Fox Business: If It Can't Sell News, It Can Peddle Junk

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Fox Business has been sending us PR alerts off and on for the last several business days. Usually the editors here would find them helpful. We are not allowed to watch financial TV because it is considered too mesmerizing. A tip on what is happening on television could be a benefit if you don’t have a TV.

24/7 Wall St. editors are also not allowed to go on television because the management thinks it is a waste of time. Appearing on TV apparently does not get people to come to the website. Fair enough.

A press release from one of these news channels is usually not helpful, because it often covers the content of an interview which is four hours old .

The last three e-mails from Fox covered, among other things, a fight between two people we don’t know,  Mr.Kneale and Mr. Gasparino. We can’t say anything beyond the fact that they have been fighting on CNBC. We don’t know what they do or what they look like. 

In what seems to be an independent incident Newsweek’s Dan Lyons, who was The Fake Steve Jobs, had been banned from CNBC for saying that one of the channel’s reporters Jim Goldman had been "played and punked" by Apple on the Steve Jobs’ health story. A later report said he had not been banned at all. 

Today we got another good story from the Fox Business PR department. This one was an article from the Page 6 gossip column about a CNBC reporter, Becky Quick, who married one of the channel’s executive producers. Maybe Quick gets better treatment because of her "relationship" with the management. At least that seems to be what The Post was hinting.

The queer thing about all these messages from Fox Business is that they do not have anything to do with reporting on the stock market, the economy, the credit crisis, or corporate earnings. The releases are, by their nature, scurrilous. They take away from any reasonable debate over the quality or competition within the news media.

We asked the PR people at Fox Business who the general manager or executive producer at their channel is. 24/7 got a note back saying "I’ll give you a call to discuss. What’s your number? " When we didn’t call, Fox called us and left a message. But, it seems like an easy question to answer, Who runs your company? Which manager has nothing better to do with his or her time than to get the PR department to send out useless e-mails?

Readers may think we are doing CNBC a favor by taking this position. But, we are not allowed to go on CNBC either, and don’t watch it. Being on TV does not get any extra readers. Watching television business news can make your hair hurt.  And, we don’t have a big enough budget to pay for cable.

Douglas A. McIntyre