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Fear, Assassination and the Stock Market

Reported by Melanie - February 22, 2005

Fox News aired two segments today (February 22, 2005) during Your World w/Neil Cavuto concerning Abu Ali, the American citizen recently returned from Saudi Arabia and charged today with, among other things, conspiracy to assassinate President Bush.

Catherine Herridge gave a report from Washington, D.C. and then guest host Terry Keenan introduced Howard Safir, former NYC Police Commissioner, and Washington Post reporter Jeff Birnbaum.

Introducing her guests, and doing her best to weave Abu Ali and fear mongering into the world of business and finance, Keenan said: "Is an assassination attempt on the President likely and if so, what would that do to our economy"?

Posing the first question to Safir, Keenan naively asked: "In this world, is it still possible"?

Keenan, Safir and Birnbaum proceeded to discuss how it's "always possible," that "extra precautions" are taken whenever Bush travels, that if Bush were assassinated the market would probably "decline and decline precipitously" but would then stabilize once Cheney, the "most experienced, certainly the most powerful VP we've had in decades," took the reins. According to the Justice Department, one of Abu Ali's plans was to detonate a car bomb near the president, something that seemed to surprise Keenan but which Safir confirmed was a "significant risk," a "real, significant risk."

Comment: As someone who remembers the assassination of John F. Kennedy (Robert Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) as if it happened yesterday, as well as the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, I know full well that an event like that can occur without warning. Are Fox's viewers so out of touch that they needed a primer on that possibility?

Incidently, it will be interesting to see how the Abu Ali story plays out. If Ali's arrest follows the pattern of several other widely publicised Justice Department "terror cases," Ali will be quietly released after the government's case falls apart. Unfortunately, all the chest-beating is done at the time of the arrest; our pro-government press rarely reports the embarrassing outcomes.

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