percent. Nice job, Johnny boy. And it’s very rare for suits to be brought against doctors to “punish,” they are brought for compensation. Maybe you’d like to pay higher taxes so the public can pay the compensation? No? I didn’t think so. Why not just give the tortfeasors immunity and screw the injured folks? Great public policy that would be, huh?
Let’s have some more Stossel fun. He lets loose with this about doctors and hospitals:
They do surgery on people who may not need it. That’s safer for the doctor, although it’s not safer for the patients.
Stossel may not have noticed it, but the medical profession has a financial interest in doing more surgeries. It isn’t a secret that they get paid more to cut than not to cut, and that doctors have the biggest paydays in America.
The funniest part was his closing, where he tries to attack John Edwards for bringing cases regarding brain damaged infants, and accuses him of self-interest:
“I’m a trial lawyer,” he said. “They turned the word trial lawyer into a four-letter word, and I’m telling you I’m the people’s warrior, and I am proud to be an American trial lawyer.”
And the money is good.
Hee, hee. That was funny. He tries to skewer Edwards because he was a financial success when the reason he himself switched over to corporate defender was because “I also now make so much money I just lost interest in saving a buck on a can of peas.” As a noted TV personality would say, “Give me a break.”
I noted his hypocrisy earlier this year (including his own personal injury lawsuit for getting slapped a couple times by a wrestler, for which he reportedly collected over $400K) in a post entitled John Stossel — You Gotta Love Him.
And so, after yet another attack piece on “parasitic” lawyers, Stossel was filleted by various bloggers. I bring you, without further ado, a few more of those criticisms:
John Stossel – The Wrestler (Jon Lewis)
How Do You Solve a Problem Like John Stossel? (The Pop Tort)
Stossel Calls Lawyers Parasites (Tort Burger – Hold the Reform)
Dear John Stossel: The 7th Amendment & Trial Lawyers Probably Saved Your Life (The 7th Amendment Advocate Blog) – added 8/4/10