Although Fox Business host Charles Payne blamed the coronavirus for today’s stock market crash, “straight news” anchor Ed Henry successfully prodded Payne to weaponize the plunge and blame Bernie Sanders.
Payne visited Fox News’ America’s Newsroom show, ostensibly a “straight news” program, this morning to talk about the market crash. He called Italy the “epicenter” of today’s selloff, because of an eruption of coronavirus cases there and an apparent lack of control over them, and he called South Korea the economic center because “that’s where we manufacture a whole lot of computer chips.” That’s why so many technology stocks are “getting hurt more than the overall market today,” Payne explained.
Other reporting backs up Payne’s conclusions. Business Insider notes, “Every sector in the S&P 500 traded in the red, with the energy (-4.5%) and information technology (-4%) indices leading declines. The Wall Street Journal reported, “Investors around the world stepped up their retreat from stocks and piled into haven assets like government bonds and gold, reflecting escalating worries that the coronavirus will crimp global growth.”
But Henry’s only “question” was a blatant attempt to push Payne into politicizing the horrible news. Not only did Payne take the hint, he looked down at what were apparently pre-prepared notes as he rattled off the names of stocks Sanders is supposedly harming.
HENRY: Is this selloff all coronavirus or is this the first time the markets are open since Bernie Sanders took control of the Democratic battle?
PAYNE: The Bernie factor is finally rearing its head in the stock market. Molina Health, one of the biggest health insurers in this country, is down 8%; United Health is down over 6%; Anthem is down 5%. Hospital stocks are getting hit. It’s Community Psychiatric is down 5%.
Co-anchor Sandra Smith asked, “Do you directly attribute that selloff to Bernie?”
“Absolutely,” Payne said. He read off a few more numbers, before reiterating, “There’s absolutely no doubt.”
For good measure, Payne added that the same stocks “got hammered when Elizabeth Warren was in the lead.” But “as she began to wane” and the stocks “came out with great earnings estimates, they rebounded pretty nicely.”
“This is the first time, I think, Wall Street has taken Bernie Sanders very seriously,” Payne continued.
As I write this, none of those companies are in the top 50 losers today.
In case you don't think Fox deliberately exploited this serious tragedy for political purposes, consider that it posted the video online with the title, "Charles Payne: Bernie factor 'rearing its head' in stock market selloff" and with the subtitle, "Charles Payne reveals the epicenter of the stock market selloff over coronavirus concerns and says Wall Street is 'finally' taking Bernie Sanders seriously."
You can watch Fox News weaponize the stock market crash for the sake of partisan politics below, from the February 24, 2020 America’s Newsroom.