Political Animal


November 23, 2012 11:31 AM The Lickspittle Business Channel

By Ryan Cooper

Ryan Chittum has an excellent piece on CNBC, which has moved beyond its traditional worship of Wall Street, business executives, and the rich generally to outright fiscal scold advocacy:

So it is with CNBC’s “Rise Above” crusade, which has blanketed its airwaves and adorned its lapels since the day after the election with pleas for a solution to the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
You’ll note that CNBC has not Risen Above for the common good on issues like stimulating a depressed economy, ameliorating the housing catastrophe, or prosecuting its Wall Street sources/dinner partners for the subprime fiasco. But make no mistake: even if it had, it would have been stepping outside the boundaries of traditional American journalism practice into political advocacy. And that’s precisely what it’s doing here, at further cost to its credibility as a mainstream news organization instead of some HD version of Wall Street CCTV.

Fox News is the network all liberals love to hate, but for my money CNBC is worse by far. I actually kind of like Fox sometimes—Chris Wallace does the best interviews of GOP politicians (by default, but still), Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier, though they’re really conservative, seem like they take their job pretty seriously, and when Shep Smith occasionally gets off the chain, it’s awesome.

CNBC, though, is a wholly malignant influence. Their brand of Wall Street boosterism is not just the model of how unstated journalistic bias can be seriously dishonest, it’s running cover for a bloated and parasitic financial sector that is an active threat to the economic health of the nation.

Paul Krugman has more.


Ryan Cooper is a National Correspondent at The Week, and a former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @ryanlcooper


  • Tom Q on November 23, 2012 12:58 PM:

    When people wonder why Fox Business News never developed an audience the way Fox News did, I say there was no need for such an alternative, as CNBC already filled the right-wing fantasy niche.

  • c u n d gulag on November 23, 2012 1:12 PM:

    I think at this point, it's Louis C.K. who's on my TV, doing a better Jim Cramer than the real Jim Cramer.

    Either than, or, Cramer has created and perfected a new form of performance art as comedy: "Stand-up Financial Analyst."

    I remember watching that channel occasionally as the poo-poo hit the ventilator back in '08. AND THEY GOT EVERY SINGLE FECKIN' THING WRONG!!!

    CNBC is FOX with a crawl base on reality. The analysts are trying to also be like Cramer - "Stand-up Financial Analysts."

  • Domage on November 23, 2012 3:56 PM:

    This isn't really news to anyone who's looked at CNBC ever. I remember watching these clowns during the dot-com boom. Even then, when all you needed was a dartboard and a checkbook to get rich on Wall Street, they were so obviously wrong so consistently that I had to wonder if they were front-running short positions.

    I do believe the constant pumping of companies that were so transparently scams is what led Phillip Kaplan to launch FuckedCompany.com.

  • hornblower on November 23, 2012 10:26 PM:

    Ms. Kelly and Mr. Baier are not conservative. They are well paid hucksters. Every time Kelly says fair and balanced we and she know it is a lie.

  • MarvyT on November 23, 2012 10:43 PM:

    I watch Bloomberg. Still not great, but much better than Fox or CNBC.

  • Hue and Cry on November 24, 2012 12:46 AM:

    Bloomberg is MUCH better.
    I worry that CNBC actually affects the market with its maligning strategic partisan commentary.
    Maria Bartiroma is especially fiercely vitriolic to Democrats, and she's right on the air near the closing bell.
    At a minimum, she practically demands that CEO's being interviewed malign the administration's policies and efforts.
    And for months on end I've found I can't listen to the morning crew at all.
    I am tied in friendships with financial planners and wealth management advisors and have had such conversations.