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Neil Cavuto Tells It Like It Isn't

Reported by Ellen - December 28, 2004

I found a nifty new (to me, at least) feature on FOXNews.com called Five Minutes With.... I just bookmarked it so that I can check it periodically. Tonight's focus is Five Minutes with Neil Cavuto who, I just discovered, is not just a FOX News host but is also vice president of business news on FNC and, in addition, "oversees all business coverage for FNC."

So shame on him for misreporting and distorting the Social Security issue.

Cavuto calls Social Security "the single most important issue facing Americans." Not according to FOX's own poll, it isn't. The latest poll, dated December 16, 2004 says that Iraq and the economy are the two most prevalent issues. According to the FOXNews.com article about the poll, these issues are "the same two issues that topped the list at the beginning of the year, as well as largely throughout 2004." The FOXNews.com article also notes that, "Today 21 percent say Iraq is the topic that comes up the most in conversations, up from 13 percent in January. And for 18 percent, the economy is the hot topic — down from 27 percent at the start of the year."

I wonder whether a mother whose son or daughter is serving in Iraq, perhaps near Mosul, site of the suicide bomber who infiltrated US security, would think that Social Security is the most important issue facing Americans. Or my neighbor who recently had a recurrence of breast cancer but whose health insurance excluded coverage of such a condition. I also wonder if Cavuto's priorities might have something to do with the fact that his employer, FOX News Channel, stands to gain plenty from increased financial advertising if Bush's privatization plan should be adopted.

Cavuto also says that, "There are fewer people paying in, a lot more people taking out. You can't sustain a system like that." True enough. But he neglects to mention that we have another 15 years before the amount coming in is less than the amount going out and that there is really enough money to fund the system for another 35 years. (See, for e.g. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, free with registration)

Cavuto concludes this little segment on Social Security by continuing his false alarm. "It's crucial for Congress and the president to move fast. If they dilly-dally on this for a couple of years, all hopes for fixing this mess are gone... The time for action, and boy do we need it, is now."

Hmm. Weren't we told the same thing about invading Iraq?

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