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Fox Business host Stuart Varney: Ice in Antarctica proves ‘global cooling’ (via Raw Story )

Fox Business host Stuart Varney said on Tuesday that his theory of “global cooling” had been proven when a research ship recently got stuck in ice near Antarctica. The habitual climate-change denier reported that all 52 passengers of the Russian…

Fox Business host: Social Security Disability turns men into ‘modern-day eunuchs’ (via Raw Story )

Fox Business host Charles Payne recently told a group of conservatives that Social Security Disability Insurance was turning American men into “modern-day eunuchs.” Speaking to David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend 2013 last week, Payne opined…


Maria Bartiromo, one of the first women to become a star on television by reporting on business news, is leaving her longtime home at CNBC for its rival, the Fox Business Network.


The signing is a coup of sorts for Fox Business, which has struggled to establish a profile. Last week, Fox Business averaged fewer than 10,000 viewers in the group that attracts advertisers, those between the ages of 25 and 54. CNBC had more than three times as many with 31,000.

Ms. Bartiromo, who was the first correspondent to report live every day from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, was among the best-known faces on CNBC. She also has a connection to Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman, who also leads Fox Business. He was in charge of CNBC in 1993 when Ms. Bartiromo joined that network.

FBN, even with Bartiromo’s hiring, is still a joke of a “business” network, and is still to the right of CNBC (a network that is nothing close to being liberal despite certain conservatrolls declaring it otherwise b/c of NBCUniversal’s ownership). 


Charles Payne, a contributor and frequent guest host for Fox News and Fox Business, was compensated to promote the stocks of at least three companies since joining Fox. The practice of compensated stock endorsements is currently prohibited by Fox rules, and resulted in the recent contract termination of contributor Tobin Smith. 

According to a Media Matters review, Payne was paid $40,000 to promote The Brainy Brands Company, “$25,000 by a third party” to promote NXT Nutritionals Holdings, and an undisclosed amount for a “consulting arrangement” to promote Generex Biotechnology Corporate.

The share prices of the companies Payne was paid to tout are now essentially worthless.  

Payne forecasted lofty gains for investors who bought those stocks. He projected in 2011 that Brainy Brands could hit $4.50 a share in three years. At the time of the pitch, Brainy Brands was trading at around $1.35 — it’s now below 1 cent. Payne claimed in 2009 that NXT could “turn $10,000 into $25,000.” At the time, NXT was trading for $2.00 — it’s now below 1/10th of a cent. And Payne claimed in November 2007 that Generex, then at $1.58, was a long term “screaming buy” which could hit $7.00. It’s now trading at roughly 4 cents.

Aside from rosy projections, Payne’s sponsored stock pitches shared a common theme: using his cable news and Fox credentials to assure skeptical investors that his advice was trustworthy. A direct marketing company which worked with Payne stated it brandished Payne’s Fox News connections “to build credibility” with his potential customers. The stock pitches were also used as a vehicle to entice readers to join Payne’s subscription newsletter.

Fox policy prohibits contributors from receiving compensation to promote a stock. MarketWatch — which, like Fox, is owned by News Corp. — reported on June 18 that a spokesman said “no Contributor to FBN, nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities.” As a result of the rule, Fox News fired contributor Tobin Smith, who regularly releases sponsored research reports (Smith claimed his contract “did NOT include any exclusion from me or my company sponsored research”).

While Fox currently prohibits financial arrangements like Payne’s, it’s not clear whether his actions specifically violated Fox rules. MarketWatch quoted Smith claiming that the rule was instituted in “late” 2012, or after the three Payne stock promotions studied in this report first occurred. It’s also not clear if Payne has been compensated for stock promotions after 2011. Regardless, even if Payne’s actions occurred before an official Fox policy, he still used Fox’s brand to engage in practices that the network now thinks is problematic enough to prohibit and fire an employee.

Fox and Payne did not respond to requests for comment.  

Payne and his company, Wall Street Strategies, have a problematic history related to the disclosure of paid stock endorsements. In 1999, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that while not “admitting or denying” wrongdoings, Payne “agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000.” The SEC alleged of Payne:

The Complaint alleges that on at least eight occasions, Wall Street Strategies recommended that its clients purchase Members stock through recorded messages on its telephonic stock recommendation service. The Complaint also alleges that Payne failed to disclose that he received payments from Members to promote Members stock. 

More about Payne’s alleged actions are contained in this May 1997 SEC release.

Charles Payne is frequently seen on Fox News and Fox Business as a contributor and guest host. He has a regular segment called “Making Money with Charles Payne” which airs throughout the day on Fox Business. His Fox biography states he joined Fox “in October 2007.” He founded Wall Street Strategies, “an independent stock market research firm where he serves as chief executive officer and principal analyst,” in 1991.

Payne’s Fox News and Fox Business appearances are routinely filled with misinformation on topics like the unemployment rateunemployment insuranceclimate changecorporate tax breaksdisability benefits, and federal worker compensation. He has attacked antipoverty programs by claiming “it gets a little comfortable to be in poverty”; said that “the good part about the stigma [of food stamps] is it actually does serve as an impetus to get people off” them; claimed poor people are “indebted servants” who believe society “owes” them; and said wealth disparity “really doesn’t” bother me — “in fact, it inspires me.” He’s also spoken at Tea Party rallies in recent years.

h/t: MMFA

Fox News has fired paid contributor and market analyst Tobin Smith for receiving compensation to promote the stock of Petrosonic Energy, a violation of network policy. According to a Media Matters review, Smith’s company, NBT Equities Research, also received compensation for promoting numerous other companies through his website and conservative newsletters, and used his Fox News credentials to hawk volatile stocks to conservatives.

MarketWatch’s Chuck Jaffe reported that Smith issued “sponsored investment research” to tout Petrosonic’s stock in a 20-page mailer, for which NBT received $50,000. The paid endorsement is against Fox’s policy that “no contributor to FBN [Fox Business Network], nor his/her firm, and/or family members are allowed to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities.” In a post today on his website, Smith acknowledged that he is “no longer a Fox contributor” but defended his “business of sponsored research for uncovered emerging growth companies.” He also wrote: “For the record, my last contributor agreement with Fox News did NOT include any exclusion from me or my company sponsored research. But that is water under the bridge.”

MarketWatch noted that companies hire people like Smith for sponsored research “to help small stocks find a market using fluff-and-shine hyperbolic chatter” at novice investors.  

Smith’s company produces voluminous quantities of sponsored content. In June alone, NBT’s website has featured posts by Smith with compensation disclaimers for GlyEco (“200,000 options of GlyEco”), Petrosonic (“$50,000”), Brazil Minerals ($40,000), Barfresh Food Group ("$35,000 and 75,000 restricted shares"), and Pulse Beverage ("$50,000").

Smith also regularly pitches paid stock promotions to conservatives through right-wing email newsletters. Media Matters identified at least six recent instances in which Smith’s NBT Group was compensated to promote a company’s stock via newsletters. The companies include Medient Studios in 2013 ("225,000 shares"); BOLDFACE Group in 2013 ($50,000); IceWeb in 2012 ($50,000 via a third-party firm); Plandai Biotechnology in 2012 ("$30,000 monthly and 1.4 million shares for a one year"); Replicel Life Sciences in 2012 ("a fee of over $1000.00 in cash"); and Petrosonic in 2012 and 2013 ($50,000). 

h/t: MMFA



According to FOX Business no women are “just right.”

And there is no other option, because this is Fox’s world (and we’re just living too aggressively or too feebly in it).

Typical Fake “Out-of” Business Network bullshit. 

Screenshot from the 03.13.2013 edition of FBN’s The Willis Report.

As a TV pro, Roger Ailes is routinely praised in the press for his Midas touch. According to years of fawning coverage, Ailes has an uncanny ability to tap the programming pulse of the public. If that’s true, now would be a good time for him to find his magic stroke because he just signed a contract reportedly worth more than $20 million annually, and two of his most important properties are flailing.

Fox’s latest Nielsen numbers are bad. Really bad. Its worst in 12 years. And early indications are the slump may be part of a larger, systemic problem that could cause bigger headache as fast-climbing MSNBC continues to post gains.

President Obama’s first term proved to be a ratings winner for Fox News as the channel gleefully projected the inner demons of the right wing and marketed itself as the final defender of freedom. Early 2013 indicators though, suggest that ratings cycle may be played out.

Question: Does Ailes the programming guru have a Plan B?

That’s not the Fox chief’s only problem. Ailes also runs Fox Business, whose cable ratings remain anemic, and whose entire audience of 25-54 viewers can often fit inside a hockey arena, despite the fact Fox Business is available in 60 million homes coast to coast.

But that problem pales to the one looming at Fox News. According to Nielsen numbers, not only did MSNBC enjoy big gains in January, but for the Monday-Sunday primetime shows Fox logged its worst ratings since August 2001. (For Monday-Friday primetime, it was Fox’s worst showing since May 2006.) Fox is still the most-watched cable news channel, but the margins are shrinking in a hurry, especially in the coveted 25-54 demo during primetime. (On The Record With Greta Van Susteren appears to be just weeks away from losing the 10 p.m. demo battle  to MSNBC’s The Last Word.)

MSNBC has been able to sustain the ratings growth it enjoyed during the campaign season when viewers flocked to programs for news and information. So why can’t Fox sustain viewers? And if you go back to early 2009 when Obama was inaugurated, Fox News’ ratings didn’t decline in the wake of a Democratic victory like they are now. In 2009, its ratings went up. In fact, Fox News’ first quarter ratings that year skyrocketed. (Sean Hannity’s audience January 2009 grew 69 percent compared to January 2008.)

Four years ago, Obama’s presidency translated into ratings gold for Fox News, aided in part by the arrival of Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and Fox’s full-on embrace of the fringe. Four years later though, that passion seems to have been replaced by indifference.

Or maybe the ratings drop-off stems from hard feelings. Maybe tuned-out Fox viewers feel like they were duped on Election Night. Led by the channel to believe the country suffered a severe case of buyers remorse and would vote Obama office at the first possible opportunity, Fox faithful were forced not only to watch the Democrat post an another election victory, but do it with ease. In other words, almost nothing Fox News had told its aging viewers about the state of the campaign, or about the state of the country, was accurate.

It’s true that Fox viewers have rarely held the channel accountable for the bedrock of information that its programming is built on. (Don’t people watch Fox in order to become misinformed?) But the elaborate election ruse may have been too much for some faithful to take. (Note that in 2008, Fox didn’t bother pretending Sen. John McCain was going to win.) Any lingering resentment could explain why Fox just posted its worst primetime ratings since President George W. Bush’s first summer in the White House.

As for struggling Fox Business, the channel simply continues to flounder. It’s true that its ratings are upmodestly from last year. But when you’re improving on dreadfully weak ratings, modest bumps don’t mean much.

In 2011, when the channel was drawing just 10,000 25-54 viewers a source told AdWeek that when it launched in 2007, channel executives thought they’d be doing “a lot better than” that. Nearly a year and a half later, the story isn’t much better: Fox Business’ target demo audience has edged up to just 14,000 viewers.

And some of the rating for those Fox Business shows are just astounding, especially for the 25-54 demo.According to Nielsen, 16 of the 18 lowest rated shows in all of cable news belong to Fox Business, with several of them attracting fewer than 10,000 viewers aged 25-54.

h/t: MMFA

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs pushed the extreme conspiracy theory that President Obama wants to destroy the Second Amendment as a first step in eliminating the entire Bill of Rights. But Obama has consistently voiced his support for the Second Amendment, including during the Monday press conference that Dobbs referenced on his show.

During his program, Dobbs aired a partial clip of Obama saying at the press conference, “The issue here is not whether or not we believe in the Second Amendment. The issue is: Are there some sensible steps that we can take to make sure that somebody like the individual in Newtown can’t walk into a school — “

Dobbs responded by claiming that Obama is “so committed to constraining or dismissing outright our Second Amendment rights, it makes you wonder why he’s not ridding the Constitution of the First Amendment as well.” He later said, “You’ve got to wonder why the president doesn’t double down in his assault on the Constitution, taking on not only the Second, but the First Amendment, the Fourth, the Fourteenth.” Dobbs then suggested that the reason Obama has “begun with the Second Amendment” is because “[w]ithout our rights under the Second Amendment, removing the rest of our Bill of Rights would be a lot easier.”

The context of Obama’s comments clearly shows that Obama was not “dismissing outright” Second Amendment rights. 

In response to a reporter’s question about potential government actions to reduce gun violence, Obama said, in part, “I think that those of us who look at this problem have repeatedly said that responsible gun owners, people who have a gun for protection, for hunting, for sportsmanship, they don’t have anything to worry about.” He also said that he believes we can reduce gun violence “in a sensible way that comports with the Second Amendment.”

And while Obama has not yet outlined specific executive actions he will take to strengthen gun laws, none of the possible executive actions reportedly offered by the Justice Department involve restrictions on weapons that law-abiding Americans may purchase.

From the 01.14.2013 edition of FBN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight:

h/t: MMFA

In 2012, like most years, U.S. gasoline prices fluctuated according to global market conditions, seasonal changes in demand and several other factors. Fox News fluctuated too, finding bad — often contradictory — news in the ups and downs alike. No matter which way gas prices went, the network always found a way to forecast doom for the economy and pin it on Obama. But experts agree that no president can control gas prices.

Early in the year, Fox News launched a relentless campaign to pin unseasonably high gasoline prices on President Obama. The network had tried this before, but this time the coverage reached a fever pitch. During the first two months of 2012, Fox News blamed gas prices on Obama more than three times as often as all other major news outlets combined, even distorting charts to serve their agenda. To do this, Fox often claimed that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline or expanded domestic drilling could lower gas prices, while ignoring that Obama has significantly raised fuel economy standards — a measure that would help consumers reduce their dependence on oil and vulnerability to price spikes.

The network gloated that prices at the pump could be an “opportunity to disrupt” good economic news for Obama, or maybe even “enough to derail his return to the office.” To support that goal, Fox News regularly hosted Eric Bolling, a former minor league baseball player and major Wall Street oil and energy futures trader. While Fox News presented him as an expert, actual experts, even those who support increasing access to oil, have called his claims “absolute and utter rubbish,” “idiotic,” “nonsense,” and “not correct.”

In May, as gas prices began to fall, one Fox News legal analyst took to “hoping gasoline’s going to stay close to five dollars in November.” Apparently worried that low prices could be a boon for Obama’s reelection campaign, anchors on Fox News and Fox Business suddenly began warning that “CHEAP GAS ISN’T GOOD.” 

These anchors tried to explain that low gas prices could be “just a sign of a weakening economy,” or as Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer put it “a sign of a looming global economic crisis.”  The networks’ sudden concern came after months of ignoring broader economic factors in its gasoline price reporting.

With gasoline prices predictably rising in summer and election season kicking into high gear, Fox News once again portrayed high gas prices as a problem, and suggested that Mitt Romney’s energy plan could be the solution. In August, Neil Cavuto twice hosted former Shell Oil executive John Hofmeister to announce that he would vote for Romney and claim that gasoline prices were high because of a lack of domestic production under Obama. Cavuto failed to note that Hofmeister is currently a director at several oil and gas companies (and that his entire premise was baloney).

Throughout 2012, Fox News pushed the talking point that gasoline prices had nearly doubled since Obama took office — failing to mention that when he was inaugurated in January 2009, the U.S. was in the middle of a recession and low demand had depressed the price of oil and gasoline. During the second presidential debate, President Obama explained this point, to no avail: Fox News figures claimed Obama’s comments were “totally bogus" despite all evidence to the contrary.

FNC and FBN cannot be trusted to tell the unbiased truth if it bit them on the ass.


(via Fake Business Network (FBN) Blames Obama’s Victory For Stock Market Dip)

After Fox News grudgingly called the election for President Obama early Wednesday morning, Fox Business quickly started hawking the idea that a stock market drop on Wednesday morning was in response to Obama’s victory. Stuart Varney and Ed Butowsky claimed the decline was because “the takers have taken over” and investors are afraid of tax hikes:

VARNEY: Dow Industrial is down 177. That is a sell-off. Is it an Obama sell-off? We’ll discuss. With Obama’s victory, the takers have taken over. The makers are clearly in the minority. Am I right? It’s a sell-off the day after the election, with an Obama second term we’re down 183 points.

VARNEY: And it’s a reaction to the Obama victory?

BUTOWSKY: I don’t see anything else except what’s going on in Europe as well.

VARNEY: Okay, so stocks down, bonds up and this is largely a reaction to the Obama victory.

BUTOWSKY: Without any question in my mind.

In fact, as the Washington Post explained, the market responded positively to Obama’s reelection early in the day, but soon plunged over concerns of the Republican-divided Congress playing chicken with the upcoming fiscal cliff and a slew of bad economic news out of Europe. (And, of course, stock moves are rarely attributable to any one event.)

Varney: “Big Bird Would Still Be Around Because It’s A Profit Center In And Of Itself.” Discussing Mitt Romney’s statement during the October 3 presidential debate that he would “stop the subsidy to PBS” if elected, host Stuart Varney claimed that the government spends $444 million a year on public broadcasting, adding, “If we took that subsidy away, Big Bird would still be around because it’s a profit center in and of itself.”  Varney later said, “If we take it away, Sesame Street, Big Bird stands, profitable.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 10/4/12]

Fox Guest Carol Roth: PBS Can Make Up For Lack Of Government Funding By Bringing In Sponsors, Advertisers, Or Subscribers. Responding to Varney, guest Carol Roth said: “You can bring in corporate sponsors, you can bring in advertisers. Look, HBO is a great station, they do it by subscribers. There are other ways for PBS to remain.” [Fox Business, Varney and Co., 10/4/12]

Sesame Street Producer “Receives Very, Very Little Funding From PBS.” Sherrie Westin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Sesame Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, told CNN: “Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS. So, we are able to raise our funding through philanthropic, through our licensed product, which goes back into the educational programming, through corporate underwriting and sponsorship. So quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting. But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird — that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here.” [CNN, Starting Point10/4/12]

From the 10.04.2012 edition of FBN’s Varney and Co.:

h/t: MMFA