There’s plenty of blogosphere chatter about Jon Stewart’s evisceration of Jim Cramer last night (TalkingPointsMemo has helpfully posted the full, unexpurgated interview). Felix Salmon sums up most of my view, by just declaring: “Don’t watch CNBC.” I particularly liked Stewart’s controlled anger.

The one key point that I thought he missed was the idiocy of the frantic trading mentality that is at the root of CNBC. There is ample evidence that trading is for suckers — the only winner is the brokerage that collects the commission. I don’t have a problem with Cramer getting some of his stock picks wrong. It’s the very notion of encouraging stock picking that’s wrong. Still, Stewart did the world a service by sticking a very large spear into the bleeding pig that is CNBC.

One thought on “RIP CNBC

  1. Quentin Hardy

    Fair enough. What I haven’t seen said in any of this is how much CNBC gets its viewing base from televisions in trading rooms. It was a lock they had for years, the television place traders looked at for video information, interviews with CEOs, etc. It’s why they have such a great demographic for advertisers (i.e., why a network with 240,000 viewers can make so much money), why a rant like Santelli’s resonated among viewers, why they developed such a pro-Wall Street bias.
    Holding that base will probably be under strain from YouTube, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business, and the consolidation of Wall Street, but it’s still CNBC’s core viewership, not average people. Don’t expect any of Stewart’s roasting make CNBC change.


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