At first I thought it was ironic, but this is just sad:
Apparently Jon Stewart and the Daily Show writers don’t understand that CNBC is part news/reporting and part entertainment (for lack of a better word).
From about 6am through 6pm they report on financial and economic news. They have in-house analysts that don’t typically make predictions, at least not very specific ones. Rick Santelli is one of those analysts — he reports on the numbers and the reactions from the bond markets. It’s pretty clear that he’s a market fundamentalist, but there are other in-house analysts on the show that balance him out (if being a mouthpiece for Obama/Democrat talking-points is considered ‘balance’).
During the ‘news hours’ they also have guest-hosts (who typically have their own agendas and would never be considered neutral) and they’ll interview any fund manager that is willing to go on camera (who often have wild predictions and definitely have their own agendas). Implying CNBC is stupid for airing the bad predictions of these analysts is like questioning CNN for airing interviews with McCain aides claiming they could win key battleground states. It’s like blaming Anderson Cooper for the wreckage of Katrina (which I do, but that’s another post). It’s like calling the New York Times stupid for all the crap Thomas Friedman has gotten wrong (awesome, a place I can use that link! I was wondering how to work it into a post…)
After 6pm, you get into Jim Cramer’s Mad Money and Fast Money, Suze Orman, etc, and these shows are what I would call entertainment (again, I can’t think of a better way to group them; many do not find them entertaining at all, YMMV). But they’re not news.
The Daily Show clip mixes the entertainment/predictors and the interviewed analysts (with their agendas) with the news reporters. Cramer has been wrong, wrong, wrong, but don’t link him with Santelli. Do a YouTube search, Daily Show researchers, and notice that anything with “Santelli” and “Cramer” in the title has a clip of the two of them fighting — Santelli hates Cramer; he thinks he’s a hack.
Santelli also opposed the bank and insurance bailouts, and said so very openly on air (again fact checkers, just search YouTube), yet Stewart implies that he is only against the little guys and the mortgage bailout. That’s just dishonest on the Daily Show’s part. Santelli should go on the show and demand an apology.
As for Santelli turning to the bond-traders to get their opinion on the bailout, it’s not really any different than CBS or your local news reporter asking “the person on the street” what they think about something… At least Santelli did it live so he couldn’t cherry-pick the responses to support his view.
Anyway, just another reason why I don’t bother to watch the Daily Show. It’s rarely as funny as it is angry and wrong. And when it is truly funny, there’s always YouTube.