Braden River High School students meet John Stossel

It doesn't take a true journalist to know who John Stossel is. Being one of the most controversial men in television has made him somewhat of a household name in America. He cannot bring himself to support the public school system, he detests Social Security, and it would certainly be in everyone's best interest to avoid mentioning government involvement.

His outspoken persona has some people labeling him a legend. But what is the real John Stossel like? Recently, Jordan Sanders and Alexia Fernandez, two of Braden River's journalism editors, were given the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with Stossel after his presentation at the USF Stavros Center.

Thinking of an appropriate questionnaire was no easy tasks for these two, young journalists. What questions could possibly interest one of the most renowned journalists in America? Stossel was co-anchor of ABC's "20/20" and dominated Primetime television for six years, winning 19 Emmys in the process, and becoming known for his thoroughly investigative approach to reporting. He is praised for uncovering fraud and scandals, and hated for his non-apologetic attitude, when it comes to putting public officials on the spot.

As Ambassadors to the Center, Sanders and Fernandez greeted and introduced guests to the presentation. In fact, they were the very first to personally meet and greet John Stossel and to garner a first glimpse at the kind of man they would have the opportunity of interviewing.

After handing out the nametags that permitted access to Stossel's presentation, it was time for the two students to find their own nametag and take a seat. Surrounding them was a room full of prestigious and eminent adults, many of whom were a part of the Stavros Center Board of Governors. Gus Stavros, the founder and patron of the Stavros Center was also in attendance.

In all actuality, the presentation was considerably brief if you kept an eye on the clock. However, time seemed to stop whenever an overtly controversial subject was tackled, which was ultimately every moment of his speech. John Stossel's every word was a flame, and the audience ignited like dry grass. For every one of his sentences, there was someone who reacted. Whether it was an excited applause, a dramatic eye-roll, or an uncomfortable squirm, Stossel undoubtedly connected to the audience.

He addressed his problems with Social Security, the reason we're in a recession, and his opinion of public school teachers. He threw brazen quotes at the audience like darts, answering one man's question about Healthcare with, "Old people like me just refuse to die! We stay around too long and we're sucking all the money from the government."

Due to the nature of his presentation, it was quite safe to assume that his personality would be domineering and grand; which, as it turned out, was the correct assumption. The two students penned controversial questions, in hope that

he would be impressed with their background knowledge and depth. They discussed his career as a hard-hitting journalist, and pulled at answers about his ultra-controversial views. He semi-answered, a bit overwhelmed with the substance of the questions.

Towards the end of their interview, he told Sanders and Fernandez, "When I first saw you two; young and meek looking, I thought you would probably be dolts. I didn't expect anything out of this, but you two are extremely sharp. I'm having a lot more fun than I thought I would!"

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