Rick Santelli

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  • Sunday Shows Largely Ignore NC GOP's "Unprecedented Power Grab”

    Blog ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Sunday morning political shows almost entirely ignored the unprecedented move by North Carolina Republicans to significantly limit the executive powers of the incoming Democratic governor.

    On December 14, Republicans in the North Carolina state legislature launched a three-day special session for the sole purpose of introducing “a flurry of bills … to undermine [incoming Democratic Governor Roy] Cooper by stripping him of his ability to make key appointments to state and local boards and mandating, for the first time, legislative approval of his cabinet,” The New York Times reported. The Times added that the “significant shackling of the governor’s authority” may result in lawsuits from the incoming administration against the state legislature.

    CNN.com reported that the Republican legislature's "unprecedented power grab" includes legislation to “block Cooper from appointing any members to the state Board of Education and to the board of trustees for the University of North Carolina system,” and to slow lawsuits from reaching the majority Democratic-appointed state Supreme Court. The legislation also will revert to a partisan election process for filling vacancies at appellate level state courts.

    Despite North Carolina Republicans’ “brazen bid for permanent power,” the Sunday morning political shows of December 18 all but ignored their unprecedented actions. A Media Matters review of ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s State of the Union, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday found that only Meet the Press discussed the situation in one brief segment that lasted less than three minutes.

    Host Chuck Todd opened a discussion on Meet the Press about the events in North Carolina by describing them as “perfectly legal” due to Republicans’ “veto-proof majority.” (In fact, a legal challenge against North Carolina Republicans’ actions may be looming.) The segment also featured misinformation from CNBC’s Rick Santelli, a right-wing commentator sometimes credited for “launching the tea party movement,” who bizarrely transformed a story about a state political party’s power grab into a complaint that “the federal government gets too much control in various states.”

    Other national and internet media outlets have given this story the detailed reporting and thoughtful analysis it demands. Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern wrote that the “last-minute power grab marks an alarming departure from basic democratic norms” and is “a blatant attempt to overturn the results of an election by curtailing judicial independence and restructuring the government to seize authority lawfully delegated to the incoming Democratic governor.” The New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards excoriated North Carolina Republicans’ "novel strategy to subvert the will of the voters" in a “graceless power grab.” And as elections law expert Rick Hasen explained, some of the measures are so extreme that they could spur “potential Voting Rights Act and federal constitutional challenges” on the basis that “the legislature would potentially be diluting minority voting power and making minority voters worse off."

    Nonetheless, Sunday shows appear to be following the poor example set by broadcast news shows, which Media Matters previously found completely ignored the story for several days.


    Media Matters searched Snapstream and iQ Media for mentions of “North Carolina” on the December 18 editions of CNN’s State of the Union, ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday.

  • Sarah Palin And The Demise Of The Tea Party Media

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    This week's messy, public breakup between conservatives and Sarah Palin was executed with brutal swiftness. After years of alternately worshiping and defending her from all comers while gleefully echoing her falsehoods about the Obama administration (death panels!), lots of conservatives -- and especially conservative pundits -- decided enough, and collectively tossed her overboard.

    Palin's speech last weekend at a conservative confab in Iowa, odd and vacuous even by her standards, served as the trigger for the media mutiny. Morning Joe's Joe Scarborough tagged it "a tragedy," the Daily Beast's Matt Lewis apologized for his previous Palin support, and the Washington Examiner rounded up reactions from the GOP faithful: "Long and disjointed." "A weird speech." "Terrible. Didn't make any sense." (See video of the speech below.)

    After six years conservatives have essentially conceded what Palin's critics on the Left have said all along: She's not a serious person and she serves no serious political purpose. Palin, who symbolized an uber-aggressive anti-intellectual conservative push that coincided with Obama's election, seemed more interested in self-promotion -- via reality shows and habitually flirting with running for office that never materialized -- than in building a lasting political legacy.

    Note that Palin's accelerated descent this week represents a larger trend within the conservative media. It represents the decline of the tea party wing of the right-wing press and how a once-flourishing enterprise of outside upstarts, with their eyes on disrupting the GOP hierarchy, have in recent years faded in terms of importance and prestige within that sphere.

    For instance, five years ago players like Palin, tea party guru Glenn Beck, and tea party "godfather" Rick Santelli from CNBC were on the cusp of powering of grassroots movement to retake the Republican Party and the country. Beck drew huge cable audiences on Fox News while weaving dark tales of Obama deception, Santelli helped inspire patriot rallies across the country, and Fox favorite Palin surfed political celebritydom and eyed a possible White House run. They represented a new and different brand of media agitators who didn't take the traditional paths to the masses. 

    But today they stand deflated. In fact, as the next campaign season looms, all three appear to be vanishing in the media's rear-view mirror.

  • VIDEO: Meet The CNBC Figures Dismissing Climate Science

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Climate change is "just kind of a scam analysis" by "high priests," according to some at CNBC. Rhetoric such as this  is not uncommon at the cable business channel, as a new Media Matters report finds that the majority of its coverage of climate change casts doubt on the science behind it.

    Watch as CNBC hosts and contributors attempt to counter 97 percent of climate scientists:

    So who are these CNBC figures?

    Joe Kernen, co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk Box

    Joe Kernen, the co-anchor of Squawk Box, was the most vocal CNBC figure on climate change in 2013, frequently pointing to cold weather to suggest that global warming is not occurring. Kernen has long pushed climate science misinformation. In a 2007 segment, he cited the "The Great Global Warming Swindle," a movie that promoted discredited claims, to criticize singer Sheryl Crow and "An Inconvenient Truth" producer Laurie David for speaking to college students about climate change. In 2011, Kernen co-authored a book titled Your Teacher Said What?!: Trying To Raise a Fifth Grade Capitalist in Obama's America that compared climate scientists to "high priests" whose work should not be trusted.

  • REPORT: CNBC's Climate Denial Is Bad For Business

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    The majority of CNBC's coverage in the first half of 2013 cast doubt on whether manmade climate change exists. However, denial is not prudent for the business professionals viewing CNBC, who can reduce risk and increase profits by analyzing how climate change is impacting their industries.

  • What If Occupy Wall Street Had A Cable News Sponsor?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Closing in on its second week of ongoing protests, Occupy Wall Street continues to raise hackles in downtown Manhattan as street-bound activists rally to end joblessness, stop political corruption, curb health profiteering and to bring an end to wars.

    Despite a successful and persistent vigil, the absence of mainstream news coverage over the last ten days has been striking, particularly since the protest are unfolding in the media capital of the world. And particularly since a grassroots uprising on the political right in 2009 was instantly rewarded with endless new coverage. Indeed, Fox News virtually sponsored the entire Tea Party movement.

    So far, Occupy Wall Street has had no such luck.

    A quick check of Nexis indicates that between September 17-27, Occupy Wall Street was reported on just two dozen times by the cable news channels. That averages out to less than one report each day by each of the 24-hour news outlets. (Note: Nexis does not track MSNBC or Fox News daytime programming.)

    Other media have been equally uninterested. The three major network news organizations have done their best to boycott the protest story, each airing just a single report over the same ten-day span. Meanwhile, one hometown New York Times columnist dismissed the Wall Street activists as trying to "pantomime progressivism rather than practicing it knowledgeably."

    As The New York Observer observed, "Occupy Wall Street's first media problem was that there was no media." Mark Jurkowitz from Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism confirmed "the story thus far hasn't seemed to gain any real traction in the mainstream media." And Current TV's Keith Olbermann argued persuasively that if Tea Party activists camped out on Wall Street protesting Ben Bernanke, that would be the lead story every night on the network news.

    So why the media blank stares for Occupy Wall Street? A news executive at NPR explained that the network hadn't covered the protests during the first ten days because they did not "involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective." (NPR's relented this week; "All things Considered" finally reported on Occupy Wall Street.)

    Question: Doesn't NPR's description of Occupy Wall Street almost perfectly capture the early days of the Tea Party when conservative activists had little trouble getting journalists to cover ant-Obama rallies?

  • CNBC's Santelli: Tea party movement is "pretty cool after a year and a half"

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Ann Coulter's choice for president is back.

    CNBC's Rick Santelli commented on his eighteen-month-old Chicago trading floor rant yesterday on the network's Squawk Box saying, "the Tea Party movement is moving along. It's pretty cool after a year and a half."

    Remember, this comes from a guy who thought traders represented "the silent majority."

    I happen to agree with CNBC's Steve Liesman though who told Santelli in March that he was "wrong on about everything."

    Take a look at this flashback:


    h/t TVNewser

  • CNBC's Liesman to CNBC's Santelli: "You Were Wrong About Everything"

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    As Mediaite.com's Colby Hall notes today:

    CNBC is no longer just "first in business worldwide," as their tag line states, it is also the place to see on-air dust-ups between correspondent's and anchors. Back in December we noted an on-air kerfuffle between host Steve Liesman and reporter Rick Santelli in which Santellit told his host "You don't say anything I find interesting." This morning viewers of the financial news channel bore witness to another tiff between the squabbling CNBCers.


    Transcript of their exchange (via TV Newser):

    Liesman: Rick, you've lost enough people enough money by now.

    Santelli: Why don't we put that to a referendum? Let's put it on our website right now. Who lost you more money, Steve Liesman or Rick Santelli. Put your money where your mouth is.

    Liesman: Rick you argued interest rates would be higher, you argued for the crash of the dollar, Rick. Rick, you had everything wrong, Rick. There wasn't a single thing you had right.

    Santelli: Jobs, jobs, jobs. I talked about the credit crisis.

    Liesman: You were wrong... you said the credit crisis was nothing. I'll pull the tapes.

    Santelli: Okay. You pull the tapes Steve Liesman.

    Liesman: You were wrong about everything.

  • VOTE: The Worst Media Moment of Obama's First 100 Days

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    The first 100 days of the Obama administration are coming to a close, and there has certainly been no shortage of unhinged and outrageous media moments.

    From Rush Limbaugh saying that "we are being told to bend over and grab the ankles ... because his father is black," to Glenn Beck imitating President Obama pouring gasoline on an "average American," conservatives in the media have wasted no time in stoking a culture of paranoia with extreme, vitriolic, and often irresponsible rhetoric.
    Now it's your turn to weigh in. Check out this video of the most outrageous media moments from the first 100 days, and then vote for which you think is the worst:

    In addition to the examples referenced above, candidates for the Worst Media Moment also include:

    • CNBC's Larry Kudlow complaining about Obama and Chavez's "Boyz N The Hood handshake"
    • Reporting on tea parties, Fox Business' Cody Willard asked: "Guys, when are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to be permeating this country?"
    • Fox's Dick Morris declaring that the "crazies" who "say 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' … [are] beginning to have a case"

    Instead of focusing on substantive policy discussions, media figures have all too often launched relentless political attacks, and bypassed legitimate reporting and commentary in favor of demagoguery. You can help us bring attention to this troubling pattern by watching our video and participating in our poll.

    We will announce the results here on County Fair next Wednesday, April 29, so please make your voice heard today!