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No, Fox News Doesn't "Look Out for the Folks"

Reported by Melanie - September 6, 2006 -

You may have heard yesterday that a federal bankruptcy judge approved Delta Air Lines Inc.'s request to terminate its pilots' pension plan. Neil Cavuto covered that topic today (September 6, 2006) in a segment titled, "Pension Betrayal: What Can Workers 'Count' On?" Cavuto's guests were editors from Forbes magazine, Jim Michaels, Editorial Vice President, Lea Goldman, Associate Editor, and Dennis Kneale, the Editor.

The gist of the discussion was that defined pension plans are from "another era," and "you can't rely on the pension promise anymore," as Goldman said.

Michaels said, "The pension is obsolete."

Cavuto said that the, "defined pension...is going the way of the dinosaur."

Instead of expressing concern for workers, Kneale said, "I worry about what's happening to our government burden and I worry what happens to the other airlines." The, "last sliver of workers covered by these, they should be worried about this."

Cavuto wondered whether, "Folks shouldn't have counted on these plans?"

Michaels said, "Well, most Americans are economically illiterate" and they didn't understand that, "all they got was a vague promise to pay, if we can pay it." And, "unfortunately, people took that to be a guilded-edged promise. Unfortunately, the government got into the act and put these pension fund guarantees in, which makes the situation even worse. The government should not have to bail out companies that made rash promises."

(Emphasis added.)

Comment: The answer to the question about what workers can "count on" is: nothing. Pensions were nothing more than "rash promises," after all. Meanwhile, the elephant in the room was executive compensation, which wasn't mentioned: Northwest and Delta executives to make millions from bankruptcies. This from the channel that touts Bill O'Reilly's bleats about "looking out for the folks."