So, CNBC's Charlie Gasparino penned a column today for the Post called "An Obama Panic," wherein he writes that the markets that have been getting worse as Obama's lead widens, because of the proposed economic policies of the would-be president. Sayeth Gasparino:
And if [Obama] governs like a liberal ideologue - with a belief that the government that works best is the one that's biggest and raises taxes the most - he won't even have to work hard to get his way. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won't stop him - the Democratic majorities in Congress are only likely to grow.
And the markets know this - even if pundits (even many of the financial ones) refuse to face it.
No one can blame the faltering stock market solely on Obama's tax plans or McCain's own inanity on economic issues. But stock prices reflect current market conditions plus best guesses of what's coming down the road. And I keep hearing nervous traders and investors talk about "a lack of leadership from Washington."
Portfolio's Felix Salmon had a bit of a problem with the editorial. In a post this morning, he throws out terms like "wingnut," "GOP talking points," and, most offensively, the newly coined (?) "bensteinery." Then he questions (and sort of answers) whether or not CG should be employed by the peacock:
Trust in the financial media is probably at an all-time low right now. CNBC needs less screaming and extremism, and more sobriety and trustworthiness. Even if Gasparino's political views don't influence his reporting -- which is doubtful -- they will reinforce in his viewers' minds the idea that he's unreliable. I just can't see the
upside of Gasparino writing a column like this, and I'm surprised that his superiors at CNBC let him get away with it -- especially since the Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch, CNBC's fiercest competitor.
The overall impression from reading this column, then, is twofold: that Gasparino not only lives at the wingnut end of the political spectrum, but that he is powerful enough within CNBC that he can go off and write whatever he likes for whomever he likes whenever he likes. Which means that there's probably zero editorial control of him within CNBC, as well. (Remember the quote in Bryan Burrough's Bear Stearns article in Vanity Fair about how "at CNBC, there is simply no adult supervision".) This can't be good for CNBC's franchise in the long term, even if it does help Gasparino with his Republican sources
on Wall Street.
You probably thought that was going to be the end of it but you, my friends, underestimated No Sleeves. We spoke with Gasparino just now; he didn't mention it but it's clear his missed his BoFlex sessions today, though he makes up for it with some punishing reps on the Salmon. Short version: Knee-caps will be busted. Long version:
"Being called a wingnut by a wingnut is not the worst thing in the
world. The last time this guy wrote about me, he got everything wrong.
I think he's got a credibility problem. Who the hell ever heard of
Felix Salmon? Where did he come from. Just another twerpy, pseudo
media critic. He has no credibility critiquing my reporting. He's
never broken a story in his life. How can every other journalist have
an opinion but not me? People do it at the WSJ all the time. How about
journalists who write stories that are patently biased? I'm biased
because I write a column and I am honest about my views? This guy is a
nutjob. And I only know this because of what he writes about me. The
last thing the wrote about me, I think he was on drugs. When your
brain cells are so limited that you can actually come up with what he
does...wow. What's worrisome is that he's obviously not a smart guy,
but his editor is dumber is for letting him run this stuff. If you
take him serious for a moment, you realize how crazy he sounds.
Listen, Portfolio is irrelevant; I saw the story because of Google
alerts. If it ever became relevant, they'd have a problem with him.
he's He's got a bizarre fixation with me. He's got some weird
obsession about me; why that is i have no idea."