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ISSUE 115 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/12/2002

ABC television personality John Stossel to speak on Tues.

By Stefanie Graen
Staff Writer

Friday, April 12, 2002

Next Tuesday, John Stossel will speak at St. Olaf for the Political Awareness Committee’s (PAC) spring event. His visit is co-sponsored by Young America’s Foundation and the College Republicans. Stossel is well known for his primetime specials and his segment “Give Me a Break” on ABC’s “20/20.”

His specials have earned much praise as well as high rankings. Stossel has also earned nineteen Emmy Awards, honors from the National Press Club, the George Polk Award for Outstanding Local Reporting, and the George Foster Peabody Award.

Some of the issues he has looked at in the past include gender differences, bogus lawsuits and scientific claims, and philanthropy and its social impact. According to Young America’s Foundation’s website, “Stossel has taken skeptical looks at people who want to censor cartoons, regulate flagpoles, and have Congress rule on what prices are ‘fair.’”

Meghan Shea, PAC Coordinator, explains that Stossel’s visit is a continuance of PAC’s effort this year to represent a wide range of ideas and stances: untraditional activists in the Spitfire Tour, Janet Reno’s liberal, democratic, and governmental focus, and international relations with Khidir Hamza. With Stossel, a different view is expected. She states, “He is a name that is known for a more conservative, rational voice of difference in the media.”

Stossel’s topic will be “Freedom and Its Enemies.” This will include the relationship of government regulation and freedom, as well as the role of a biased media in the decisions of the government. One example that Shea was provided with when given a summary of the presentation was the issue of cell phones causing cancer, which Stossel feels many people are more concerned with than deaths resulting from poverty. Stossel is also planning on more of a presentation format, including slides.

Micah Heisler, junior, states, “I watch John Stossel’s pieces all the time- he’s got really interesting ideas, and the fact that he is a great entertainer makes him have even more appeal. It’s my dream to hear this guy in person.”

Stossel will be speaking on April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Boe Chapel.

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