CNBC’s Past Three Weeks: “Moment in the Spotlight” or “Going Overboard”?

By SteveK 

Over the last three weeks, CNBC and its on-air personalities have been a focus, both good and bad, from the White House to Wall Street.

“Whether the attention is positive or negative, it is certain that this tumultuous financial season is CNBC’s reason for being,” writes the New York Times’ Brian Stelter and Tim Arango, while noting some in the organization have begun referring to it as, “the recession network.”

“It has certainly received a lot more notoriety, and along with that a lot more audience,” says CNBC president Mark Hoffman.


But, what about the increasingly outspoken anchors? “Three CNBC employees, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said that the role of opinion on the channel had been a subject of frequent discussion,” reports the Times.

Jon Friedman of Marketwatch writes, “CNBC seems to want, if not prefer, its on-air ‘talent’ to raise the theatrics level as high as it can go,” he writes.

And comparing the network to ESPN, he writes: “CNBC loses sight of the idea that the public takes investing, and the economy, much more seriously than sports fans debate baseball or football headlines.”

New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote about the network in his column this weekend as well. Click continued to see his take…

Rich writes:

Led by Cramer and Kudlow, the CNBC carnival barkers are now, without any irony whatsoever, assailing the president as a radical saboteur of capitalism. It’s particularly rich to hear Cramer tar Obama (or anyone else) for “wealth destruction” when he followed up his bum steer to viewers on Bear Stearns with oleaginous on-camera salesmanship for Wachovia and its brilliant chief executive, a Cramer friend and former boss, just two weeks before it, too, collapsed. What should really terrify the White House is that Cramer last month gave a big thumbs-up to Timothy Geithner’s bank-rescue plan.