Cavuto devoted almost four minutes to paltry Times protest

››› ››› ROB DIETZ

Fox News' Neil Cavuto spent nearly four minutes discussing a protest of The New York Times and interviewing its organizer, even though the event drew fewer than 100 people, and a previous protest against the Times was attended by only "about 15" protesters.

On the July 10 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto interviewed Caucus for America president Rabbi Aryeh Spero about Spero's protest of The New York Times and "the paper's decision to publish those top-secret government leaks." Spero called for the protest after a June 23 Times article about a Treasury Department program designed to monitor terrorists' international financial transactions, an article that Spero described as "heinous," "malicious," and "anti-American." Even though the interview aired minutes before the protest was set to begin, and a video showed just one person protesting on the street in New York "dressed as Osama bin Laden kissing The New York Times," Cavuto and Spero spent nearly four minutes discussing the event. The interview also came after, and without mention of, the reportedly low turnout of "about 15" at a July 3 protest outside the Times' Washington bureau. Spero claimed the July 10 protest would draw "hundreds and hundreds," but a July 11 article in The New York Sun reported that the protest drew "almost 100 people." Cavuto started his report next to onscreen text that read, "Timely Protest!"

Despite the reportedly meager attendance at the earlier protest, Cavuto hosted Spero, who said, "I want these guys at The New York Times at West 43rd Street to be prosecuted, [for] violation of the Espionage Act." But when Cavuto asked if Spero would protest The Wall Street Journal for its article (subscription only) on the Treasury Department program, published the same day as the Times article, Spero replied: "No, we're going after The New York Times because The New York Times has a history, it has an agenda. ... I can overlook The Wall Street Journal that did something I don't agree with; I'll overlook it, it's once." Spero called for people "to cancel their subscription to The New York Times" and urged people to "boycott some of these advertisers." But when Cavuto questioned Spero's allegiance to his own boycott, Spero said "I had to read it [the Times] lately to find out what's going on," and when asked if he supports advertisers in the Times, Spero said "I guess I do, and maybe I shouldn't." Referring to the Times' slogan, Spero said the paper prints "all the treason that's fit to print."

From the July 10 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

CAVUTO: Meanwhile, a Fox News alert for you: mad as hell and letting The New York Times know it. This is a protest against the paper set to kick off at the top of this hour outside the headquarters in New York. This shot was taken a little bit earlier, so I mistakenly thought it was live. That is the man dressed as Osama bin Laden kissing The New York Times. Now, at issue here is the paper's decision to publish those top-secret government leaks. Rabbi Aryeh Spero is the president for Caucus for America and the organizer of today's protests. What are you doing here? You should be over there.

SPERO: We're going to be there in a few minutes as soon as we're finished.

CAVUTO: OK. How many are coming to this?

SPERO: Hundreds and hundreds. We have calls from not only the region, but we've gotten calls from Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Thank God the weather seems to be holding up.

CAVUTO: And what are you protesting?

SPERO: We are protesting the continued publication by The New York Times of classified national security secrets while we are at war, which endangers all of our lives here. This is a real war, this terror war. It endangers the lives of our children and our families. It endangers the lives of our soldiers, and we're going to protest because we're afraid if The New York Times doesn't stop, they're going to publish even more secrets, more harmful secrets.

CAVUTO: What are you telling those who protest to do?

SPERO: Two things. For people, I'd like them to cancel their subscription to The New York Times. It takes money for The New York Times to hire the reporters that [Times publisher Arthur Ochs] "Pinch" Sulzberger [Jr.] says he needs to show the failure of this war. He said he's sending over extra reporters because he wants America to see that the war has failures and so-called atrocities. Cancel your subscription.

The other thing, perhaps you should boycott some of these advertisers, and on the Caucus for America website, we're going to let you know what some of those advertisers, who they are. But most important, I want these guys at The New York Times at West 43rd Street to be prosecuted, violation of the Espionage Act. They are not above the law. I cannot reveal classified information, and they cannot either.

CAVUTO: You are not doing it with The Wall Street Journal, though.

SPERO: No, listen, The Wall Street Journal is different than The New York Times. The New York Times has an editorial stance. The New York Times has published many articles that show that they have a malicious intent.

CAVUTO: But let's focus on this story. The Wall Street Journal essentially gave the same skinny on this intelligence data, right?

SPERO: Yes.

CAVUTO: Same story?

SPERO: Right.

CAVUTO: You're not going after them?

SPERO: No, we're going after The New York Times because The New York Times has a history, they have an agenda. I don't think that The New York Times has an agenda [sic]. I can overlook The Wall Street Journal that did something I don't agree with; I'll overlook it, it's once. The New York Times has an agenda. You see it in "Pinch" Sulzberger's --

CAVUTO: When's the last time you read The New York Times?

SPERO: Well, listen, I had to read it lately to find out what's going on, but I stopped reading this about 10 years ago because I think it's a very slanted, anti-American --

CAVUTO: But everyone advertises in that newspaper.

SPERO: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: So, do you frequent any of the places that advertise there -- let's say, Macy's in New York?

SPERO: Yeah, I guess I do, and maybe I shouldn't. But what we want to do is to let them know that it hurts when they do this against Americans.

CAVUTO: But, Rabbi, do you think with the best of intentions, that what you do with -- I've covered a lot of boycotts, and what happens is invariably, they build the publicity for the item being boycotted.

SPERO: That's true, but what we want to do is to remove the luster. We talk about the boycott because, first of all, they deserve to have a boycott against them. But we want to remove the luster that the people have when they think of The New York Times: "All the news that's fit to print." At least, look at it as all the treason that's fit to print.

CAVUTO: What's your favorite paper to read?

SPERO: Oh, Wall Street Journal.

CAVUTO: Really? And after that?

SPERO: I would say now it's probably The New York Sun or the [New York] Post.

CAVUTO: So generally, maybe a little bit more conservative type of --

SPERO: Oh, I'm conservative.

CAVUTO: So, is this an indictment against The New York Times because it's more liberal, or that it writes heinous pieces?

SPERO: First of all, because it writes heinous pieces, and everything about it, from the editorial to the publisher, there is malicious intent there. They want us to lose this war.

CAVUTO: All right, Rabbi. We'll see what happens with your protest today. We'll be watching with our cameras as well.

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