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When Fox Uses a Graphic Like "Pushing the Good New$" They Mean It

Reported by Melanie - October 12, 2006 -

This morning (October 12, 2006) I heard that the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened to a record $69.9 Billion,"exceeding the highest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists." So I was more than surprised this afternoon to hear a live Neil Cavuto promote the second segment of an interview with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson with, "Alright. Up next. With the Dow at yet another new all-time high and approaching a milestone, gas prices plunging and the deficit dropping, why is all this good news being virtually ignored? The Treasury Secretary thinks he knows. More of my exclusive chat with him and what he think is going on."


After ads and a "news" break, over a graphic that read, "Pushing the Good New$," Cavuto again set-up the second Paulson segment:

The president showcasing low gas prices today, the plunging deficit only yesterday, hammering home the good economic news that many Democrats are not. It's a point I took up with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

To video of the Paulson interview which was originally scheduled to air yesterday but terrorizing viewers vis-a-vis the NYC airplane crash took precedent:

Cavuto:

Switching gears to the budget numbers out. A prominent Democrat was quoted as saying 'only this administration could brag about having a deficit still over $200 billion.' What did you make of that?

Paulson:

The progress on the deficit is a huge positive. When I look at the hand I've been dealt coming down here as Treasury Secretary, one of the strongest hands I've been dealt is a very healthy economy and an economy that is growing and where revenues are coming in way ahead of forecasts. Our deficit is now 1.9% of our GDP. That is well below the average we've had for the last 40 years and that, despite the cost of the war and two hurricanes. So, the concern about the deficit is not the present budget deficit, it's looking ahead a few years at the big structural deficit we're going to have if we're unable to move quickly to reform our entitlement programs.

The discussion, predictably, then turned to the need to "reform" Social Security which, if Paulson has a say in it, will be back on the table after the election.

Comment: Note to self: This is Fox! The "plunging deficit" Cavuto referred to is the budget deficit, which has "fallen" because, according to Brian Riedl, of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation, "The White House has a track record of projecting budget numbers that turn out to be a lot worse than they end up, which therefore helps them defeat the gloomy expectations and declare victory." I missed roughly 15 seconds of the show so Cavuto may - I stress, may - have covered the trade deficit -- the one that was news today -- the bad news -- the one that "soared" and "ballooned" as "some said" -- but chances are he didn't. Ah yes, Fox is dead serious (November 7) when it uses a graphic like, "Pushing the Good New$."