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The Fox News (What News?) Channel

Reported by Melanie - August 26, 2005

Fox News is fond of saying that Your World w/Neil Cavuto is its "premiere business news" program. It claims that Your World is "the most watched business news show on the planet." I claim "business news" is its cover and that what goes on there is the usual propagandizing for the Bush administration. (Today for example, the first two segments were about Cindy Sheehan.) On a day-to-day basis, it informs its viewers of only the most basic business news. Yet, when employment numbers are good or the market goes way up, it leads with that news and devotes many, many minutes (and often, many segments) to trumpeting the details and fantasizing about the ramifications.

When the news might make the Bush administration look bad, it reports just enough to squeak by, but not enough to actually inform its Bush-loving audience about the details, lest they be brought back to the reality-based world. Today (August 26, 2005) was a perfect example.

Alan Greenspan gave a speech in Wyoming today in which he warned about the booming housing market, about the current account deficit, and about the increased trend toward protectionism. Aside from oil prices and consumer sentiment, what Greenspan said was the news on Wall Street today. (Here are a few articles from around the world: Greenspan Warns Budget Deficits Pose Risk, Greenspan: Risks From Deficits, Housing, Greenspan Warns on Protectionism, Concerns About Long-term Health of US Economy).)

How did Fox's "premiere business news" program cover this? At 4:25 p.m. ET, 25 minutes into the program, during a round table discussion about hedge funds, substitute host Terry Keenan commented to guest Maria Fiorini Ramirez: "Alan Greenspan throwing some cold water on the market today in some rather harsh words on the economy." Ramirez said she "didn't think anything really exciting came out of it."

A few seconds later a chyron appeared at the bottom of the screen that read, "Greenspan: Fed Pays Close Attention to Home Prices."

At 4:41 p.m. ET., during the "Fox Stox" portion of the program, Fox showed a graphic listing several home builders' stock prices as Keenan said they were down on Greenspan's remarks, "that the buying power of homeowners now could dry-up if investors begin to turn cautious on the housing market."

At 4:43 p.m. ET, in a segment about who might replace Greenspan, guest Ray Lucia (a radio talk show host), said, "...but if you listen to his words today, he's shaking us up and saying buyer beware, you've got problems in the real estate market and there's a ton of risk premiums out there." Keenan wondered, "Is he shaking us up or is he trying to protect his legacy, do you think?" Lucia thought it was a little of both.

At 4:44 p.m. ET., in the same segment about replacing Greenspan, Keenan asked guest Doug Henwood if he agreed with Lucia, "that Greenspan sees some potholes here?" Henwood said, "This is much more nervous than he's sounded, ever, really ... he's listing a lot of problems that other people have been wondering about that he's been rather silent or excessively reassuring about." Henwood said, "It's really hard to read what he's doing ... he's the guilty party for a lot of these problems." Keenan wondered, "And when you say guilty party, that's because you think he kept interest rates artificially so low?" Henwood said, "Well, yeah."

Comment: That was it. This is how Fox's "premiere business news" program reported what Greenspan said. Fox only hinted at what he said, and it dismissed Greenspan by implying he might be trying to "protect his legacy," and anyway, he's guilty of causing whatever it was he whined about. Bush and his administration (Fox portrays Greenspan as being outside the administration) are off the hook, and Fox's viewers turn off their television sets (or move on to the next hour of propaganda) thinking they know the "business news" of the day. Ain't Fox good?

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