We’ll be honest, we loved Rick Santelli’s stunt/rant yesterday. He’s consistently one of the few to call something BS when it deserves to be, and the reason yesterday’s thing became such a big deal is that he really struck a nerve. It was like the guy in the movie Network.
But the self-styled defenders of good journalism weren’t amused. Here’s the take from the Columbia Journalism Review:
Look, we have no problem with robust commentary. And the hothead thing is part of Santelli’s schtick. The man has to make a living, we suppose. He’s gone off on bailouts before (he actually walked out on a segment a few months ago after a heated discussion).
He’s also been wrong. The segment he walked out on was in the midst of the mid-September meltdown when he was calling for a delay in a bailout of the crippled financial system, which nearly everyone now agrees kept us from a catastrophic meltdown and depression. But even then, he didn’t question the need for something to be done to bail the financiers out.
And he’s not been afraid to take on the powerful, like his own network’s carnival barker, Jim Cramer (see this entertaining YouTube mash-up), over Cramer forgetting his own bullishness at the top of the market.
But watching CNBC lately is like stumbling onto Easter Island just after the natives chopped down their last tree. It’s like a lost world over there. Somebody send up a chopper.
But then, this may be a sympton of a wider disease.
We at The Audit have written repeatedly about the blame-the-homeowners meme that’s been so popular in misdirecting people away from the real culprits in the crisis: the financial-services boiler rooms that created all those junk mortgages and bundled them into crap securities for sale to all-too-trusting rubes (aka “clients”) around the world.
I understand there’s a powerful undercurrent of outrage from some people who are paying their mortgages (or renting) who disdain those who aren’t or can’t.
But let’s understand what’s going on here. This homeowner bailout isn’t really even aimed at easing people’s suffering. It’s aimed at the banks, whose downward spiral will not stop until the housing market stabilizes.
Later on they say Santelli should be reporting from foreclosureville, somewhere in the Southwest. Alright, whatever. Here’s the video again cause we like it so much.
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