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Criminals May Get Off! Where's the Outrage?

Reported by Judy - March 7, 2006

When it comes to white collar criminals, Neil Cavuto seems downright soft on crime. On Tuesday (March 7, 2006), "Your World with Neil Cavuto" finally featured a segment on the Enron trial, and Cavuto showed little concern about the possibility the defendants may get off scott-free.

After ignoring the trial all last week, Cavuto opened the show with a report from Fox News reporter Kim McIntyre regarding Tuesday's testimony by former Enron financial chief Andrew Fastow. Testifying against former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, Fastow told the jury how he created a partnership to hide losses of other Enron departments as part of a plot to deceive investors about the true extent of Enron's red ink.

Cavuto was not interested in the details of the testimony. "It's really like watching an hour of CNBC. You can't make sense out of it," he said. Skipping such nitty-gritty information also helps Fox News avoid have to remind viewers of the size of the scandal and the scope of people it affected. Why dredge up all that and embarrass friends of George Bush?

Instead, Cavuto opted to bring in a prominent defense attorney, Jim Parkman, who defended executives from Healthsouth in another trial, and talk about the dynamics of interaction between the juror, defense attorneys, and witnesses. What Parkman's comments came down to was that if the jurors "bond" with the defense attorney, Lay and Skilling may get off.

So where was Cavuto's outrage about the American justice system? Where was his concern for the victims left without jobs and pensions due to Skillings' and Lay's allegedly fraudulent accounting maneuvers? Why wasn't he worried about the example it sets for other criminals who know they can get off with no punishment if they can find a slick lawyer who can act like Andy Griffith in front of the jury?

I guess all those things were hiding behind a great, big double standard that shields white collar criminals.

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