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On Fox, Any Criticism Is 'Declaring War'

Reported by Judy - February 20, 2006

Neil Cavuto, who could not spot a real business news story if one bit him on the nose, sounded even more foolish than usual Saturday (February 18, 2006) when he promoted the theme of his show -- "Democrats declaring war on America."

Cavuto began his "Cavuto on Business" show by repeating the phrase "Democrats declaring war on America" three times within the first three minutes of the show, pretending to frame it as a question. Cavuto's premise was that Democratic criticism of record oil company profits, drug companies, and business practices of retail giant Wal-Mart amounted to "declaring war on America." The theme was backed up with pictures of Sen. Hillary Clinton, for extra effect.

Cavuto probably will get a bonus for the panel he selected to discuss his biased premise: five conservatives and one liberal, Robert Borosage, director of the Campaign for America's Future. Although outnumbered, Borosage made the point that Democrats are not "declaring war" on anybody, but only trying to roll back some of the excesses of the Republican Congress, which has given billions of dollars in subsidies to oil companies at a time when they are making record profits and created a Medicare prescription drug program without allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.

Meanwhile, the likes of Jim Rogers, Ben Stein, Stuart Varney, Herman Cain, and Meredith Whitney stuck up for oil companies, complained about class warfare, "neo-socialism," "gutless socialism," and the "elites" of Manhattan who didn't want Wal-Mart in their neighborhood. Stuart Varney, Fox News business reporter, was the most absurd, claiming that Democrats "want to make us like the French, neo-socialists, losers, appeasers to boot."
A few minutes later, he changed his mind and said the Democrats want to make us like the Brits, with "class warfare."

Borosage agreed that class warfare is underway in the country, but argued that it is a war of the upper classes on the middle and lower classes, with productivity up, profits up, CEO salaries up, and workers' salaries stagnating so that workers cannot even work their way out of poverty.

The segment was remarkably unbalanced, even by Fox standards.

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