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Myths, lies and downright stupidity by John…

Myths, lies and downright stupidity

by John Stossel

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Kinda dumb. There were some good points, but unfortunately, Mr. Stossel is one of those people (some of whom are downright stupid) who equate opinion with fact and inferences with truth. Also, he surely knows how to extrapolate a theory from just a few data points. Come to think of it, this book would be a great text for a critical thinking classroom. Really. ( )
  citygirl | Jul 2, 2014 |
I really like John Stossel. I have been watching him on ABC's 20/20 since I was a kid. I like his reporting style and the investigations. I didn't know he wrote books, too.

This is a good one. John takes myths we may think as true and debunks them. He shows his research. I also enjoy it because what he exposes matches so much with my belief set. He takes on everything from Global Warming to parenting methods.

The first chapter talks about why the media usually gets the story wrong. I found it enlightening and what I have suspected all along - they are lazy and are willing to go with the first person they can find that calls themselves and 'expert' on the subject that gives them the angle they want. End of their research.

He goes on to show the results of his team's research on many different subjects. He shows what is commonly reported is not always the case. Sometimes it is. Most of the time, it isn't. He lists his sources carefully, but doesn't beat the reader over the head with it. If the information presented rattles the reader, as some did me, there are plenty of sources to follow up on, to do one's own research. At the same time, he doesn't pull any punches, either.

One thing I like about this book is John doesn't hold himself up as immune. He admits where he has been wrong in his beliefs over the years and how the research changed his mind. For example, he used to believe companies were always out to fleece the consumer and do everything they could to get ahead. He has since discovered companies are for the most part good and try to do the right thing. It is the government and trial lawyers that cause problems to the system. He has more than one chapter on how these groups have gone wrong.

The book is an informative read. There are plenty of topics to bounce around between. Some you may or may not agree with on his point. I like how his sources are laid out. If I wanted to do additional research, it wouldn't be hard. He gets a few things wrong (Mormons don't practice polygamy and haven't for over 120 years), but for the most part, I'm satisfied with the information presented. I recommend this book highly. My son read it in a day and took it to school today for use in a debate class (Do video games influence kids to be violent?). Keep on reporting and writing, John. I appreciate it! ( )
  DanStratton | Feb 12, 2011 |
An interesting book with a lot of nice little nuggets of information. Much of what is read here is similar to what you can read in a couple of Glenn Beck's recent books (Beck's books being more recent, and possibly inspired by Stossel's format). I do prefer Beck's style, as opposed to Stossel's more dry approach.

There were several times throughout the book that I strongly disagreed with Stossel's assertions; not because I think his viewpoint is wrong but because his approach to the truth was flawed. He'll use one method of thinking to come to a conclusion, but ignore an equally valid argument from an opposing viewpoint. Overall, I still think the book is a pretty good read and with its bite-sized topics, is especially good for short bursts rather than a few long stretches. ( )
  yrthegood1staken | May 5, 2010 |
The famous 20/20 anchor takes on a large number of commonly held beliefs and discusses whether or not they are true. I learned quite a bit about a broad range of subjects, and Stossel's straightforward writing style is immensely readable. However, I have a feeling that if I was a die-hard believer in any of the myths covered here I would have left unconvinced and unimpressed. The trouble with this book is that there are too many topics discussed with not enough depth. Most of the myths are covered in a page or two, with a couple of general statements, maybe some statistics or interviews, and an example to illustrate his point. Unfortunately, the plural of anecdote is not data, and I suspect many people dismiss Stossel's words out of hand because of it. That's not to say people should avoid this book on the grounds that it doesn't dig very deep; some of the myths are covered quite thoroughly and even with the ones that weren't I still came away with a lot to think about and some stuff I'd like to look into further. I just think Stossel's message would be more effective if he wrote a book with a narrower focus and a lot more detail. ( )
  melydia | Oct 28, 2009 |
This was pretty good. I, of course, read everything with my handy grain of salt, but the book confirmed some things I already thought. It also opened my eyes to a few things. And made my eyes roll at a few others. The equality and education sections made me particularly angry (don't get me started on education ... really). It's an entertaining read. ( )
  miyurose | Dec 13, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786893931, Paperback)

Now in paperback: The major national bestseller that the New York Times says "tosses sand on liberal sacred cows"John Stossel -- award-winning journalist, tireless consumer-rights crusader, and anchor of ABC's newsmagazine 20/20 -- has built his reputation on his willingness to debunk conventional wisdom, no matter the source. In his latest New York Times bestseller, which has sold more than 200,000 copies in hardcover, he busts the myths, lies, and downright stupidity clogging media outlets on all sides of the spectrum. Taking a shovel to the heaps of misinterpretations and outright mistakes passing for "fact" these days, Stossel proves:--That contrary to popular belief, Americans have more free time now than ever before; --How DDT could actually save millions of lives annually, if only we hadn't been wrongly convinced it caused cancer; --That Republicans don't shrink government -- they expand it; --Why bottled water is a rip-off (hint: not only doesn't it taste better than tap, it's no healthier either!); --How "defective product" lawsuits end up depriving us of safer products; --Why it's okay to marry your cousin; --And much, much more.Bursting with facts, sharp insights, and plain old common sense, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity is a modern muckraking classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Myths and misconceptions covered in the book include: Is the media unbiased? Are our schools helping or hurting our kids? Do singles have a better sex life than married people? Do we have less free time than we used to? Is outsourcing bad for American workers? Suburban sprawl is ruining America; money makes people happier; the world is too crowded; we're drowning in garbage; profiteering is evil; sweatshops exploit people. Investigative reporter Stossel takes on these issues and many more.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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