What Happens When One Business-News Outlet Goes After Another

By Chris Ariens 

The Columbia Journalism Review takes a closer look at the “quiet but surprisingly fierce feud” between CNBC and Barron’s. It goes back to a Barron’s story in August that questioned Jim Cramer‘s stock picks during his Mad Money show.

The clash shows what happens when one business-news outlet goes after another: bad blood. In a recent interview with me, a visibly distraught Cramer displayed an emotional intensity entirely different from his ranting but comical on-air persona. “It was just so outrageous, so Kafkaesque,” he says of being a Barron’s target.

CNBC says it did not actually banish Barron’s, though it says its experience with the [Bill] Alpert piece left it questioning the magazine’s integrity and basic fairness.

CJR eporter Dean Starkman sums it up this way: “So, was CNBC wrong to throw Barron’s off the air? Actually, no. It’s its air. Did CNBC behave unprofessionally, as Barron’s contends? No — except to the extent that its own policies force it into disingenuous arguments about what is and isn’t a ‘pick.'”

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