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Investing in Fear on Fox

News Hounds | October 23 2006

Fox News inadvertently revealed another reason why it loves to terrorize Americans with fears of foreign terrorists. It not only helps keep George Bush and his party in power, it also makes money for lots of corporations.

This inadvertent truth came out on Fox News' "Bulls and Bears" on Saturday (Oct. 21, 2006) when host Brenda Buttner asked her panel of investment gurus for their stock predictions. Tobin Smith, of Changewave Research, seized on the hoax regarding dirty bombs being planted at NFL stadiums.

"My theory is this that this whole hoax about the NFL thing was a hoax, but it does bring reality to the fact that we are hurting here," he said.

"So I think Level-3 communcations, or LLL, has the ability and the contracts to really go to the NFL and really make these stadiums safe. I think you're going to see this over the next couple years, I think L-3, LLL, probably is up 25 percent by spring training.

Let me get this straight. The fact that there was no threat at all against NFL stadiums means we are unsafe and have to spend more money to keep stadiums safe. Huh? The so-called "threat" was so amateurish to begin with that some media never even reported it. Some journalists, like Keith Olbermann, were smart enough to figure out that one of the seven football "stadiums" threatened did not even exist. The hoax had warned that the football stadium in New York City would be targeted, when that city doesn't even have a football stadium (at least one where games are still played.) The closest one is in New Jersey.

Nevertheless, Smith thought Americans were not only stupid enough to feel threatened by this hoax, but would be so afraid they would actually demand that stadium owners do something to keep them safe from a non-existent threat.

Another member of the panel, Gary B. Smith of Exemplar Capital, dissed the other Smith's investment recommendation (as he often does), saying, "Love the concept, hate the thinking. ... I think it's going down. I'm sorry, Tobe.

Not sure what he meant, but nobody else, least of all Buttner, pointed out the silliness of investing billions in security -- to be paid for by average fans in higher ticket prices -- against proven hoaxes just so come corporation's stock price can go up.

This whole security thing is starting to grate at me. Airline security is annoying, but Al Qaeda seems to be fixated on airplanes. But elsewhere, it may be time to ask if we're overdoing it. Bomb squad vans are parked at college football games now. Fans are searched on entering the stadium. Security guards are everywhere in the stands. Is this really necessary? Is Osama looking at the football schedule in his cave and asking his lieutenants whether to hit UCLA vs. Notre Dame or Michigan State at Nortwestern this weekend, trying to determine which one has the bigger TV audience so the bomb has the maximum impact?

Maybe FDR was right. Sometimes there may be nothing to fear but fear itself.

 

 

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