For some time, I’ve been meaning to write about the odious on-air personality of Neil Cavuto. While people focus much of their attention on gargantuan egomaniacs like Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity, Cavuto is every bit their equal as a dishonest and unctuous jackass. But while I have been mulling over the best way to illustrate the repugnance of this pundit, Cavuto has saved me the trouble by proudly confessing his character flaws.
Last Friday Cavuto closed his program with a segment that featured letters from viewers complaining about his proclivity for interrupting. This annoying behavior is exhibited so frequently and conspicuously that I considered creating a new drinking game that called for a shot each time Cavuto interrupted someone. However, I immediately abandoned the idea because I didn’t want to be responsible for thousands of deaths by alcohol poisoning.
It seems that it was not just me that noticed Cavuto’s inability to keep his mouth shut after asking a question. His viewers must have written in in such numbers that he was forced to address the matter on air. And in a typical display of pundit Narcissism, Cavuto not only defended his incivility, he praised himself for it. He actually believes his impudence is performing a public service. How else could he say…
“God knows you’ve heard the stump speech so I demand they get off the stump. Sure, it jolts them. And clearly, you. But I am out not to be mean. I am out simply to get answers.”
Cavuto’s method of getting answers is to provide them himself. His guests become superfluous as he obviously prefers his own answers to the ones a guest might offer. His contention that he is merely attempting to short circuit a stump speech is plainly false. He doesn’t even give his guest enough time to discern whether or not the answer is substantive. By the time the guest has uttered, “Well Neil, the reason for that is…” Cavuto has already cut him off. His interruptions never compel a guest to be more responsive or clear. In fact, he interrupts almost exclusively to argue with the guest. That’s not seeking clarity, it’s browbeating. He is forcing his opinions down the throats of his viewers, and many of them resent it:
Email from Kevin: “News flash, pumpkin head, it’s not about you. It’s about the guest. Listen, you might learn. Doubt it, but you might.”
Sorry Kevin, but Cavuto is not going to listen. He has thrown down the gauntlet and refuses to waste his precious time allowing people with views different than his own to get a word in edgewise. As he said himself: “Not here. Not me. Not ever.” And although he shamelessly spews rightist propaganda, he will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes a talking point from the other side. He will nip it in the bud for fear that an honest argument or a good idea might actually make it through to his unsuspecting audience.
Along with hosting a daily program on Fox News that is ostensibly about the economy, he is the managing editor of the Fox Business Network. In this role he reports the business news of the day and conducts interviews on both financial and political subjects. His brazen partisanship belies the oft repeated excuse of Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes, that it is only the primetime shows that dabble in opinion. That nonsense simply can’t account for the self-righteous opining of Glenn Beck, Steve Doocy, Bill Sammon, Megyn Kelly, et al, all day long.
At times like these, when millions of Americans are so anxious about their jobs, homes, retirement, etc., financial news attracts a greater measure of interest than usual. The last thing any of us needs is another bloviating bully dispensing bullshit packaged as news. But that’s all we get from Fox, and Neil Cavuto is the very model of a modern major malfunction in the media.