John Stossel

After my first two new Fox Business shows, I'm taking a break for Christmas and the New Year's holiday. We resume Thursday, Jan. 7.

Again, I ask your help. Last time, most of you said: Go with global warming for the first show -- "Atlas Shrugged" can wait -- and so I did. "Atlas" will be the first show after the holidays.

Today, I need your help in deciding what to do with the studio audience. I wanted an audience because I enjoy speaking on college campuses and I love the spontaneous give-and-take.

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Students passionately pose questions like, "How can you defend business when free markets brought us to the crisis we suffer now?!"

I like explaining that what I defend isn't business but economic freedom and markets. Businessmen -- with some honorable exceptions -- are usually happy to collude with government to stifle competition and harm consumers and workers. I hate that.

And anyway, it was not free markets, but meddling politicians, bureaucrats and central bankers, along with their corporate cronies, who created today's problems.

I even think I convince some of the students. It's lots of fun.

But I haven't done so well with my studio audience. Viewers have noticed.

Rob: "Ditch the audience! I had to stop watching the show last night on health care "reform" as I couldn't take any more of the stupid comments from the audience. "Lower audience interruption (applause and booing) to allow more discussion. Your 2007 health care special 'Sick in America, Whose Body Is It Anyway?" was more informative than the interruptive health care show tonight.

Brad Jones: "Love the show, hate the audience. Where do you find these people? I think you're better to do the show without an audience!"

Kevin: "John, PLEASE get rid of the live studio audience and get back to reporting. The audience makes your show rather cheesy."

OK, I hear you. I admit I am "clunky with the audience," as one viewer put it. On the other hand, maybe I'll get better. I'm new at it. And as several emailers said, allowing the opposition to speak is a better way to convince people:

Mark: "Love the show! Like the format. It gives the opportunity to directly address and confront opposing ideas.

Tim: "I like to hear what real people have to say about topics."


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