An on-air spat between Charlie Gasparino and Dennis Kneale offers a great peg to put forth a theory as to why CNBC is so engaging and addictive despite it’s myriad drawbacks: It’s the business news equivalent of watching the WWE.
You’ve got your personalities, your good guys and bad guys. Larry Kudlow is a popular villain for his perma-bullishness. Jim Cramer is a “good guy”, sticking up for everyday people. Dennis Kneale is a bad guy. Santelli is a good guy, screaming each morning from the pits, while ripping the others apart for their inferior understanding of bonds. And so on and so on. The point is, the audience can root for some of them, while rooting against the others. That’s fun TV.
Then of course you’ve got the wrestling babes, which is, well, pretty obvious.
This morning’s fight between Kneale and Gasparino offers another clear parallel: The blurry line between reality and fiction. Does Gasparino really think so low of Kneale’s reporting skills, or is that just play acting for the camera. Or the other day, when Jim Goldman was disgusted by one of Dennis Kneale’s comments about Steve Jobs having PMS (his hormone imbalance). Was he really so horrified, or was that just an act? Who knows.
But it’s fun, either way, which is why we tolerate all the nonsense. It’s also why we don’t — nor does anyone we know — watch a channel like Bloomberg, despite it being much more serious and information rich.
(video via MediaBistro)