This is a case where someone needs to be reminded to be careful what you ask for - you just might get it, and you may not like what they get.
In February, Rick Santelli, who is one of the "expert" talking heads that CNBC brings on daily (he's at the Chicago Mercantile), went on an on-air rampaging rant about the Obama administration’s handling of the mortgage crisis and recommended bailout. About a minute into his rant (video below), after enlisting the support of the traders around him, who seemed to be booing the Obama plan in support of Santelli, Santelli looks to the camera and asks, “ President Obama are you listening?”
Well, someone in the White House heard him. Of course, the rant was covered and promoted ad nauseam on CNBC and NBC, so it was hard to miss. So, there should have been no surprise to Santelli when White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs came back at Santelli and took him to task for his comments (vdeio below) and provided their own response.
Why, then, is Santelli so shocked that Gibbs mentioned him by name? When Santelli appeared on the Today Show at the end of February, Santelli was upset that Gibbs and the White House singled him out, and had previously commented that he was “threatened" by them. I happened to be watching that Today Show segment at that time, and I admit my jaw dropped that Santelli seemed upset that after he’d asked if President Obama was listening, he had the nerve to be surprised that the White House acknowledged that they had heard him – and they wanted to add their own two cents. I actually was thrilled that Matt Lauer took Santelli to task for his ludicrous allegation of a White House "threat". Lauer did it in a very frontal way, which is unusual for him.
But the icing on the cake was when Jon Stewart decided to jump into the fray after Santelli canceled an appearance on the Jon Stewart show. Stewart not only skewered Santelli, but the whole of CNBC. Stewart's take was dead on the money, and absolutely hilarious. Now, I watch CNBC occasion, I happen to enjoy watching Jim Cramer, but I have to admit that I know to take what these "experts" say with a grain of salt, especially considering the circumstances of the collapse of the economy in the last few months. Jim Cramer had been very open regarding his bad call about Bear Stearns (Stewart mentions it in his segment), admitting that the CEO clearly was lying to him in an interview that he (Cramer) had with the CEO right before Bear Stearns went belly up. I think every financial news network called the stability of many companies incorrectly, not just CNBC.
I applaud Jon Stewart for putting the whole Santelli and CNBC thing together in such a way that puts Santelli to shame. So the lesson for Santelli is – if you can’t take the consequences for what you say, then keep your mouth shut.
Here are all the related videos in case you’re interested in watching. The Stewart video is tops on the list, and if you watch any one of this, that’s the one to see. The videos progress on the list in a reverse order from when they actually appeared.
Jon Stewart Skewers Rick Santelli and CNBC
Today Show Video – Lauer Gives Santelli a Smackdown
Robert Gibbs and the White House Response
Original Santelli Rant
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