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More Nepotism on Fox Financial Shows

Reported by Judy - February 20, 2006

I've always thought that when it comes to economic (non) sense, having John Bradshaw Layfield on a Fox News financial show makes as much sense as having long-haired conservative Tom Adkins on a Fox News financial show. It turns out that Layfield has exactly the same financial credentials as Tom Adkins.

Adkins, a guest on Brenda Buttner's "Bulls and Bears" show, is actually "Mr. Brenda Buttner," as noted in this recent News Hounds post. Layfield is a wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation, the host of a conservative talk radio show, and the author of a book on personal finance, called Have More Money Now. But what is Layfield's major qualification for being on a Fox News financial show? He is "Mr. Meredith Whitney." Layfield is married to Fox News financial analyst Meredith Whitney.

Fortified by such sterling credentials, Layfield was chosen to comment on the economic significance of a federal district court jury verdict last week in favor of the pharmaceutical giant Merck in a suit brought by the family of a Florida man who died of a heart attack after taking the drug Vioxx. Layfield decided the case was all about "personal responsibility," although he failed to say why it was responsible for the pharmaceutical company to sell a drug without telling the buyer that it could cause a heart attack.

"If you have 18 cheeseburgers a day and die of a heart attack, you can't sue McDonald's any more than you can sue a spoon manufacturer for you becoming obese," ranted Layfield, in response to a question about the impact of the jury verdict on Wall Street.

Layfield met some resistance for his views from other members of the panel. Regular Pat Dorsey, of morningstar.com, noted that the case against Merck probably has little significance because it was one of the weaker ones among the thousands that have been filed by Vioxx users who have had heart attacks. The victim in this case had only taken the drug for a month.

Gary Kaltbaum, of Kaltbaum Associates, rebutted Layfield's "personal responsibility" claim saying, "You say it's all ridiculous, but it's only ridiculous until it happens to your family."

Layfield shot back that two of his uncles died of cigarette smoking but that he did not sue the tobacco companies because they knew smoking was bad for them. Again, Layfield left out the fact that tobacco companies intentionally made their product more addictive so that it would be extremely difficult for people to do the responsible thing and quit. Was that a responsible act by the cigarette makers?

Such details are immaterial to a guy like Layfield, who acted like he thinks every discussion should be "smackdown." His financial guidance is as phony as a WWF wrestling match. His goal is to tout GOP political philosophy under the guise of predicting financial trends.

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