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Fox Hosts a Former Laugh-In Comedian (Identified Only as a "Vietnam Veteran") to Talk Economics: The Iraqis Will Thrive Because They "Insulate Their Homes With Money"

Reported by Melanie - November 17, 2006 -

Neil Cavuto expanded on George Bush's comparison of Iraq to Vietnam today (November 17, 2006). He aired two segments, the first a report from Vietnam by Fox's David Piper about how Vietnam is "moving from Communism to capitalism. " Following that came an appearance by a man named Bill Rafferty. Rafferty was on to talk about how Vietnam's booming economy could be a "glimpse of Iraq's future."

I Googled Bill Rafferty. Turns out Fox stooped to another new low (they're on a roll lately) by bringing Rafferty on to discuss Iraq's economic future: Rafferty is a comedian who once appeared on Laugh-In. Here is a "before picture" of him on the Laugh-In set and here is a "current picture" at his MySpace.com site.

Cavuto introduced Rafferty as a "Vietnam veteran and hero" who "saw combat in the Vietnam war and is not surprised that the economy is thriving there but what might surprise you is that he says the same thing could happen in Iraq." Cavuto said nothing about Rafferty's life as a comedian and the chyron at the bottom of the screen identified Rafferty only as a "Vietnam veteran."

Cavuto asked Rafferty to explain.

Rafferty said Iraq won't be "exactly" like Vietnam, that it's "going to be different because it's going to take them a little longer to progress. However they are the original culture of corruption." Rafferty wondered if Cavuto remembered his "biblical studies" and said that "Iraq is supposed to be the home of the Garden of Eden." Rafferty continued, attempting to provide "evidence" as to the long-term nature of Iraq's "culture of corruption:" "When you look at Iraq you realize that they've been stealing since Eve took the apple from the tree, so I'm really not worried about these people at all."

Cavuto asked Rafferty to "play it out for me. A quarter of a century from now, what is Iraq looking like?"

Rafferty said,

What Iraq is looking at is a fabulous economy. They're in the heart of the Middle East. I can only go by what my son says. My son, who's 25 years old...wants to visit Dubai. So, I mean, figure that one out. They're gonna go to Iraq for the simple reason...

Cavuto interrupted:

Yeah, Dubai is a mecca in that region and where a lot of the money flows. Right now Iraq doesn't benefit from that. In fact it hasn't benefited post-invasion, pre-invasion, long time. Why will it change?


It'll change because these people insulate their homes with money. If you'll remember at the beginning of the war, we were looking for Bathists. We'd break into their homes, we'd crack open the walls and there was like millions of dollars in cash. Anybody who can insulate their homes with money has no problems with economics. They're going to succeed.

Comment: Don't get me wrong. This was a dead serious interview. It was not a spoof. Nobody was laughing. Fox pawned Rafferty off as an expert.

On March 24, 2006, during an appearance on DemocracyNow!, Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner said, "When you have to make up things to sell the thing you're trying to defend, and that is democracy, you've gone down a bad road."