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A Preview of the Coming Fox Business Network

Reported by Melanie - October 10, 2007 -

Rupert Murdoch's "Fox Business Network" (FBN) is set to debut on Monday, October 15.

We first heard about the possibility of another 24/7 Murdoch channel on June 20, 2005, when Forbes reported that Fox would launch a business channel "in the first half of 2006." Despite its intimate relationship with Fox -- it has its own Saturday morning show, Forbes on Fox -- they got it wrong.

With video.

The buzz faded until exactly a year later, when on June 20, 2006, Reuters reported that Fox would launch the channel "in the middle of next year." Well, the timing is off at bit but the channel is on, as of this coming Monday.

I have been dismayed at some of the talk surrounding this impending debut. Headlines like "Fox vs. CNBC: Countdown To War," from BusinessWeek are common. I wonder if the author of the BusinessWeek article has ever watched any of the "business news" shows that air on Fox News right now. There are five: Your World w/Neil Cavuto which airs every weekday at 4:00 p.m. ET, and four, half-hour shows that comprise the "Cost of Freedom" business bloc beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on Saturday: Bulls & Bears, Cavuto on Business, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. These shows are all we have to go on in terms of what to expect from the new "business" network.

I always put the word business in quotes when writing about Cavuto's show, which I've monitored for more than three years. Despite the fact that Fox touts it as its "premiere business news" program, it only minimally covers business news. Unless Fox succeeds in drastically dumbing down what we typically think of as "business news" -- such as that presented on CNBC or Bloomberg television -- CNBC has nothing to fear.

Again, based on what we have to go on, we can expect most shows to open with a FOX NEWS ALERT. If the Dow is way up, it will be the headline story following the alert. If it's down or "sideways," the closing numbers will likely be tucked into an off the cuff sentence well into the show. The FOX NEWS ALERT might be about, oh, say Marion Jones. On Friday, October 5, Cavuto aired seven FOX NEWS ALERTS about her. Or, they might be used to actually divert attention away from news that Fox might not want its audience to hear, like this or this.

Yes, you'll see roundtable discussions featuring stock picker-types, but they'll be discussing things like this from October 4: "Hillary Leaps Ahead in Polls: Why Isn't Wall Street Worried?" Or this from October 5: "Dems Pounce on Bad Economic News: What About Good News?"

You'll hear gasps at any talk of tax hikes and you'll hear disgust at any talk of "bailing out" homeowners caught in the mortgage meltdown. How the government is spending "your tax dollars" will be of concern when those issues arise but you won't hear outrage -- or anything at all, to speak of -- about the billions of "your tax dollars" that are going down the drain in Iraq.

You'll hear lots of bad things about the Democratic party (or "Democrat" party as Cavuto says), but not much about Republicans. In July alone Cavuto worked in nine segments bashing John Edwards. Additionally, Cavuto's viewers know about John Edwards' $400.00 haircut, but none of them have heard about Mitt Romney's $300.00 makeup job, and certainly not that he spent $2,000 on makeup while he was the governor of Massachusetts.

You'll see eight segments about MoveOn's "Betray Us" ad and know how much MoveOn paid, etc., etc., etc., but when it comes to Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment, you won't be told much more than it had something to do with "phony soldiers."

You'll hear the "business news" anchor vilify Joe Kennedy for making a deal with the evil Hugo Chavez's Citgo in order to provide heating oil to poor people, but you won't hear about the work Rudy Giuliani has done on Citgo's behalf. Months later that will all be a distant memory and Fox's hypocrisy probably won't hit you when you see Citgo ads on the same show, as was the case last month.

The "business news" and financial experts on Fox will tell you it's time to shoot poor people; the mortgage meltdown was caused by sex education; that in order to keep America great, we should all stop taking vacations, and that, only about 200,000 people working full-time make the minimum wage.

The new Fox "Business Network" might bring on "experts" who aren't experts, and who repeatedly say they aren't; or "business news" faves like Bo Dietl, Bernie Kerik, Brigite Gabriel, Neil Boortz, Tom Tancredo, Lawrence Eagleburger, Ben Ferguson, Michael Reagan, Michelle Dellacroce, and Ann Coulter. Last spring, Coulter appeared on Cavuto's show so often that I thought she'd been hired as a "business news contributor."

And last but not least, you'll see a lot of soft porn, "celebrity news," and foxy ladies. You'll see James Dobson complaining about all the pornography on television one minute, and Cavuto interviewing women in bras the next, literally. O.J. Simpson's arrest in Las Vegas will be turned into "business news." You'll see cleavage cam shot after cleavage cam shot. If Paris Hilton is in the news the "business news" might be all about her. And last but not least, we'll see a whole lot of the advertisement Paris Hilton made two years ago for the Carl's, Jr. hamburger chain. Cavuto has been playing it since its debut -- he practically wore the tape out last summer when Hilton was in the news. I think of it as his signature piece.

So, we have a new 24/7 Murdoch channel set to debut on Monday which will bring us GOP propaganda and mindless junk, neither of which we need more of.

Here's a short video from Brave New Films called: Fox Attacks: Business.