FOX News maxim: Politicians don't cause markets to fall (except for Democrats)
Research ››› ››› GABE WILDAU
Neil Cavuto, FOX News Channel's vice president of business news, reported on July 6 that the stock market was experiencing an "Edwards Dip" as a result of Senator John Kerry's announcement that he had chosen Senator John Edwards (D-NC) as his vice-presidential running mate. Cavuto made the statement despite FOX News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes's past repudiation of the practice of news outlets drawing causal connections between statements by political figures and short-term stock market behavior.
From FOX News Live on the morning of July 6 -- less than an hour after Kerry announced that he had picked Edwards as his running mate:
CAVUTO: Well they're calling it the Edwards Dip. Good morning everybody, I'm Neil Cavuto and this is the FOX Morning Market Report. Expect stocks to open on the negative this morning in just about 20 seconds as activity begins after a shortened holiday week, which commences today because of the July 5th holiday. But this is the same rule of thumb we've been seeing in the markets lately, anything that looks good for the Democratic ticket generally does not look good for the guys at Wall and Broad. I'm not really casting politic aspersions here, one way or the other, the simple fact of the matter is that Wall Street is largely -- largely, I stress -- a Republican bastion, so anything that makes the Democratic ticket look good -- and obviously this is deemed good news for the Democrats here, this Kerry-Edwards ticket -- will be deemed bad for the corner of Wall and Broad.
Cavuto did not say who was calling the market decline the "Edwards Dip." Also, his assertion that political maneuverings affect the stock market in the short-term flies in the face of Ailes's public apology, which Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz reported on July 22, 2002. Following White House complaints, Ailes said that FOX had made "a mistake" on July 15, 2002, when it used a split screen to juxtapose a graphic showing market indexes with live coverage of President George W. Bush delivering a speech designed to restore investor confidence in the wake of a series of corporate scandals that summer. "'It did give a false impression,' he [Ailes] says. 'We shouldn't have done it. If the market goes down 400 points while the president is speaking, that doesn't mean he drove it down 400 points. There are too many other factors,'" Kurtz reported.