John Stossel Built His Career on the Backs of Unpaid Interns

john stossel John Stossel Built His Career on the Backs of Unpaid InternsA writeup in this week’s New York characterizes newsman John Stossel as “anxious.” But  if there’s one thing he’s not worried about, it’s the ethics of unpaid internships!

“Now the government says you can’t have unpaid interns, that it’s exploitation. Can you believe that?” he says. “I built my career on unpaid interns! My staff is almost all former interns. What ever happened to two adults entering an agreement together?”

So: unpaid internships are OK because the unpaid interns consent, i.e. are not forced into indentured servitude or similar. We guess this is positive.


  1. oaters says:

    I recently completed an unpaid internship and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I’m still in high school and lacked the skill set needed to come into the industry as an effective, pay-worthy employee. I learned to do several tasks that would otherwise have been done by a paid-employee, but from my perspective, it was essentially a free education. Further, now that I do have much of the skill set needed (combined with my working my a** off) the company is interested in hiring me. If internships had to be paid I would never have been afforded this opportunity. It would be too much of a risk for the company, and in the end we would both be worse off. How is using unpaid interns unethical? Like I said, the company essentially gave me a free education in the trade that I would never have been able to gain otherwise, except MAYBE through an expensive college class that would have set me back more financially than working part-time for no pay.