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Fox Revs Up 2004 Tactic - Scare Viewers Into Thinking They'll Lose Money if Democrats Win in November

Reported by Melanie - June 1, 2006

One of the recurring themes on Fox's "business news" programs during the spring and summer prior to the 2004 election was Fox's assertion that the stock market would drop and investors would lose their shirts if John Kerry won. Today (June 1, 2006) on Your World w/Cavuto, Fox dragged out and fired up that worn out line to scare viewers again this year.

Neil Cavuto kicked off the new season during a roundtable discussion, over a graphic of a man standing in a voting booth:

"Well, it is the first day of June and it is a mid-term election year. Why that could spell trouble for stocks because according to the Stock Trader's Almanac, the combination has been terrible for stocks with the S&P 500 down about 2% on average since l950." Will, "history repeat itself?"

Cavuto turned to very frequent guest Ben Stein and asked, "What do you say?"

Stein said May, June, and July are, "not great months. We don't know why but it has historically been true." I think there is, "fear that if the Democrats take over the congress, they will restore the higher taxes on investments and that is a genuine, serious fear for the market. We have to just pray that if they do take it over, cooler heads will prevail."

John "Bradshaw" Layfield spoke next. Layfield, a professional wrestler known as the "Wrestling God," the husband of Fox News business analyst Meredith Whitney (Fox is fond of husband and wife teams) and also, apparently, an expert on the stock market, said, "I think Ben's right."

Fox's Rebecca Gomez said she didn't, "really see the correlation between the mid-term elections and the stock marke,t" but later fell in line when she said she didn't mean, "that the investors are not concerned about what these lawmakers will do, they're just not focused on it right now."

Cavuto, apparently frustrated that he wasn't getting the enthusiastic response he'd hoped for, turned to Herman Cain, the former president of Godfather's Pizza and now a right wing shill. Cavuto said, "I don't want to pre-guess the market's intentions down the road here but there is this concern that Democrats, should they take control of the house and or the senate, as Ben said, would start moving on some of those tax incentives that have helped the market, certainly up to now. Do you buy that? Is that a legitimate fear?"

Surprisingly, and uncharacteristically, Cain didn't buy the Fox line: "I don't think that's a legitimate fear," he said.

Count on Ben Stein though to bring up the rear: "Obviously, if the tax on dividends is raised, that's going to dramatically affect the value of stocks which basically control the stream of dividends."

Comment: Hearing Fox use this line again was a yawn for me but, given the fiancial ditch George Bush has helped drive American citizens into, this fear tactic might have more of an impact in 2006 than it did in 2004.

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