About that “not a reflection of the opinions of Fox News” disclaimer

Last weekend we noted that while appearing as a guest on Fox News' Cashin In, Jonathan Hoenig of CapitalistPig.com repeated the discredited claim that “Social Security is, by definition, a Ponzi scheme.”

One thing I missed during the segment -- which Mediaite.com picked up on -- is the disclaimer Fox News aired while Hoenig was making his point (emphasis added):

And as [Hoenig] says this, a disclaimer scrolls on the bottom of the page stating: "The following program contains the strong opinions of its participants, which are not a reflection of the opinions of Fox News and should not be relied upon as investment advice when making personal investment decisions."– a standard on business programming. But the topic at hand wasn't exactly the stock market although it is a business program– it was quite a political conversation– and a quick look at Hoenig's previous appearances on The Cost of Freedom's “Cashin' In” segment, which he is regularly a guest on, doesn't seem to show any disclaimer. Maybe it usually plays earlier on in the show and someone tossed it up a bit late, or they just wanted to play it safe after a guest says something particularly shocking.

The disclaimer is no doubt confusing to regular Fox News viewers – it also raised other questions. For instance, why doesn't the network just run the same disclaimer during Glenn Beck's broadcasts whenever he brings up gold or other topics?

Heck, why stop there? How about running a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen on Fox News all day long. It could read, "The following program contains the strong, though misinformed and misleading opinions of its participants (hosts included), which are not a reflection of the opinions of Fox News and should not be relied upon as an accurate source when coming to political or any other conclusions."

Wait a minute... perhaps Fox News doesn't run disclaimers during the bulk of its airtime because the opinions expressed are “a reflection of the opinions of Fox News” as a media outlet. After all, Fox News employees can say anything they want, no matter how vile, and it isn't likely that the network will do anything about it -- ever.