O’Reilly and Stossel are really getting into the true spirit of Christmas

It’s all about kicking the freeloaders to the curb. O’Reilly only gives money to charities that hand the cash over directly to kids (what?), and Stossel demonstrates that panhandlers are all freeloaders because kind people would even give him money, a sure sign of moral bankruptcy.

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The good news is that John Stossel was so gleeful at getting $11 by sitting on a street corner, waving a cup, that he’s going to grow a beard to match his mustache, give up the journamalism he has been practicing, and squat on the street for his tax free income until he dies. It’s a big win for him: there’s more dignity in that than working for Fox News.

(via Kick!)


  1. Deacon Duncan says

    For his next trick, he’s going to sign up for chemotherapy he doesn’t really need, thus proving that cancer patients aren’t actually sick.

  2. teejaykay says

    Oh, Colbert. <3

    What I found interesting was Stoss complaining about tax free money when… uh… Republicans complain a lot about taxes and big gubernment, and then he says that they should seek out social workers to help them.

  3. jimbo701 says

    Anytime I hear talking heads and politicians bitching that their taxes are being spent on freeloaders, drug addicts and alcoholics I like to remind them that the private sector, pull yourself by your bootstraps, self made CEO’s of our largest banks are taking $85,000,000,000 in tax payer backed welfare payments from the Fed per MONTH. Yet we don’t hear a squeak out of them about it.

  4. gussnarp says

    Man I hate these guys. “23 thou!” Oh, you’re so hip and with it, Stossel. And man, that’s good money right, $23K on the streets of New York and he thinks they’re well off? John, clue phone for you, $23K won’t pay rent in New York. And most of them aren’t real? What exactly would make them “real”? How is that defined? Does not real mean they have an apartment? Does it mean they’re a drug addict or an alcoholic and most of that money is going to their habit? Does that mean they’re not poor? In the latter cases does it mean they’re not homeless? What criteria must someone meet to be worthy of Stossel’s empathy, let alone his money?

    He may have a point about enabling addiction and not really helping, I for one do not give to people on the street either, but instead to my local (secular) food bank and homeless shelter. But what does Stossel’s “expose” really demonstrate about that? Maybe instead he could show how the homeless actually live, what troubles and hardships they face, and how local groups work to get them help and are a better way to give. But that would require him to have a conscience and care about something other than pandering for ratings.

  5. unbound says

    The good news is that John Stossel was so gleeful at getting $11 by sitting on a street corner, waving a cup, that he’s going to grow a beard to match his mustache, give up the journamalism he has been practicing, and squat on the street for his tax free income until he dies.

    Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried claiming that nonsense. Really in the same vein when O’Reilly claimed he’d stop working altogether if taxes were raised even by a little bit. Nothing but immoral, unethical BS…which is what you would expect from them.

  6. says

    His suggestion was that the people on the street need to go to “social agencies.” Meanwhile the Republicans are doing everything in their power to defund said agencies.


  7. says

    O’Reilly and Stossel just focus on homeless men with drug problems. 40 percent of the homeless population are single parent families due to rising living costs. 22 percent are children. 2 million of these children grow up to graduate out of the foster care system into homelessness every year. He helps children he says and then when they graduate out of the system; he judges them as beneath contempt. He has no idea what he is talking about but others that could help listen to him. Meanwhile the numbers of homeless families continue to grow.

  8. says

    Keep in mind that Stossel got that much in donations on a clear, sunny day, and that he kind of cherry-picked the hour. Figure that in the real world, where it rains, snows, and gets unpleasant, where you’re going to have to do that even when you’re sick and hungry, and where raging assholes like Stossel are getting on TV to tell everyone to not donate to the poor, you’re probably not going to do that well.

    Also keep in mind that there isn’t exactly an upward career path available here.

  9. Brain Hertz says

    His conclusion that “most of them are scammers” is derived from the fact that there was this one scammer on the streets. And it was John Stossel.

    How do these people sleep at night?

  10. 01jack says

    O’Reilly only gives money to charities that hand the cash over directly to kids

    I tried that, but the police warned me off aproaching little boys on the street and offering them money.

  11. stevem says

    re Hertz @8:

    His conclusion that “most of them are scammers” is derived from the fact that there was this one scammer on the streets. And it was John Stossel.

    That’s the libertarian mindset:”If I can do it, then anyone can do it. I just did it (played a scammer, cheating people into donating to me), so everybody who is doing it must also be a scammer. QED.” Don’t ask a libertarian for any kind of “realism” in their “idealism” rants (what they call “logic”).

    Someone earlier (lilandra@6) attacked Billy-boy for over-generalization of every homeless person being a drug-addict that spends all their money on drugs and makes their own children starve. The previous response (lilandra@6) was exactly what I was thinking while listening to Billy mischaracterize the situation.

    The Daily Show is satire, but the true irony is “Faux” News calling Stewart a comedian on a “fake” news station. Pot, meet Kettle; ‘Faux News’,, to call ‘Daily Show’ “fake”, look in a mirror first. Things just might be a little better (slightly, imperceptibly). if ‘Faux’ News would be honest and change their name to FAUX NEWS: “Irony All the Time, for Better and Worse”, for reelz. Too much to hope for, I know, oh well.

  12. robro says

    Sounds as if O’Reilly is making a space for himself in the 8th circle of Dante’s Inferno, Bolgia 6, where the hypocrites plod along in their gilded lead cloaks.

  13. chibisan says

    Why is addiction “your fault” if you are poor or liberal, but a sickness that needs to be treated if your rich or conservative?

  14. Ganner says

    12 Chibisan

    Obviously, if you’re rich you can afford the mere distraction of an addiction, and afford the treatment. If you’re poor, then money spent on your addiction could be spent on food or rent! Vices are the luxury of the rich.

    Another big part of it is simply that people are too tied to the just world fallacy. Part of is Christian prosperity doctrine, part of it isn’t. But many people simply cling to the idea that people in general get what they deserve, get what they work for, get results commensurate with their efforts and choices and skills. So the poor are looked at automatically through a lens painting them as moral failures. The rich are given the benefit of the doubt and their misdeeds excused because their wealth is taken as a signal of personal worth and moral rightness.

  15. unclefrogy says

    the answer seems to be combinations of smug self-contentedness and drugs(legally prescribed usually ) and alcohol.
    uncle frogy

  16. unclefrogy says

    god damned ignorant auto correct
    not self-contentedness but self-centeredness!
    uncle frogy

  17. coffeehound says

    …….give up the journalism he has been practicing, and squat on the street for his tax free income until he dies. It’s a big win for him:….

    It’s a bigger win for us, Cthulhu take him.

  18. robro says

    What’s the possibility that Stossels’ panhandling success is a fake? Imagine walking along the street and seeing a couple of guys with cups apparently panhandling but with a camera crew surrounding them. Most people aren’t going near them, much less stop to give them money. So, then what!? Well, in the great tradition of TV, you fake it. You get crew people to walk up and stick a buck in the cup. You only need a couple of these for the shoot, and as for the shot showing all the money…Stossel can pull that out of his pocket and stick it in the cup right before the shot. Furthermore, I don’t believe real panhandlers would ever leave that many bills in their cups…too easy to blow away, too easy to steal, and if people see it, they assume you don’t need more.

  19. adobo says

    Libertarian sociopaths are a dime a dozen in Fox News. They feed on each other’s egos to get through their miserable lives.

  20. says

    I am going to play devils advocate here and say that people other members of my own family have known **do** sometimes make a professional carrier our of actually doing this. These same people (my father and brother where both, at one time in the past, in law enforcement, and still know people that are, and have known people that did pull this sort of scam), will then go some place, after they are done for the day, change out of their ratty clothes, head over to the car they supposedly don’t have, then drive back to a decent apartment. When caught at it, they do get arrested, but its like probably 1% of the people pan handling that are scammers, not “most of them”, like these idiots claim.

    That, of course, is the real issue. Nearly everything the right wing whines about “is” something someone, someplace, is doing, but… if the problem was that, for example, 1 person, with a yellow shirt, in a million was peeing on their shoes, instead of in the bathroom, instead of wondering why that one person personally hates them enough to do that all the time, they would extrapolate from it the idea that 100% of all people wearing yellow shirts where out there, periodically, peeing on people’s shoes. The very idea that it might be a small fraction of people actually cheating, or doing anything else they dislike, is not acceptable to them. Firstly, because they have a deranged sense of self importance, to start with, so imagine that the whole world must look like what ever they personally believe it does. But, secondly, because, even if you only assume that 50% of the population of doing something wrong, or 25%, or 10%, or what ever the F you imagine it to be, its a “horrible” thing that “must be fixed”, and therefor it is, in their minds, perfectly justifiable to lies their asses of about just how many people are doing it.

    Its kind of a grand tradition, going clear back to conservative cave men scaring the shit out of their kids, over the mysterious monster than will get them, if they don’t do exactly what they are told, which is vaguely based on the one child, 4 generations prior, which wandered off, and not found until days later (or at least enough bits to guess it was the missing kid). What matters to these people isn’t how often its true, just that it is “sometimes” true, and therefor, in their deluded vision of the world, “something we can fix, if we assume the absolute worst, then project that on **all** instances”. Don’t remember if it was here, or someplace else, but there was the silly “study” on which words believers used, and if they where thus “happier” than non-believers. It was useless as it stood, but it should have, to be comprehensive, asked, “How often do the people involved also thing someone/something is conspiring against them, out to get them, cheating them, cheating each other, taking drugs, stealing, lying to them, etc. i.e., how f-ing paranoid are believers?” It would be funnier than hell to see the “study’ show that being scared to death that the whole world was out to lie, cheat, and steal from you, and doomed to damnation, made, “more believers happier than non-believers”, if only for the idiocy of such an almost guaranteed result. lol

  21. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Fuck these people. Fuck their lack of compassion because that is as close to true evil as anything is in this world. I cannot understand anyone who values not being duped over compassion. I don’t fucking care if some of the people I give money to are not actually in need. That is an error I will gladly make in the process of helping people.

    I spent a summer fixing bikes for homeless folk. The not for profit I worked for paid me to do it so don’t think I’m all that great, though I would do it again for free if I had the time and resources.

    Here’s what I wrote about that time:

    I bear witness. It’s not my job, I’m there to fix bicycles, and it’s not my choice. Somehow the community has decided that that’s my role. I’m comfortable with this, I’ve played the interested outsider often enough in the past.

    They tell me the details, mundane and fantastic. Non-sequiturs abound and stream of consciousness rants are less art and more necessity. They go out of their way to keep me informed. He came back a week later to tell me his bike was still fine and that “It was all lies and bull-shit.” His girlfriend, then only 3 days into their relationship, hadn’t slept with anyone else.

    He laid out one of the rules: advice isn’t wanted. On first hearing that “I haven’t slept since Monday, if this keeps on I’m going to go back to my bad old ways and end up dead or in jail.” I suggested that a three day relationship wasn’t worth this kind of angst. His silence as I said this was exactly the same as the one when the four Harley’s roared by, proudly mufflerless and deafening. He politely waited till the noise stopped and continued on with his thought.

    Questions are ok, sometimes. When I asked another client, as I tried for the fifth time to make incompatible parts play nice together, if panhandling was hard work he laughed. It was the only sincere laugh I heard that day, and said “I’m totally lazy, I just sit there.”

    “Yah, sure.” I said, “But don’t you get lots of abuse.”

    “Well, I sit with my head down like this.”

    He hunched over and put his hands up over his face, covering his eyes. I’ve seen people begging like this before, perhaps even him. Huddled in a posture of abject misery, feigned or real, it always seemed like a silent plea. But it also is an insulation, a defense. If you can’t see the person verbally treating you like you’re sub-human you can pretend their not there. If they can’t see you react, you win. A paltry victory perhaps, but the only one that that situation affords.

    So I’m learning. I’m learning what the people who have the least in our society do to get by. I’m also learning how they treat each other. Anger is common. No surprise. But so is affection, sometimes fierce, sometimes tender. I never noticed this before because it’s mostly quiet, unlike the anger which can often be heard blocks away. It shouldn’t surprise, the only people these folks really have are each other.

    I’m learning. Generosity is as common here as it is anywhere. On my first day they we’re serving pastries donated by a local bakery. They looked fantastic. A guy who’d been watching me work suggested that I should snag one. I demurred, saying that I’d wait till the end. He looked up at me smiled without guile or irony and said “You know, it’s ok to have a home.” I was so taken aback by his kindness that I’m not sure if I thanked him. I did have a slice of cake though. It was fantastic.

    My second day I was outside. Everyone was lining up for food bank handouts. At the end of the day I found a packet of apple chips in my helmet, deposited when I wasn’t watching. They could have just as easily made off with my lid and gloves.

    I’m learning. These people are often damaged: drugs, injury, genetics, you name it. They’re rough around the edges and sometime right through the middle. Their humour isn’t subtle or sophisticated. Their anger is barely restrained and often self directed. And yet…and yet they still can laugh. They still forgive. They still love. They look on their children with wonder and joy. They rally around the ones who are hurting the most and search for those gone missing.

    I’m learning the most important secret of all.

    Come closer and I’ll whisper it to you, don’t be afraid, it won’t be a surprise:

    They aren’t really “they” at all.

  22. randay says

    PZ, in the past you have said you didn’t like Colbert’s manner. I’m glad you showed this one. As #5 Lakabux mentioned, Stossel recommended referring these people to social services. Aren’t those provided by the government and thus by taxes? Oh my, social services might give them food stamps, more taxes. I think that most medical societies recognize alcoholism and drug addiction as illnesses. So Bill O and Stossel want to punish children for their parents disease. Just how can they give children, minors, money or goods without their parents’ consent?

    Bill O was married to Maureen E. McPhilmy in 1996. They divorced in 2011. Is that Catholic?