Common Sense: Speaking Out

You spoke and Microsoft listened.

Now, I have two words for you, "thank you." There’s nothing like an insult to get you instigated.

I'm talking, of course, about Fox being left out of the Bill Gates interviews last week. I felt offended and so did you. You took me up on my offer to contact the Microsoft official who made that call to exclude me.

Here's what John Pinette got: hundreds, dare I say thousands, of e-mails complaining to him about the Fox slight.

Here are some of them.

Brenda W., Los Angeles, California:

"Mr. Pinette, if you've got a beef with Mr. Cavuto, then have the guts to tell him to his face. If he scares you, then go find a new job."

Steve W., Torrance, California:

"Perhaps Bill Gates was intimidated by your big head."

Corey C., Maitland, Florida:

"After some careful research, I concluded that Mr. Pinette has 'big head' envy."

Fred M., U.S. embassy, Jakarta:

"Mr. Pinette, as a PR man, I really think you actually did a disservice to Bill Gates and Microsoft by your treatment of Neil Cavuto and Fox… bad form. Get your act together."

Bill J., Lebanon, Connecticut:

"Bill Gates should fire your sorry self... as a shareholder, your performance offends me."

Robert R. e-mails:

"Take the interview with Cavuto. He backed you guys when Jackson wanted your keister nailed to his den wall..."

Duane S., Prosperity, South Carolina:

"Sir, get Bill Gates on Cavuto, you boob!"

Mary G. e-mails:

"Why are you dissing the only fair and balanced network?"

Len D. to Mr. Pinette:

"Show some manhood. Quit acting like a liberal wimp. Take the interview. No softballs on Fox. This ain't Larry King. Talk to me."

Carl T. e-mails:

"J. Pinette is chicken... talk to Cavuto or get junk mail."

Philip R. e-mails:

"Pinette, you stink!!!!!!"

Mary T., Edon, Ohio:

"Remember these two words about Fox News. Fair and balanced!"

Abel H., Jacksonville, Florida:

"Not appearing on Fox News sends the message that Microsoft is afraid. Afraid of what? Neil Cavuto??"

Carlos and Jessica via Earthlink:

"Hey Pinette, you blew it! Cavuto is the only business program that's worth anything on TV. The only one I watch. If you don't trust him, then I don't trust you."

Michelle W., Orlando, Florida:

"No Gates on the Cavuto show??? Cavuto is too tough?? Puh-leeze!! Have some guts and don't be such pansies."

Jeremy S. e-mails:

"It is very disappointing when you choose to avoid the best media program on the air today to seek a softer shelter that doesn't strive for the truth."

Jerric T., Burbank, California:

"Whatever complaints you had with Mr. Cavuto, you should resolve it or bring it to his boss's attention when the incidents happened. To deny someone a major story as a payback is at best juvenile behavior. Somehow I don't think Bill Gates or Steve Balmer would approve of this..."

Karan O. via scolds my whole approach:

"This disgusts me that in order to save face you would use your network and your position only to embarrass yourself and denigrate your integrity as a supposedly balanced news person..."

Sorry you feel that way, Karan. But if a company tries to blackball me for no apparent reason, I will not let that stand.  What's more abusive being deliberately cut off, or responding to the attempt?

Diane S., Tennessee:

"Fox is the only fair network that exists. My family greatly enjoys Mr. Neil Cavuto's program. You owe the public an answer to this!"

Now, Mr. Pinette has one — two, actually.

The first over the Internet, in which he explains scheduling difficulties that prevented me from getting an interview — although every other major news outlet did — and concluding, "we value our relationship with Fox and Mr. Cavuto and we certainly regret the misunderstanding."

And second, on his voicemail.

"If you’re a Neil Cavuto fan… we certainly plan on getting on Neil’s show sometime in the future."

In a personal e-mail to me, Mr. Pinette writes:

"You have some interesting fans... I consider our communication around this closed for now, Mr. Cavuto. Having had my fifteen minutes of fame today proved to be far more interesting than I would have thought."

Until I see Mr. Gates on my show, I'm skeptical and you can bet if I don't see him on my show, I'll give them another earful.

But I'm also hopeful and to all of you I am very, very thankful.

You guys didn't have to go to bat, but you did.

I'm very lucky — Fox is very lucky — to have folks like you watching.

I always knew that and today, I think Microsoft knows it too.

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