20/20 [UPDATED]
Air Date: Friday, January 28, 2005
Time Slot: 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST on ABC
Episode Title: "N/A"
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]


True or false: the price of gas is higher than ever... suburban sprawl is terrible... outsourcing kills American jobs... John Stossel continues his popular series of debunking such common beliefs and also tackles some bothersome behavior -- like pork barrel spending, people who litter and added charges on your phone bill -- on "20/20." Coinciding with the paperback release of his New York Times bestselling book, Give Me a Break, "20/20: Lies, Myths and Nasty Behavior with John Stossel" airs FRIDAY, JANUARY 28 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Stossel reveals the top ten in his list of lies, myths and nasty behavior, including:

NO. 10 NASTY BEHAVIOR - PEOPLE WHO LITTER We've got it on tape: people dumping TVs, beds, even puppies -- caught by motion-sensitive cameras.

NO. 9 NASTY BEHAVIOR - ADDED CHARGES ON YOUR PHONE BILL Ever wonder why a $30 telephone calling plan costs $45? Stossel says it's because governments fill their coffers by sneaking taxes into your telephone bill. The taxes are twice as high as what you pay on clothes.

NO. 7 MYTH - THE PRICE OF GAS IS HIGHER THAN EVER In fact, gas prices are lower than they were throughout most of the 20th century. Gasoline costs less than the bottled water and ice cream sold inside the gas station. Stossel says that people believe gas is expensive because the news media keep getting it wrong.

NO. 6 NASTY BEHAVIOR - PORK BARREL SPENDING BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS Alaska's powerful Congressman, Don Young, is behind two "bridges to nowhere" -- one in Anchorage, that may cost $1 billion and would connect to an empty peninsula, another, to connect the isolated town of Ketchikan to an airport, that would be higher than the Brooklyn Bridge and almost as long as the Golden Gate Bridge. The airport serves just six to eight flights a day, and Ketchican's 14,000 residents have been content to take a seven-minute scenic ferry ride to the airport.

NO. 4 MYTH - OUTSOURCING KILLS AMERICAN JOBS It is devastating for someone to lose his/her job but, thanks to outsourcing, America is creating more jobs than it's losing. America lost 361 million jobs between 1993 and 2002. Sounds terrible -- until you know that, during these same years, America gained 380 million new jobs. The software company Collabnet says that it would have laid people off in the United States if it hadn't been able to outsource engineering work to India. By doing that, Collabnet grew and actually hired more people in the U.S. Stossel confronts Lou Dobbs, who says outsourcing is a "crisis."

NO. 3 MYTH - POLITICIANS WHO FIGHT FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS BUT DON'T SEND THEIR KIDS TO THOSE SCHOOLS For their own kids, politicians who talk up the importance of public education often decide that private school is a better choice. Nearly half of the Congressmen with school-age children send them at some point to private schools.

NO. 2 MYTH - SUBURBAN SPRAWL IS TERRIBLE Democratic and Republican politicians complain about it -- "It destroys the environment, causes pollution. We won't have any open spaces left!" Stossel says that's bunk. Ninety-five percent of the United States is still undeveloped. What planners call "sprawl" is really the dream house for people who want a backyard for their kids and can't afford urban prices.

Stossel reveals the No. 1 myth Friday night. Other lies, myths and nasty behavior include farm subsidies and very noisy people.

ABCNEWS.com, the 24-hour news service of ABC News and part of the ABC Internet Group, will provide companion programming to Friday's broadcast.

"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. The executive producer is David Sloan. (CLOSED CAPTIONED)

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