Fall-out boy: more on the obligations of financial journalists

Thanks to astute reader DS for sending this on: Thomas Frank offers an opinion piece in the WSJ that calls financial commentators out on the carpet, supporting the Jon Stewart mission noted in yesterday’s post on Thinking Telos. Surprising to see such forthright acknowledgment in the pages of Rupert Murdoch’s soul…a snippet:

The reasons the financial-entertainment biz failed us are many and complex, but they ultimately come down to this: In the marketplace to describe the marketplace itself, there is precious little competition. There is a single, standard product that comes in packaging that is alternately sultry, energetic or fun — bitter, brainy or Cramer “crazy” — but which rarely strays beyond certain ideological boundaries. Adversarial voices are few. Criticism is sacrificed for access. Advice sometimes shades over into simple propaganda. Even the worst prognosticators sometimes go on to jobs with presidential campaigns or prominent think tanks.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the universe, NBC CEO Jeff Zucker took an embarrassingly narrow stance on the topic. He pulls a nice act here, feigning offense with as much skill as a flopping NBA forward. We can label this under “completely missing the point:”

“Everybody wants to find a scapegoat. That’s human nature,” Zucker said during a keynote address at a media industry conference. “But to suggest that the business media or CNBC was responsible for what is going on now is absurd.”

“Just because someone who mocks authority says something doesn’t make it so,” Zucker said, describing the comedian’s comments as “completely out of line.

Nice to see such a strong ripple effect. Don’t fear change, people.


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