FOX News Begins Campaign to Change South Korean Schizophrenic into Middle Eastern Sympathizer
Reported by Marie Therese - April 20, 2007 -
Honestly, since I've taken over watching Your World, I am appalled at how little hard-hitting, incisive business news is covered by host Neil Cavuto. It astounds me that any serious business people would give this show a second glance. But, I guess any publicity is better than no publicity. Yesterday was no different. After a brief announcement that the Dow had hit at all-time high, Cavuto devoted most of his show to the VA Tech shootings. Because the stock market news was so good, Cavuto was unable to link the shootings to a "hit" for the economy, a favorite device of his, especially when he wishes to dump on Democrats or liberals.
Cavuto interviewed the grandparents of one of the young people murdered by mentally disturbed Cho Seung-Hui and also discussed copycat threats with former homicide detective Rod Wheeler and Oliver "Buck" Revell, of Revell Group International. Revell's client list reads like a who's-who of international business and includes the U. S. Army, Bank of America, gaming companies and corporation in Russia and Asia, including South Korea.
There were also two segments devoted to the question of why people hate the rich.
The first featured FOX News contributors Charles Payne (WStreet.com), Cheryl Casone (FOX Business Now) and Laura Schwartz (former Democratic strategist). They were joined by Dr. Bill Maier, a psychiatrist with James Dobson's conservative Christian organization, Focus on the Family. Ms. Casone spouted the usual myth that "anyone can succeed and become wealthy". This is the sales pitch that the really rich like to use to salve their consciences. In the meantime the corporations rake in the money by denying workers health benefits, pension plans and job security. Social darwinism at its finest!
Comment: As I've noted before, in the real world out here, we all know that there simply isn't enough capital in existence to allow every hard-working, decent, honorable human being to become a millionaire. Ain't gonna happen. But, by focusing on the question of Cho's hatred of the rich, the panel missed an opportunity to confront the real issue, which is, the treatment and care of those who are mentally ill and, therefore, unable, by virtue of the nature of their affliction, to take care of themselves.
These segments, however, were not the ones that got my attention. It was the first two that Cavuto programmed - one in which his guest tried to link Cho to Islam and the second with Mark Steyn (see report above this).
The first one - featuring blustering security consultant Bo Dietl and religious conservative Jerry Bowyer - was an obvious attempt to link the actions of Cho Seung-Hui to Islamist terrorists. As such, it was a classic example of how FOX News panders to its right-wing conservative base, going so far as to give air time to Bowyer's half-baked notion that because Cho had used the names "Ismail" and "Ishmael", he was in fact acting in symnpathy with the hordes of militant Islamofascists who are out to get us.
Bo Dietl tried to tell both Cavuto and Bowyer that Cho was a deranged madman, but Bowyer would have none of it. He persisted in his theory that the massacre had an "Islamic connection."
Bowyer completely ignored the fact that there are thousands of people all over the world trying to decipher the arcane "Ismail Ax" reference used by Cho, presumably as an identifier. My own theory is that it's a reference to the first three words of Moby Dick - "Call Me Ishmael" - which Cho would have read, since he was an English literature major. In the Herman Melville classic, Ishmael is the narrator of the story, the disengaged observer who tells us the story of Captain Ahab's obsessive pursuit of the great white whale. However, even if one accepts Bowyer's theory that Cho was referring to th story of Abraham and Ishmael - that in and of itself is not sufficient grounds to make the enormous assumption that Cho "sympathized" with or was acting as an agent for Middle Eastern terrorists.
Apparently it was convincing enough for Neil Cavuto, who made a point of saying that he thought Jerry Bowyer's article on this topic for National Review Online was a terrific piece of work. Bo Deitl, who clearly knows the rules at FOX News, tempered his real analysis with a lot of puffball comments to make it seem like what Bowyer was saying had some validity. Cavuto did not even acknowledge Bo Dietl at the end of the interview while praising Bowyer and thanking him.