Air Date: Friday, September 02, 2005
Time Slot: 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST on ABC
Episode Title: "N/A"
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Plus: The Latest on the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Does going out in the cold give you a cold? Is life getting worse? Can money buy happiness? John Stossel explores these questions and other common myths on "Lies, Myths and Straight Talk" airing on "20/20," FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Some of the myths Stossel examines include:

BEING COLD GIVES YOU A COLD -- All over America, a million mothers are telling their kids, "don't go outside without a coat, you'll get sick." Stossel reports that this is not true. Scientists and the polar bear club debunk the myth. As it happens, more people get sick in the winter because they spend more time indoors and closer to each other, passing viruses back and forth.

MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS -- People think money will buy happiness, and the rich often seem happy, but research by Money Magazine columnist Jean Chatzky and others reports that more money makes people significantly happier only if their family income is below $30,000. After $50,000, money makes no difference.

REPUBLICANS SHRINK GOVERNMENT -- Republicans say they will shrink government, but they don't. During the 2003 State of the Union, President Bush received thunderous applause talking about "spending discipline," but in his first term government spending went up 33 percent.

WE ARE DESTROYING OUR FORESTS -- It's a sensitive subject for some - the deforestation of America. The head of the group Save America's Forests, Carl Ross, says "the loss of natural forests in America is a crisis." Yet the U.S. Agriculture Department says we have more forest now than in 1920.

Other myths explored include -- "we need more gun control," "we're drowning in garbage" and more. All of the myths have aired previously.

Plus: The latest on the devastating toll of Hurricane Katrina.

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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