“Words matter,” Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said during a “Common Sense” segment in which the managing editor of business news for the channel criticized Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for accusing fellow candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz of being “worse than a puppet” and “a Trojan horse” for the GOP establishment.
When Cavuto stated “comments like that … risk making you look more like a horse's ass,” he was taking part in an ongoing controversy among the people of the Fox News Channel regarding how to treat Trump during coverage of the 2016 presidential election.
Choosing the wrong words “matters, too,” the business newsman said. ”Just ask Ted Cruz, who is now trying to explain to some leery New Yorkers exactly what he meant by 'New York values.' Or Donald Trump, who is hoping the same New Yorkers prefer his values.”
“God knows Wisconsin voters didn't,” Cavuto added “They soundly rejected Trump because he's said a lot of dumb things before they voted and actually not a whole lot of nice things since they voted.”
He then quoted from a statement released by the Trump campaign the night Cruz won the GOP primary in Wisconsin: “Now, I don't know that it helps to say you lost because Lyin' Ted Cruz was worse than a puppet -- he's a Trojan horse being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump.”
“But I do know comments like that -- at least to me, just me -- risk making you look more like a horse's ass,” the anchor stated.
For Donald Trump -- probably not in New York, where he might still do well precisely because Ted Cruz said what he said about New York, where he might not do so well – I'm not saying either is fair or right or that holding people accountable for every slip of the tongue is fair or right.
Just as in politics as in life, I think words matter, and how you explain those words matters, too.
“Cruz has been trying to tell New Yorkers he meant no slight,” the host noted. “Donald Trump has become a force of nature because he really takes back no slight. It's worked for him. But for all I know, finding just the right explanation for 'New York values' might work for Cruz.”
“But you know what I think would work better for both?” he asked. “Admitting you were wrong. Admitting you goofed. 'Fessing up for screwing up. We all do. You're looking at the master right here.”
“You do yourself no harm admitting your stupid choice of words did harm,” the anchor commented. “Just say it! Admit it! Quit getting tongue-tied explaining it or worse, ignoring it!”
“Now, I don't know, I really don't know if that works when you address the media, but I do know it works the next time you take a look in the mirror,” he concluded.
According to an article by Rebecca Mansour at the Breitbart website, Cavuto's remarks are the latest example of a “series of public spats between Fox News personalities” that has revealed “the extent to which the coverage and handling of Republican front-runner Donald Trump has created an atmosphere of bitterness and back-biting at the cable news network.”
“The network’s relationship with Trump has been strained ever since prime-time host Megyn Kelly launched an opening salvo at the New York billionaire during the Fox News Republican primary debate last August, which provoked a counter-offensive from the candidate that grew into a protracted feud with the network at large,” Mansour reported.
“But disagreements about the handling of Trump at Fox isn’t confined to just Kelly,” she noted. “On Sunday night, The Five co-host Greg Gutfeld took aim at his colleagues Greta Van Susteren and Sean Hannity, mocking them for their perceived kid-glove treatment of Trump.”
“Gutfeld took to Twitter to ridicule Van Susteren’s Sunday night town hall with the GOP front-runner,” Mansour noted before quoting him as posting sarcastically: “i have been informed tonight wasn't an actual debate, but nonetheless, the other candidates clearly were too scared to show up.”
“There is no indication these tensions among Fox personalities will be relieved anytime soon,” the reporter asserted.
“How this drama will play out ... is anyone’s guess,” Mansour concluded. “Whatever the outcome, the network can certainly agree with Trump on one point: He’s good for ratings.”