CNBC’s President, Mark Hoffman, when queried on his proudest moment in the 25 year history of the network (April 30, 2014 was the 25th anniversary), answered: “The proudest I was of the organization was leading up to the crisis in 2008 and the year-and-ahalf, or so, that followed it. I felt as if all the hard work that it took building the organization had really paid off…and it was a traumatic and frightening time for many. I was so proud of the way CNBC, not only reported, but really by the way they treated the seriousness of the events.” (the clip)
Gimme a Break!!!
Really? Were you proud when Jim Cramer poured gasoline on the fire of the market meltdown in October of 2008 when he advised, “If you will need the money any time in the next five years, you should get out now”? Were you especially proud of the fact that he went to a bigger platform, NBC’s “Today,” to reiterate his advice? To be fair Cramer was right on the short-term (he may have contributed to it), but it was a bush-league thing to do (yelling FIRE in a crowded theater); and, those who did take his advice may never have heard his subsequent muted BUY advice (Hmmm, I don’t have a Today Show clip for that) or if they returned to invest in the subsequent bull market. I guess that’s the price we pay for the First Amendment. Right Mr. Hoffman?
Were you proud of the editorializing by your on-air personnel…like Joe Keirnan, suggesting late in 2008 (near the lows), to paraphrase, “that there was no way the market would recover before we got housing back on its feet.” Of course, within a few months, the market took off. In the meantime, it was another year before housing showed even the glimmer of a recovery…a recovery your people have argued against all the way up and are still opining that it may be in trouble.
Are you proud of all the bricks CNBC has laid in the ‘Wall of Worry’?
Mr. Hoffman, maybe you have not been paying attention to your on-air product, but the predominant tone of your own staff, as well as many of your interview guests, has been fearful and distressing on the market. This was especially true going into the first years after we hit bottom…‘one shot wonders’ like Noriel Roubini, Meredith Whitney and Marc Faber. They provided a continuous skeptical and negative perspective as the market lifted. Are you proud of all the money that went to the sidelines, and is still on the sidelines, as a result of CNBC’s continuing cautionary and negative bias?
“I was so proud…” Gimme a brake!!!
My take is that the body of CNBC’s work has been a deterrent to rational investment thinking and harmful to those who regularly watch your network…nothing to be proud of or brag about.
What do you think?
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