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Zucker Slams Stewart

Updated

That, and other news, in today’s Roundup and Recap.

Jeff Zucker defended CNBC, calling Jon Stewart’s attacks on the business network “incredibly unfair.”

Per the AP, “Zucker said while interviewed on a stage by BusinessWeek that while “everyone wants to find a scapegoat,” to suggest that the business media or CNBC was responsible for the economic meltdown is “absurd.””

Brian Lowry writes, “Zucker said Stewart had been “incredibly unfair” by focusing on Cramer’s bad stock calls, which completely misses the point of what Stewart and his crack research staff exposed — not just a few “bad calls,” but a general tone of blustery worship toward Wall Street that prompted even conservative columnist George Will to wryly muse, “Don’t take financial advice from people who are shouting.””

Jeff Jarvis examines Zucker’s smugness. “Criticism of CNBC is way out of line,” NBC head Jeff Zucker said at the BusinessWeek media summit at McGraw-Hill’s headquarters just now. “Just because someone who mocks authority says something doesn’t make it so.” He argued that “you’re already seeing a backlash” against the backlash against news media “in terms of people saying, ‘let’s stop beating the press.’” The press didn’t cause us to go to war in Iraq, he said; a general did. The press missing the financial crisis didn’t cause it. “Both are absurd,” he said.

Really? I think that says that the press has no importance and no role in public policy. Doesn’t matter if we miss the story, he’s saying. It’s not our fault. Will he take no responsibility? (Via Daily Dish).

Marc Ambinder takes note of President Obama’s comment today, which sounds to me like echoes of Jon Stewart: “Just as outrageous,” he said, is the “culture that these bonuses are a symptom of a situation where excess greed, excess compensation, excess risk-taking have all made us vulnerable and left us holding the bag.”  

“This is more than tough rhetoric: I take this to mean that the administration will use the AIG crisis to take a more active role than it otherwise would have. Wall Street has been waiting for the Treasury Department’s plan to mitigate the poison and the credit-market-locking effect of toxic assets held by major banks. The administration’s economic commanders would prefer to create public-private partnerships to remove those assets from the books of especially troubled institutions; the government and corporations would share the risks.  When Obama says explicitly – “My interest is not protecting the banks,” he’s scaring that capital away. Why would a hedge fund want to subject itself to the scrutiny that AIG is currently receiving?

“One sign that Obama really means this: he called Tim Geithner the hardest-working Treasury Secretary since Alexander Hamilton and is standing by a man who is now thoroughly distrusted by the finance sector of the economy. Make no mistake: you can blame – or credit – CNBC with introducing the notion that, because Geithner doesn’t inspire confidence, whatever that means, he might want to think about resigning.”

Clooney’s Log: George Clooney shared a Vlog he took on his recent trip to Chad, including comments on rooming with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Newsom’s Visit: Gavin Newsom does a Santa Monica town hall, but not before paying a visit to Ryan Seacrest.

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