Bill Clinton was still our president, George Bush was still a Texas governor and John Edwards was still a trial lawyer.
The Twin Towers still stood and nearly 3,000 people in them still lived.
It was October 7, 1996.
The Yankees were en route to winning a World Series and the then-reigning champ Atlanta Braves were losing one.
CNN was the news network of record and its biggest competitor, MSNBC, was the greatest challenger to that record.
Few noticed this day eight years ago, yet another news challenger rising.
FOX News seemed like an oxymoron. Many in the media called us morons. Many laughed. Many more dismissed.
But Roger Ailes didn't laugh and Rupert Murdoch didn't dismiss. And my old friends and colleagues at CNBC, who claimed I had entered the witness protection program, soon grew to realize I had entered something a little more.
We had no news infrastructure or fancy bureaus — barely any bureaus at all. We had no state of the art equipment — barely much equipment at all. Our only saving grace was our only singular saving philosophy: News, fair and balanced.
People once laughed at that tag line. Little did they know it would tag quite a line and start a revolution among a nation of viewers sick of news being spoon-fed them and open to a news channel respectful of them.
When Roger Ailes asked me how I would present business news differently, I told him, I would simply try to do it fairly.
I'd remind viewers that some CEOs are crooks, but not all, and that some companies are bad, but not all.
I told him I would report on one and all. Reminding viewers that there is much wrong with capitalism, but much more that is right.
And I wouldn't act like the smartest kid in the class, mainly because, as Roger reminded me, I "wasn't" the smartest kid in the class.
I knew enough to believe that business news needn't be dull.
That was then. I hope people view it differently now. That we business anchors don't have to be so darn serious, or so self-important now!
It took a channel like FOX to change people's views because it took a channel like FOX to, finally, respect people's views.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Happy anniversary and thank you for making it possible.
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