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Neil, It Was a Foreign Country, Not Just a Company

Reported by Judy - March 10, 2006

For somebody in charge of a business show, Neil Cavuto has a tough time understanding the difference between a foreign company and a foreign country. Moments after Dubai Ports World announced on Thursday (March 9, 2006) that it was selling its interests in the operation of six American ports to a U.S. company, Cavuto was still trying to trap people with that phony "country profiling" concern of his.

On "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Cavuto asked Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, why Democrats who opposed the DPW deal were not guilty of "country profiling" against the United Arab Emirates since they never objected to the operation of the ports by a British company, P & O.

"No foreign government, not simply the government of Dubai, should have the ownership and control" of an American port, said Menendez, who has introduced legislation to bar such ownership. "When it comes to the ports of our country, because of the tremendous security risks that they present to us, [I think] that ultimately we will not have them under the operational capacity or ownership of a foreign government," he said.

Is it possible that Cavuto never understood that DPW was owned by the UAE, while P & O was not owned by the government of Great Britain? It seems like an important distinction, that a sovereign nation would not give up control of its points of entry to another sovereign nation. Cavuto apparently never got it or he stuck stubbornly to the Bush talking points until the bitter end.

Cavuto devoted several segments of his show to the demise of the DPW deal, hashing over various aspects of the politics and fall-out of the saga with a total of eight guests.

All were more or less reasonable choices, except the first one -- Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas. DeLay hasn't exactly been out-front on this issue, being a little pre-occupied with that four-way primary he won earlier this week. Yet, for some reason, Cavuto thought his viewers needed to hear what DeLay had to say on it. And so what if it was a little free publicity for DeLay now that he is clear to run for re-election?

DeLay seemed a little out of the loop on the whole deal.

"It was a botched mess," he said, regarding the way the deal was approved by non-cabinet level officials. "But the president understood it, got it right quickly, started working with people, and this solution looks like it's a very good solution."

If you call issuing a veto threat the first time he was asked about it "working with people," then I guess DeLay is right. Even Cavuto had to point out that a "different spin" is "that the president never did get it."

Cavuto's next "question" was more an opportunity to let the viewers know what a great leader DeLay is. Cavuto asked: "If you were majority leader at the time this thing broke, would it have gotten to be such a tempest?"

DeLay shrugged off the question with, "Who knows?" but I'm sure he was pleased as punch with the way Cavuto framed it.

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