John Stossel

People keep forwarding me emails and blog posts saying ABC fired me. Internet forums claim I was fired because I aired a story about the downside of government-controlled health care. This is silly. It's not even logical. No one can broadcast anything on "20/20" without ABC's approval.

The truth is that my departure from ABC was by mutual consent.

I left to go to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network because I want more time to report on free markets and economic liberty, the kind of reporting I do in this column. With two 24-hour news channels, Fox has more room for that.

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Tomorrow, finally, my new Fox Business show begins! It will air every Thursday at 8 p.m. (and will repeat Fridays at 10 p.m. -- opposite "20/20" -- heh, heh, heh).

My first show will be on the "climate crisis." Or it might be on Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." I've prepared both shows because I can't decide which I should do.

What do you think?

I'm partial to an "Atlas" show because I reread the novel recently and was stunned. It was as if Rand had seen the future. Writing half a century ago, she predicted today's explosion of big government in shockingly accurate detail.

The "Preservation of Livelihood Law." The "Equalization of Opportunity Law." The "Steel Unification Plan."

Don't these sound like laws passed by the current Congress?

All were creations of Rand's villain, Wesley Mouch, the evil bureaucrat who regulates business and eventually drives the productive people out of business. Who is today's Wesley Mouch? Barney Frank? Chris Dodd. Tim Geithner? I'll ask my TV audience to vote.

"Atlas" is still a big bestseller today. This year, it reached as high as NO. 15 on Amazon's bestseller list. Pretty amazing.

Clearly there's some magic in "Atlas Shrugged." The Library of Congress once asked readers which books made the biggest difference in their lives. "Atlas" came in second, after the Bible.

Yet elites and the MSM hate Ayn Rand. When "Atlas" first came out, The New York Times wrote that "the book is written out of hate."

Maybe that's why no "Atlas" movie has been made. Angelina Jolie once wanted to play heroine Dagny Taggart, but it never happened. Rand's books still sell millions of copies, yet college "women's studies" courses rarely mention her. One professor says her department head asked, "Why would you study that fascist?"

Why such antipathy?


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate