What the GameStop story teaches us about TV financial news
Alex Shephard of The New Republic writes about what the GameStop stock explosion story exposes about business journalism on television.
Shephard writes, “The financial cable news networks are ostensibly aimed at the sort of person who posts or lurks on r/WallStreetBets—normies interested in the stock market and the economy, keyed up to get hold of that One Weird Trick to Get Rich that hurdy-gurdy stock hypeman Jim Cramer might shout at any moment. The programming on offer across these various networks promises to provide viewers with the True Scoops needed to make informed investments. But there is not, and never has been, anything populist about the way these networks operate. These networks are all about upholding the sanctity of the Blessed Market and protecting the interests of their high-faluting financial sector guests—the people who run hedge funds and corporate oligopolies, who are the keymasters of this universe. The interests of the audience are secondary. Anyway, they can feast freely on the scraps of their betters!
“The Tea Party movement, launched by a CNBC-broadcast rant from Rick Santelli from the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, may be remembered by some as the igniting of a ‘grassroots’ movement, but in that moment, it was anything but: Santelli’s rant explicitly defended the financial services sector against the predations of the ‘losers’ who had lost their homes in the foreclosure crisis after that same financial services sector scammed them into rigged mortgages. This is one reason why Sorkin’s odd insistence that the banks were exclusively blamed for the financial crisis was so bizarre: The call defending those banks came from inside the house.”
Read more here.