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I'm So Pissed Off I Can't Think of a Good Title

Reported by Melanie - June 10, 2005

Today (June 10, 2005) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto, Cavuto conducted an interview which I thought was a perfect illustration of Fox's tricky interviewing techniques, a perfect illustration of how Fox is not fair and balanced, and a perfect illustration of how Cavuto's show is not about business.

About 15 minutes into the show, Cavuto introduced guest Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of the Yale School of Management this way:

"Well, what do tropical storm Arlene and this man, Howard Dean (Picture shown. Video of Dean shown throughout interview.), have in common? Well, both are said to be kinda out of control, but at least we can trust that Arlene will eventually go away. We're not so sure about Howard. But what if you are working for a CEO who's more like Howard than, let's say, Arlene? Um, Howard Dean makes crazy comments, strikes a lotta people as not quite there, even though I think he's smarter than he lets on." A lot of people work for people like that, "what do you do?"

Sonnenfeld said, "If people have a lot of money we don't always call them crazy, we sometimes call them iconoclastic." Cavuto suggested eccentric and Sonnenfeld liked that word too. Sonnenfeld proceeded to talk about Ted Turner (a Democrat) who once spoke at a conference when he suddenly started referring to his body parts and parts of other people's bodies and "you wonder, is this really Ted?" But, he said, people like working with Turner "because he's not mean spirited. That's the difference between Dean." When someone "goes a little wild, gets a little emotional, you think of the things Howard Dean says, it's offensive to a lotta people. It's cruel, it's wrong and it's drawing boundaries that only hurts the people who agree with him." Sonnenfeld compared Dean to Zell Miller (a Democrat) who challenged Chris Matthews to a duel. Sonnenfeld said that set off the likes of Jay Leno who cracked jokes about Miller "helping to build a bridge to the 18th Century." Sonnenfeld said "Don King (a Republican) was at the convention to sell..." Cavuto interrupted. He didn't want Sonnenfeld to say anything bad about Don King, a Republican, a frequent guest on Your World, and a fanatical Bush supporter.

Cavuto said that many CEO's, like Jack Welsh (a Republican) and Lee Iacocca (supported Bush in 2000, but Kerry in 2004) are witty and disarm the press.

Schonnenfeld agreed, saying he just came from a meeting with Ken Langone who is seen as being very bold and who Cavuto said is trying to take over "the exchange." Sonnenfeld said Langone never actually made an offer [for the exchange] and that Langone "says the press has gone too far with it, but he's talking to everybody on The Street [Wall Street] and and he's taken on Eliot Spitzer (a Democrat) and he's taken on the NASD, he's got a lot of battles at once, [Picture of Spitzer shown] and when we asked our CEOs to survey, is he way over-extended, is he on a quixotic, crazy battle, they, some of them would call him crazy."

Cavuto interrupted and asked this: ""But, I don't think people look at Eliot Spitzer, I see him as more calculating than crazy." (Sonnenfeld didn't say Eliot Spitzer was crazy. He said some people think Ken Langone is crazy. Still, Cavuto grabbed the word crazy and linked it to Eliot Spitzer, someone Cavuto has been trashing for about a year now. Spitzer, again, a Democrat, intends to run for governor of New York, and Cavuto's leading Fox's trash-talking campaign against him.)

Sonnenfeld essentially ignored Cavuto's question and said for Langone it's a "battle for his reputation, and survival" and that "people go to war for honor and I think that's how Ken sees it."

Cavuto, itching to get the discussion back to bashing Democrats and away from the pretend business talk, asked: "Well, what do you think in the realm of pol [he decided not to say the whole word: politics] - like Senator Robert Bird [a Democrat]. [Picture of Bird shown.] There's a guy who seems a little, not right."

Sonnenfeld said "when it's mean spirited, say with either Bird or Dean, and it looks like they're becoming a little bit unhinged." Thinking he was there to talk about CEO's and those who work for them, Sonnenfeld said there have been many "flamboyant" CEO's but they usually have a vice president or other close associate who serves as a "counterbalance." He recounted a seminar he held several years ago in which one speaker alienated the audience and other panelists because everyone thought the speaker was crazy, but Sonnenfeld said he "loved it. I saw him as really effective."

The following banners ran at the bottom of the screen during the interview:

Is the Boss Nuts?

Dean: We're Not Going to Let GOP Define Democratic Party.

Dean: GOP Controls the Courts, Presidency & Congress.

Dean: The Republicans are all About Suppressing Votes.

Dean: Republican's vision of US is Dark and Dishonest.

Dean: Our Vision for America is Much Better than the GOP's.

Dean: Republicans Have Never Made an Honest Living.

Dean: You Can't trust the Republicans.

Comment: Okay, now you tell me: given Cavuto's questions, his interruptions and the banners at the bottom of the screen, do you think Cavuto or Fox ever intended this to be about hard-to-work-for-bosses? No way. A business show? My ass.

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