In the past week, Fox News and Fox Business host Neil Cavuto has been defending his network’s decision to aggressively promote the right-wing, lobbyist-funded tea party protests. Cavuto’s main line of defense has been that the network is “fair and balanced” in the protests it covers:
— Apparently, these populist protests don’t count much for them. Millions concerned they’re being taxed and feed to death counts even less for them. But a Million March March that turns out to be well shy of a million men — even half a million men — does count for them. We covered the follow-up marches to that Million Man March, because no matter the number, it was a big deal. [Fox News, 4/9/09]
— We do not pick and choose these rallies and protests. We were there for the Million Man March, even though, as I pointed out, it turned out to be well shy of a million men. [Fox Business, 4/11/09]
— Because like in the Million Man March, it didn’t turn out to be a million men, but it got covered. [Fox Business, 4/11/09]
— You seem to pick and choose what events and protests were worthy. Million Man March, worthy, even though it wasn’t a million men, it was half a million. We covered that because we thought it had a worthy message too. [Fox News, 4/8/09]
— But a Million March March that turns out to be well shy of a million men — even half a million men — does count for them. We covered the follow-up marches to that Million Man March, because no matter the number, it was a big deal. [Fox Business, 4/9/09]
Watch a compilation:
The problem, as News Hounds points out, is that the Million Man March took place on Oct. 16, 1995. According to the News Corp. website, however, Fox News did not begin operations until Oct. 7, 1996 — almost a full year after the March. Cavuto joined the network a few months before it launched — in July 1996. Before joining Fox, he was at CNBC.