Monday, March 09, 2009

Behold! I Am Become Fact, Destroyer of Pundits

Sorry: I've been busy as heck the last few days; time to do some catching up while I can.

I finally had a chance to watch last week's already legendary Daily Show takedown of corporate-media financial reporting in general, CNBC in particular ("reasoned financial reporting that combines the raw speed of fast money with the intelligence of a box of parrots"), and Rick Santelli in particular particular. I can't say I'm surprised that CNBC has chosen to stay mum about the whole affair; I don't know what they could possibly say. The most devastating part of the CNBC segment features tape of various cable flacks making claims about the health of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, AIG, etc.—each followed by a note on what actually happened, and it's always pretty much the opposite of what the cable flack said. (E.g., Bank of America is "going to 60 in a heartbeat"! But it's now trading under $4.) All The Daily Show had to do, really, was to splice the damning testimonials together with the damning facts. The big question, I suppose, is why, among all the outlets in the corporate media, it took a comedy show to do that.

Why anyone watches or trusts CNBC, I don't know. But it wasn't long after John Stewart's infamous appearance on Crossfire that that show died a quiet, unlamented death. Wouldn't it be nice if CNBC died with a whimper as well?

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