Covering the Downturn, Looking for the Upswing

By Chris Ariens 

In his column in tomorrow’s New York Times, David Carr writes about those who cover the financial crisis.

Being a financial news anchor must seem like owning an ice cream parlor where spinach is the only flavor on the menu.

“We are looking for the crocuses and daffodils,” said Tyler Mathisen, managing editor of CNBC, which is owned by NBC Universal. “They may not come up this spring, but they are going to come.”

The problem for financial reporters (and consumers) is compounded by the failure of some of the more convenient tropes of business reporting. Many of the financial sectors’ rock stars have turned out to be the biggest fools of all.

Some financial journalists are tuning out altogether.

“I try not to watch CNBC,” says Dave Kansas who works for financial news site FiLife. “I don’t keep a TV near my desk because I don’t want to get caught up in the hourly changes. The idea that you can pick stocks and beat the market is sort of silly no matter what kind of market you are working into,” he said. “Bernie Madoff was able to deliver steady returns, but we know now how he did that.”