Fox News “The Five” co-host Eric Bolling is adding to his duties at the network. According to Hal Boedeker at The Orlando Sentinel, Bolling will become the anchor of “Cashin’ In,” one of FNC’s weekend financial shows.
Anyone who frequents this blog even if you don’t watch Fox at all, knows how terrible a lot of their “business block” coverage is on Saturday mornings because I try to make a habit of posting at least some of it when I’ve got the stomach for or the time to watch any of it. This was another typically horrid segment with Cashin’ In host Cheryl Casone opening up the show by saying there is a “new debate” over whether spending on “entitlements” are “doing damage to America.”
The premise for why this “debate” is happening — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his recent attack on Americans receiving government “entitlements” that we covered here at C&L in these two posts:
What followed was the panel of Tracy Byrnes, Jonathan Hoenig and Wayne Rogers all repeating Christie’s lines about how receiving everything from food stamps, to unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, to mortgage loan modifications was somehow destroying America and turning us all into a bunch of lazy slobs that don’t want to work and just sitting home waiting for their checks to arrive.
For “balance” we had former professional wrestler and conservative John Layfield actually pointing out that it might be a good idea to feed people so we don’t end up having another revolution in America if massive amounts of people are starving. And milquetoast “liberal” and Fox regular Julian Epstein countering with how “reasonable” it would have been for President Obama to have made some “grand bargain” with Republicans and agreed to austerity measures in the middle of trying to recover from a recession.
And they ended the segment with regular Jonathan Hoenig, who is always reading straight from some script by Ayn Rand, saying we’d have real “freedom” in America if we just got rid of Medicaid and Medicare all together.
I have to wonder just how many people that watch these shows and take them seriously instead the sorry, sad joke that they actually are, consider themselves members of the “tea party” and are receiving Medicaid benefits. The terrible thing is segments like this would be laughable if they weren’t so dangerous, because there are so many out there that buy into the nasty rhetoric they were spouting here.
Conservatives have been using race baiting and trying to pit working Americans against each other with language like what was used in the segment above and paint African Americans as lazy, welfare collecting bums who just want to mooch off of the government for decades. They don’t even seem to be concerned about throwing out the dog whistles these days and are just demonizing everyone now. It’s quite astounding just how much of the electorate they’re willing to turn off and piss off if enough people actually had a chance to watch this garbage and the hundreds of segments just like it Fox churns out every week.
Republicans like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are basically saying the same thing Hoenig did here with their goal of destroying our social safety nets. They’re just a little more subtle about it.
Yesterday’s Cashin’ In was another thinly veiled effort to make poor people look like welfare queens – and to make the Obama administration look like welfare-queen enablers. The vehicle this time was some government advertisements for food stamps. As a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times noted, more than 1/3 of those eligible for SNAP (food stamps) benefits are not receiving them. Furthermore, the program was originally pushed for by the grocery industry because it bolstered household consumption and shored up the retail economy. But none of that information was provided by “objective” host Cheryl Casone. She announced, “The government is now marketing entitlements.”
Not surprisingly, regular panelist Tracy Byrnes hated it. She got the first comment. “This is such an awful state of affairs,” she said. “We’ve seen almost a 46% increase in food stamp participation since President Obama has taken office. It is awful that we are promoting this notion of continual handouts. Why not promote, I don’t know, get out there, get a job and pay for it yourself. And let’s not forget, just ‘cause you have food stamps, doesn’t mean you’re going to make good food choices. You can go out and buy candy, even birthday cakes with these things, too, you know.”
Regular Wayne Rogers sneered, “I looked it up on the internet, what food stamps are, and when I looked up SNAP – that’s this program, you know, for nutrition… and what you see is SNAP has to do with rescuing dogs and cats in Houston, Texas. It makes about as much sense. So, I’m not sure where all these catchy phrases come from and why they are promoting it… The most outrageous point is, they’re taking taxpayer money and spending it to advertise – spending it to advertise - a program where they’re giving away taxpayer money… That’s the government gone berserk.”
Christian Dorsey was one of only two supporters on the panel. As usual, he was terrific. “Hopefully, this is destigmitizing something that doesn’t need to be stigmatized at all,” he said. He also pointed out, “In order to get food stamp benefits, you have to be working or looking for work, you have to be a dependent child, or you’re elderly, or disabled. None of those are shameful circumstances. The reason we’ve spent so much more on food stamps is because we had a really big recession where we increased poverty… This is a really efficient program. Low administrative costs, and money goes to people in need. They spend the money at private businesses, and that spending multiplies by at least 50% in economic activity.”
Instead of emphasizing the stimulative effect, host Casone turned to Jonathan Hoenig, who would almost certainly do away with food stamps altogether if he could. In a scary voice, she said, “Jonathan, this is a $75.3 billion program… It’s huge.”
Hoenig said that the fact that food stamps goes to people in need is “inherently the problem.” He added, “Government is not a charity. We’re talking… an average of $140 a month per recipient. That is essentially found money. To Wayne’s point, it gets taken from some citizens who’ve earned it, and given it to other citizens who’ve not… The ads really irk me, Cheryl, because they essentially legitimize the welfare state. They say… it’s OK for the government not only just to buy you food, but to tell you what to eat. It’s pathetic.”
John Layfield spoke up. “I certainly hope not… You can’t spend this for sugary drinks… These people have nothing else to eat if you don’t give them this. The problem is, that many people are in poverty.”
Hoenig said, “Look at Mississippi. One in five people there are on food stamps. It’s the fattest state in the nation 6 years running.”
”It’s also one of the poorest,” Layfield shot back.
Hoenig said, “Don’t tell me that we need food stamps to alleviate poverty when we have an obesity problem in this country.”
Obesity is linked to poverty, not wealth, as even the conservative Wall Street Journal noted. Also, it’s more difficult for the poor to eat healthfully. That was something else Casone either didn’t seem to know or didn’t bother to mention. She did, however question whether enough is being done to prevent fraud. “Do we need to kind of right the ship now” to reduce food stamps, she mused.
Byrnes got another chance to whine about the poor soaking the rich. “Under the Obama administration, …they’ve made it easier to qualify… The rules have lessened so more people fall into the welfare net. That is what’s so awful about this.”
Almost all the panel, especially Hoenig and Byrnes, are whiny ass 1%-defending morons. More phony tricks for their joke of a “business” block on Saturdays, which might be THE worst aspect of Fixed Noise.
On yesterday’s Cashin’ In, the panel discussed the all male boardroom at Facebook. Host Cheryl Casone announced that the nation’s second largest pension fund is pressuring Mark Zuckerberg to add women to the board. Panelist Tracy Byrnes not only didn’t want to help her female brethren, she suggested it was an insult. Regular panelist Jonathan Hoenig said so overtly.
When asked why she was against pressuring Facebook to add women, Byrnes said, “Because you sit on the board because you deserve it. You have the merit to do so, you are qualified to do so. It has nothing to do with the fact that you have a skirt on all day long, Cheryl. I would not at this point want to be handed anything as a woman. We worked too hard to prove how smart we really are. Don’t hand any woman a seat on that board unless she deserves it.”
Panelist Wayne Rogers said, “It’s a free market. You can buy the stock, or you can sell the stock… They can do whatever they want to… Zuckerberg can appoint whoever the hell he wants to, and he can say to them, Go fly a kite… Don’t buy my stock.’”
John Layfield was one of only two of the five panelists to argue against the all-male board. He said, “It is shameful to me that these tech companies – this is like a bunch of tech geeks build a tree house and put up a sign up that says, ‘No chicks allowed.’ …If you’re saying that the only people that are qualified are white males to be on that board, I have to disagree with that. This is the year 2011 (2012, John), and I think we should no longer discriminate on race or gender. I’m not for forcing women in, but I am for opening up opportunities that are not there in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street.”
Byrnes jumped in. “But we’re presuming he discriminated to begin with!”
Guest Christian Dorsey, a News Hounds Top Dog, said it would “make sense” from a PR perspective to put women on the board. “To suggest that there are no qualified women is a complete farce,” he said.
From the 02.11.2012 edition of FNC’s Cashin’ In:
That seemed to be too much for Byrnes. “Hey, hey, hey!” she said – although she essentially agreed with Hoenig in all respects other than his barnyard characterization.
Layfield had the best response. “That’s like saying barring Jackie Robinson was a private decision among private shareholders. Come on, it’s the year 2011 (2012, John). There are women that are qualified and they are being excluded.”
On Saturday’s Cashin’ In (11/12/11), the topic was Apple training their workers on how to deal with unions. Host Cheryl Casone asked liberal Sally Kohn, “Working at Apple, I mean, is your physical safety threatened? I mean, is that really the right place for a union to be?”
Kohn answered, “Let’s be clear, that’s not the only reason we have unions in this country. We have unions because they set all kinds of working standards. Wage standards, benefit standards… unions like corporations to be profitable. What they want is for some of that profit, some of those benefits to also be enjoyed by the workers who created those profits… We’ve seen productivity rise and rise steadily, we’ve seen CEO salaries and profits rise and rise, and yet the wages for working people have been stagnant. What is wrong with wanting working people at Apple to get paid better?”
Casone said, “You can make the argument that in some companies, unions have actually been destructive to profits, not all but some.”
Regular Jonathan Hoenig broke in. “SOME companies? SOME? Cheryl, unions have destroyed every company in which they’ve been intimately involved, every industry. Whether it’s the auto industry, whether it’s the airlines, I mean, the history very much speaks for itself… Apple would be foolish in my opinion to hire any union, to negotiate with any union. They have crushed every industry.”
Kohn argued back, “Did workers or did workers not help Apple become successful?
“How?” Koenig demanded to know.
“Weren’t they working there?” Kohn said.
Apparently unable to answer that, Koenig said that workers “line up to work there, Sally, that’s the whole point.”
In fact, research shows that unions benefit the whole economy. Hoenig isn’t called the “Capitalist Pig” for nothing.