On Friday, Cavuto attempted to link the recent revelations about the extent of the National Security Agency’s collection of American’s cell phone metadata with several other scandals that the Obama administration has had to face in recent weeks. “You see one incident after another that comes up, and it all comes back to the same basic issue,” Cavuto said. “Privacy is invaded or potentially invaded, institutions of all sorts doing pretty much the same thing. There is a pattern,” he went on to say.
His guest, liberal commentator Julian Epstein, attempted to counter the idea that all of the issues Cavuto listed — including the Department of Justice’s probe of news agencies tied to national security leaks and the IRS’ heightened scrutiny of conservative groups — were exactly the same as the NSA issue. “If you want to conflate or combine all of these issues, then make these general statements you can do that,” Epstein said. “I just don’t think that’s a very thoughtful way of approaching it.”
Cavuto exploded over Epstein’s comments, calling on Epstein to “drop the liberal thing, focus on the reality thing.” Epstein tried in vain to inform Cavuto that it was worth taking each of the issues separately rather than lumping them all together:
EPSTEIN: Because I want to talk facts, and you want to make these general broadsides, Neil.
CAVUTO: Julian, you’re saying nothing and it’s offensive! Because Ben Stein —
EPSTEIN: Okay, why don’t we speak about them specifically?
CAVUTO: Julian, why don’t you talk facts? It’s annoying how obnoxious you can be on the reality.
EPSTEIN: I am talking the reality.
CAVUTO: I’m not going to play this game with you, Julian. You play the same damn game dismissing.
EPSTEIN: Neil, you’re playing the game too and —
CAVUTO: Cut his mic! Cut his mic, he’s going nowhere fast. Cut his mic! Ben, I want to be very clear to you — cut his damn mic!
Watch the full freak-out here:
Cavuto is one of many of the network’s hosts and contributors who have gleefully covered the recent actions for which the Obama administration is taking heat from both liberals and conservatives. In many of these instances, however, they’ve taken them beyond the limits of proven fact into the realm of rampant speculation. From last year’s attack Benghazi, Libya, to the IRS’ heightened scrutiny of conservative groups, Fox has condemned all of them as evidence of a greater problem with the Obama administration, even as the facts in several of those instances proved the issues to be far less sweeping that conservatives sought to make them.