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Buttner's Stupid Questions Finally Get a Name

Reported by Judy - November 18, 2006 -

In the spirit of Jon Stewart's coining of the "Cavuto," the News Hounds Saturday (Nov. 18, 2006) revealed the existence of the "Buttner."

The "Cavuto," as defined by Stewart, is a new punctuation mark, looking suspiciously like a question mark, that turns any statement, no matter how outrageous, into a simple, seemingly fair, question. The most proficient user of the "Cavuto" on Fox News is, of course, Neil Cavuto,
who uses it as a method of attack, as in "Have the Democrats Forgotten the Lessons of 9/11?" or "Is the Liberal Media Helping to Fuel Terror?"

Like the "Cavuto," a "Buttner" bears some similarities to a question, but it's not used by Cavuto. It's used by Brenda Buttner, anchor for Fox News "Bulls and Bears."

A "Buttner" is an attempt by Buttner to tie any movement on Wall Street to a political event in a way that reflects positively on George Bush or negatively on Democrats. Sometimes, the connection between the two events comes across as tenuous, to say the least.

Regular viewers of "Bulls and Bears" will recognize the genre immediately: George Bush gives a speech. Will the market soar?

Saturday's "Buttner" was intended to diss Democrats and undercut any momentum their party might have coming off the midterm election victories. After the Dow set record highs last week, right after voters put Democrats in charge of both the House and Senate, Buttner could not very well follow her usual pattern of asking whether the Dow highs were related to that development. And George Bush hadn't done anything to crow about except go to Vietnam. So she really had to reach for this one.

"A third party in the White House. Is that what Wall Street wants? Why this record run for the Dow could be forecasting a record run and win by an independent in 2008," proclaimed Buttner at the start of the show.

She went on with, "The Dow shatters more records this week. This as it seems a strong third party could make a record run for the White House. Is Wall Street predicting such a victory?

"The Dow again and again hitting fresh new highs, ending the week at one in fact, just as polls show Americans again and again fed up with partisan politics, hitting new lows. Does Wall Street say forget about the Dems, forget about the Republicans? We want a third party in ‘08."

Fortunately, Buttner had the none-too-bright pro-wrestler John Bradshaw Layfield on hand to catch her toss.

Layfield claimed that the election of Jesse Venture in Minnesota (how long ago was that?) proved Democrats in 2008 want a third party candidate. That, and the fact that Kinky Friedman got 13 percent of the vote for governor in Texas. What a groundswell that is.

That's not the last "Buttner" we'll hear on this "financial" show. But the existence of shared power in Washington will make it harder for Buttner to come up with clear-cut Buttner's in the future. What if the stock market soars the week Congress passes a minimum wage hike? Could be tricky. Most certainly will be ridiculous.