Nothing is getting ratings on television these days like chronicling the downfall of the global financial system. Unfortunately, the temptation to tell the story as a morality play in which the gods punish the wealthy for hubris appears to be irresistible.
Last week, CNN ran an hour long reports on “The Fall of the Fat Cats.” It promised to bring viewers the “fat cats in their element.” So where did they go? To a Doubledown Media party. That’s right—they sought out the “fat cats” among the 20-somethings who go to Trader Monthly parties for the free drinks.
“If you’re going to demonize Wall Streeters for causing the country’s economic collapse, at least demonize the right Wall Streeters,” Yvette Kantrow writes in her regular column in The Deal.
Once inside, reporter Abbie Boudreau is shocked–shocked!–to find attendees smoking cigars, getting manicures and having their hair cut. After witnessing this bacchanalia of grooming, “you would have no idea that there actually is a crisis on Wall Street right now,” Boudreau tells viewers.
And who are these alleged fat cats, partying and primping while the market crashes? There doesn’t appear to be a banker, trader, Wall Street exec, even a mortgage broker in the bunch.
In fact, among the partygoers Boudreau talked to on camera, two work in commercial real estate, one for a hedge fund research firm based in New Jersey. Not exactly perpetrators of the meltdown. But for CNN, they’re close enough.
Here’s the video.