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Fox 'Business' News: Strippers, Not Enron

Reported by Judy - March 3, 2006

You could never tell it from watching Fox News' business show, but there is a big financial story unfolding about the fate of millions of American investors. So why has "Your World with Neil Cavuto" been ignoring it?

The major story that is getting nearly no coverage from Cavuto is the five-week-old trial of former Enron bosses Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, who are accused of a conspiracy to defraud investors by concealing losses in 2000 and 2001. The collapse of Enron left investors and employees -- whose pension funds were in company stock -- with nothing.

Instead of taking a peek at the trial, Cavuto offered more than five minutes of discussion with two comely blondes who have formed a group to bring strippers to Jesus. The lengthy interview was paired with split-screen images of strippers in action. Its relevance to a business show was never explained, although the word "financial" did come up once. One of the blondes said that the industry often is a "financial trap" for "the girls" and so many cannot just quit their jobs on the spot.

Fox News' black-out of news on the Enron trial stands in stark contrast to its saturation coverage given the 2004 trial of Martha Stewart, who was convicted on a much less serious charge in a matter that produced no measurable harm to anyone. During the Stewart trial, Fox News offered updates throughout the day of the trial, from beginning to end, with additional segments of speculation about the effect of the trial on Wall Street and whatever else its reporters and producers could dream up.

Yet with Enron, Cavuto has not even told us of Lay's financial problems, how Enron lobbyists worked to prolong the energy crisis in California, or followed up with interviews with former Enron employees who are watching the trial and asking what they are feeling.

Why the difference? Could it be that Stewart is a Democrat and "Kenny Boy" is a Republican pal of George Bush? I'm just asking. Or could it be that the Stewart trial was in Manhattan, just down from Fox News headquarters, and the Enron trial is in Houston? Could it be that Murdoch won't spend the money to send a reporter to Houston to cover a trial in one of the biggest financial collapses in U.S. history? But couldn't they find a local affiliate to shoot some video for Fox and do a stand-up outside the courthouse?

Fox's inability -- or refusal -- to cover this major financial story speaks volumes about the quality of business news produced by Cavuto's show and the ability of Fox to handle the business news network it keeps talking about launching.

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