Matt Taibbi’s controversial piece on how Goldman Sachs is responsible for every financial calamity since the Great Depression prompted both cheers and ridicule. One of the harshest responses was this take-down from CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino on The Daily Beast:
“…Taibbi has elevated a combination of half-truths, superstitions, and a lack of understanding about the financial crisis to what is fast becoming established as “fact”: that Goldman Sachs was the main culprit for the financial crisis and is now unfairly profiting from the various bailouts the crisis caused.”
Yesterday, Taibbi hit back on his blog, going after not only Gasparino but all of CNBC.
“A lot of people are writing to me wondering when I’m going to respond to Charlie Gasparino, who took time out between martinis recently to take a shot at me in the above column.
As it happens I was already beginning work on a chapter on CNBC for my next book, as in recent weeks I’ve had several Wall Street executives call me to complain about certain practices at that network that should probably be shared with the public. So I’m working on that, and I think that is the appropriate forum in which to talk not only about Gasparino but about the other excellent reporters in the CNBC stable, who as we all know did such a terrific job standing up to their advertisers and exposing the dangers that lay ahead in the years leading up to the financial crisis.
In the meantime, here’s a little taste of the tactics CNBC uses to suck up to its potential interview subjects. The network, for instance, likes to brag to its pals on Wall Street about what a good job it does beating up on the poor. Here’s an email Dennis Kneale sent to a buddies list that includes some Wall Street executives:
From: Kneale, Dennis (NBC Universal) [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 6:12 PM
To: Kneale, Dennis (NBC Universal)
Subject: fight night at 8pm on cnbc
hey guys, thought i’d show you a politically correct moment on my show last night: the poor are better off than you think. take a look! best, dk
Beneath which Kneale included a link to a clip in which he argues, basically, that the poor are not suffering because 65% of poor families own their own washing machine, according to some idiotic study or other. Hell, with stats like that, who needs to actually interview people?
Anyone else out there who has CNBC stories is invited to write in, especially if you’ve had dealings with the network’s producers.”
Ouch! And it looks like there’s more to come.
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