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On FOX News, Democrats Are Not Just Bad, They're Bad For The Economy

Reported by Ellen - June 26, 2005

Is it just a coincidence that I found nothing to write about Forbes on FOX during the two weeks host David Asman was away? During that time, this business show actually stuck to the topic of business. When Asman returned yesterday, the business of Democrat-bashing once again trumped the business of finance.

The first nine minutes of the program were devoted to this "fair and balanced" question from Asman: Are Democrats hurting the economy and the stock market by trying to annul the presidential election?

Nobody from the panel of Forbes magazine writers and editors questioned Asman's throw-away assumption that the Democrats were trying to annul the presidential election. In fact, none of the five panelists had anything good to say about a single Democrat. Still, Asman didn't get quite the anti-Democratic response he obviously hoped for. But it wasn't due to lack of trying.

Starting off with the most pro-Bush representative on the panel, Asman asked Jim Michaels, editorial vice president, "Is Wall Street worried about what's happening?"

JM: Damn right, Wall Street's worried. When Bush was re-elected, the market was strong because Bush stood for the things the market wanted... The Democrats, or rather I should say the Demolition Party (hearty laughter off screen which sounded like it was coming from Asman) is blocking him at every turn.

While Michaels spoke "Bu$h Blockade?" appeared on the screen.

DA, with a bit of extra chipperness: So, Lea, the Demolition Party is interfering with our money on Wall Street?

Lea Goldman, Staff Writer, said Bush's problem is that he's unyielding and won't work with Democrats.

Victoria Murphy, Staff Writer, said the Bush Administration doesn't deserve a pity party. "If anything Bush has the perfect environment to pass through regulations. He's got a majority in the House and Senate. Yet he's getting blocked at every turn, in some cases by his own party. He doesn't deserve our pity. The Democrats don't have a real agenda right now so they're following the 'just say no' campaign."

Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, said the problem is Bush focusing on Terri Schiavo, and a confused Social Security plan - "nothing the Democrats are doing." While he spoke, the screen said, "Dems blocking Bush Agenda: Is it hurting stocks?"

Asman, seemingly puzzled at the lack of Democrat-blaming asked "The last couple of days, the last week were awful with the market... What's driving the market into these blah situations?"

Neil Weinberg, Staff Writer, said it's oil, deficits, Social Security, "The problem though is, that Bush has a great economic idea with his Social Security privatization but it's dead in the water politically and he needs to move on. He's got to get this stubborn streak out of the way and he needs to move on and start dealing with some of our other problems."

DA: So if he moves on... then will Wall Street be happy? Would the market take off?

Elizabeth MacDonald, Senior Editor, said the market WOULD take off but that Bush is not being blocked. He got the Iraq war, class action reform, bankruptcy bill. "The thing of it is, he didn't sell the Social Security plan right. He didn't put out a plan. Somebody needs to step up and say, 'Look, we in Washington have been ripping you off for years, tax payers, spending your money on things like, you know, Dr. Seuss museums or studies on how long it takes to wash your dishes so... you deserve to keep some of that money."

Victoria Murphy said Bush "has not had a lot of swift, decisive moves," and that Social Security, which could have been a boost to the market could have been one of them. The market historically rises with influxes of cash but "you can't blame the Democrats for that."

DA (interrupting): Jim, let me bring you back here. Doesn't the market itself - doesn't the stock market want Bush to have some successes inside the beltway? (Comment: Asman is bringing back the one panelist he can rely on to be the most pro-Bush.)

Jim Michaels said yes, the market wants some sign that the United States "knows what it's doing." The Democrats "with no plans of their own - absolutely nothing put forward - are just saying 'no, no, no.' They are even refusing to let Bush carry out his foreign policy for which he did receive a clear mandate by blocking John Bolton's nomination to the United Nations."

Quentin says he thought Republicans were the party of personal responsibility and that if Bush looks lame, "it has a lot more to do with the way he has misspent his political capital than anything the Democrats - who threw up John Kerry as their best shot - (unintelligible) take credit for.

Elizabeth MacDonald pointed out that it was a Republican, Senator George Voinovich, who blocked Bolton, that Bush should go with Stephen Hadley, National Security Advisor, instead, and that 73 Dems voted for bankruptcy bill so it's not like Bush is getting entirely blocked.

Asman (trying one more time to make the point that going along with Bush would be good for people's pocketbooks): But do you agree, Elizabeth, do you agree with Jim's point that the market DOES want success for Bush, that is if we have a successful policy inside the beltway the market approves and stocks go up?

Elizabeth MacDonald said there are three things the market wants: low interest rates, Social Security reform - about which both parties have failed - and success in Iraq.

Lea Goldman said the buck stops with Bush, that he is too unyielding.

Michaels popped in again to say, "Who started the opposition of John Bolton? Chris Dodd, who is a personal friend of Fidel Castro's."

Panel interrupted with "Oh, come on."

Asman interrupted the panel to make sure Michaels had the chance to finish his statement. Asman said, "Wait a minute. Let him finish his point."

Michaels: This is absolutely fact. Chris Dodd and those people do not like us to have a strong policy against Fidel Castro.

Comment: That's a far cry from being a personal friend of Castro's, but Asman didn't seem to care. He said, "He's got the last word in this debate," and ended the segment.

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