Just a quick note before I run out this morning: Today’s must read is a brutal takedown of the CNBC driven narrative of the fiscal cliff. Its written by Ryan Chittum of The Audit, which is the Columbia Journalism Review’s site that focuses on the financial press.
Here is a quick excerpt:
“Any time you see Wall Street CEOs and CNBC campaigning for what they call the common good, it’s worth raising an eyebrow or two.
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.
The big question: Why is a news organization running what’s effectively a political campaign for Simpson-Bowles, complete with thirty-second spots and campaign buttons? Look, kids. You can get your very own Rise Above pin, wrapped in the flag, just like your favorite business-news personalities! Roger Ailes himself must blush at this kind of grandstanding, but I have a hard time believing the business class and CNBC would be so worked up over this austerity program if it weren’t for the major tax increases contained therein.”
You really must read the entire thing.
When you do, think about the things that have gotten the press in general worked up into a tizzy. In particular, consider what CNBC has and has not gotten worked up about in the past, and what they completely missed. They are a fairly reliable fade . . .
Rise Above, CNBC’s move into advocacy: Corporate America’s house organ starts an anti-political political campaign
The Audit, November 20, 2012