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2005 in Review - Your World w/Neil Cavuto - A Filter for the Bush Administration

Reported by Melanie - January 1, 2006

After watching Your World w/Neil Cavuto for the past year (and more), the aspect of the program that impresses me most is the near total lack of actual "business news" relayed to Cavuto's gullible, naive, and unsophisticated audience. If one considers the mail Cavuto reads at the end of each show, most of his viewers believe they are watching a business news program, one that Fox claims is "the most watched business news program on the planet;" and one that, "offers news and insight on Wall Street and other market activities, while wrapping up the business news of the day."

Your World may well be the "most watched" but it certainly isn't a "business news program" and it doesn't wrap "up the business news of the day," particularly when the business news is bad news for the Bush administration.

There wasn't much to crow about on Wall Street during 2005. The Dow ended flat for the year and, according to an announcer on CNBC, made the "smallest move, up or down, since its inception in l896." The Nasdaq made its smallest gain since l987. It's no wonder then, that per a recent guest on Your World, Fox has prepared a flashy video montage to play if and when the Dow reaches 11,000; proof, I'm sure it will imply, that Bush's economic policies are brilliantly right on the mark.

Fox forever complains that the "liberal media" only reports the "bad news" coming out of Iraq, but the opposite is true on Your World. The "bad" business news is omitted, or it's drastically minimized or blamed on someone other than Bush or his administraiton.

For example, on January 4, 2005, the Dow fell 98 points and the Nasdaq fell 44. Cavuto began the year true-to-form by making a two-sentence passing reference to that fact, 34 minutes into the show. On January 13, several "leading economic" statistics were released which reflected poorly on the economy. Cavuto "reported" them only via chyrons at the bottom of the screen. If you didn't see the chyrons, you missed it.

Early last year, when Bush was gearing up to push Social Security "reform," the "business news" on Your World became the business of pushing that agenda with two or three segments per show about the wonders of private accounts and the looming dark future if nothing was done. In an attempt to look "fair and balanced," Bush's hated former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, was a guest in March. He was on to talk about his plan to reform Social Security and from what I heard, he sounded as if he had given the issue considerable thought. He sounded far more articulate and informed about the subject than Bush, with his rehearsed, repetitive, memorized monologue. Unfortunately, given Cavuto's 24 interruptions, O'Neill wasn't able to articulate much more than a very simple outline. Wouldn't want anyone out-shine Bush, now would we?

Also in March, on a Friday when the Dow ended down after a two-week losing streak, Cavuto led with three segments about fixing Social Security followed by a twenty-minute news conference in the Terri Schiavo case. In contrast, on days when the Dow or Nasdaq soared, Fox made sure the audience knew. In April, just after the death of Pope John Paul II, Cavuto highlighted a good day (hatch) on Wall Street by alluding to Bush's direct line to God when he wondered if the rise in the Dow was "a case of heavenly guidance."

As the Federal Reserve slowly raised interest rates, Cavuto did everything he could to distance Alan Greenspan, a Bush reappointee, from Bush himself. In March, Cavuto said Greenspan was trying to "kill consumers." In May, Cavuto said Greenspan was a "sour, nasty man, out to destroy the world," and wondered if Greenspan was mentally ill. The message: If you're hurting from high interest rates, blame that wacko Greenspan, not Bush.

Sex is regularly used on Your World as a way to steer clear of actual business news, to add to the macho, "us guys" atmosphere, and to drug the viewer. The television advertisement Paris Hilton made for Carl's Jr. hamburgers was a big hit in June, and it continues to play today. Fox aired clips of it just last week when reporting news about the Hilton Hotel chain. Sex and porn are such regular features on Your World that Fox didn't seem to notice how hypocritical it was when one day it featured James Dobson complaining about sex on television and then immediately cut to two women sitting in a studio wearing revealing bras and advertising the "Lingerie Bowl."

And finally, when political storms took their infrequent breaks and diversionary material ran thin, Fox, like other right wing organizations, turned minor issues into major ones, like Mick Jagger's "big jab at the White House," the huge verdict in a Merck/Vioxx trial being John Edwards' fault, suggesting that Bush is "an environmentalist," hyping a "terror threat" even after admitting it was bogus," claiming that the GM layoffs will be "better for everyone involved," and allowing Bill O'Reilly to take credit for lower gas prices.

Yes, up until the end, it was a year of politics and sex and protecting George Bush and running from "business" words like budget, deficit, and "flat for the year."

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