I was interviewed by several journalists last week about Rick Santelli’s Rant — my exact quote was it had a “Faux” feel to it. (I haven’t seen it in print yet)

What was so odd about this was that Santelli is usually on the ball; we usually agree more often than we disagree. He’s been responsible for some of the best moments on Squawk Box.

But his rant somehow felt wrong. After we’ve pissed through over $7 trillion dollars in Federal bailouts to banks, brokers, automakers, insurers, etc., this was a pittance, the least offensive of all the vast sums of wasted money spent on “losers” to use Santelli’s phrase. It seemed like a whole lot of noise over “just” $75 billion, or 1% of the rest of the total ne’er-do-well bailout monies.

It turns out that there may be more to the story then originally met the eye, according to (yes, really) Playboy magazine.


“How did a minor-league TV figure, whose contract with CNBC is due this summer, get so quickly launched into a nationwide rightwing blog sensation? Why were there so many sites and organizations online and live within minutes or hours after his rant, leading to a nationwide protest just a week after his rant?

What hasn’t been reported until now is evidence linking Santelli’s “tea party” rant with some very familiar names in the Republican rightwing machine, from PR operatives who specialize in imitation-grassroots PR campaigns (called “astroturfing”) to bigwig politicians and notorious billionaire funders. As veteran Russia reporters, both of us spent years watching the Kremlin use fake grassroots movements to influence and control the political landscape. To us, the uncanny speed and direction the movement took and the players involved in promoting it had a strangely forced quality to it. If it seemed scripted, that’s because it was.

What we discovered is that Santelli’s “rant” was not at all spontaneous as his alleged fans claim, but rather it was a carefully-planned trigger for the anti-Obama campaign. In PR terms, his February 19th call for a “Chicago Tea Party” was the launch event of a carefully organized and sophisticated PR campaign, one in which Santelli served as a frontman, using the CNBC airwaves for publicity, for the some of the craziest and sleaziest rightwing oligarch clans this country has ever produced. Namely, the Koch family, the multibilllionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America, and funders of scores of rightwing thinktanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks. The scion of the Koch family, Fred Koch, was a co-founder of the notorious extremist-rightwing John Birch Society.”

What is Playboy’s evidence of this?

“Within hours of Santelli’s rant, a website called ChicagoTeaParty.com sprang to life. Essentially inactive until that day, it now featured a YouTube video of Santelli’s “tea party” rant and billed itself as the official home of the Chicago Tea Party. The domain was registered in August, 2008 by Zack Christenson, a dweeby Twitter Republican and producer for a popular Chicago rightwing radio host Milt Rosenberg—a familiar name to Obama campaign people. Last August, Rosenberg, who looks like Martin Short’s Irving Cohen character, caused an outcry when he interviewed Stanley Kurtz, the conservative writer who first “exposed” a personal link between Obama and former Weather Undergound leader Bill Ayers. As a result of Rosenberg’s radio interview, the Ayers story was given a major push through the Republican media echo chamber, culminating in Sarah Palin’s accusation that Obama was “palling around with terrorists.” That Rosenberg’s producer owns the “chicagoteaparty.com” site is already weird—but what’s even stranger is that he first bought the domain last August, right around the time of Rosenburg’s launch of the “Obama is a terrorist” campaign. It’s as if they held this “Chicago tea party” campaign in reserve, like a sleeper-site. Which is exactly what it was.

This looks like more than a coincidence. This is now a very serious charge.

I have no insight as to whether this is true or not — but it certainly deserves a serious response from both Santelli and CNBC.  If its false, then they should say so, and demand an apology from Playboy.

But if any of it is true, well then, Santelli may have to fall on his sword, and CNBC may owe the public an apology.

I am VERY curious if there is any truth to this.


UPDATE: March 1, 2009 5:43am

Wow, talk about link bait — that was a boatload of comments on a Saturday nite! Doesn’t anyone go out anymore? It must really be a recession . . .

UPDATE 2: March 1, 2009 7:45am

Steve at the Daily Bail writes:

I publish and write the Daily Bail.  I have posted a response to the allegations by Playboy magazine made against our site.  I am writing you personally so that you know their allegations about me are categorically untrue.  It’s unfortunate because I believe that the article did some great investigative work and then at the end they threw me under the bus for no apparent reason.  Apparently, the authors just assumed we were part of this conspiracy because of my own personal excitement about the prospect of a mid-summer tea party.  They never bothered to contact me for explanation or comment of any sort.

My response to their article is here.  Please read it so you know just how wrong they were about me and my politics.


Santelli vs Cramer (January 2008)


Rick Santelli Strikes Again (September 2008)


Backstabber: Is Rick Santelli High On Koch?
Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Playboy, 02.27.09 1:40 PM CST


From the February 19 edition of CNBC’s Squawk Box:

REBECCA QUICK (co-anchor): We want to get to our task force right now. Rick Santelli and Jason Roney of Sharmac Capital are standing by at the CME Group in Chicago, and Rick, have you been listening to this conversation?

SANTELLI: Listening to it? I’ve been just glued to it because Mr. Ross has nailed it. You know, the government is promoting bad behavior. Because we certainly don’t want to put stimulus forth and give people a whopping $8 or $10 in their check and think that they ought to save it, and in terms of modifications — I’ll tell you what, I have an idea.

You know, the new administration’s big on computers and technology. How about this, president and new administration? Why don’t you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages; or would we like to at least buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people that might have a chance to actually prosper down the road, and reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water?

JOE KERNEN (co-anchor): Hey, Rick, did –

TRADER: That’s a novel idea.

KERNEN: Hey, Rick, did you — oh, boy. They’re like putty — they’re like putty in your hands. Did you hear –

SANTELLI: No they’re not, Joe. They’re not like putty in our hands. This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? Raise their hand.

President Obama, are you listening?

TRADER: How about we all stop paying our mortgage? It’s a moral hazard.

KERNEN: This is like mob rule here. I’m getting scared. I’m glad I’m — I’m glad I’m –

CARL QUINTANILLA (co-anchor): Get some bricks and bats –

SANTELLI: Don’t get scared, Joe. They’re already scaring you. You know, Cuba used to have mansions and a relatively decent economy. They moved from the individual to collective. Now, they’re driving ’54 Chevys, maybe the last great car to come out of Detroit.

KERNEN: They’re driving them on water, too, which is a little strange to watch –

SANTELLI: There you go.

KERNEN: Hey, Rick, how about the notion that — Wilbur pointed out you can go down to 2 percent on the mortgage –

SANTELLI: You could go down to minus-2 percent. They can’t afford the house.

KERNEN: — and still have 40 percent — and still have 40 percent not be able to do it. So why are they in the house? Why are we trying to keep them in the house?

SANTELLI: I know Mr. Summers is a great economist, but boy, I’d love the answer to that one.


KERNEN: Jason –

QUICK: [unintelligible] you get people fired up.

KERNEN: Jason, you wanna –

SANTELLI: We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.

QUICK: What are you dumping in — what are you dumping in this time? Housing? Cars?

SANTELLI: We’re going to be dumping in some derivative securities. What do you think about that?

QUINTANILLA: Mayor Daley is marshalling the police right now.

KERNEN: Rabble-rouser.

QUINTANILLA: The National Guard.

KERNEN: Jason, are you nearby? Can you hear the cheering over –

RONEY: I am, but I don’t have the gallery directly behind me, so it’s going to be tough to follow that act for sure.

KERNEN: Yeah, exactly. You agree?

RONEY: I’ll have to run down to the pit. Well, clearly, we’re going to debate the moral issues of what government is and is not doing for some years to come. I mean — it’s apparent, even for traders it’s — the market gaps up and down a significant amount each day just on what one government may or may not do. We’re up 10 points or so on the S&P on the idea that core Europe may have some bank stability plans, so — the traders market, the uncertainty of the market will continue until we get through this process of weekly government plans.

QUINTANILLA: You know, Rick, one of our producers says if Roland Burris steps down, man, Senator Santelli, the junior senator from Illinois. It’s a possibility. I’m just saying –

SANTELLI: Do you think I want to take a shower every hour? The last place I’m ever gonna live or work is D.C.

KERNEN: Have you raised any money for Blago?

SANTELLI: No, but I think that somebody’s gonna have to start raising money for us.

QUICK: Hey, Rick? Can you do that one more time, just get the mob behind you again? I love –

QUINATILLA: Have the camera pull way out.

QUICK: Yeah, pull way out. Everybody listen to Rick Santelli.

KERNEN: You can’t — I don’t think — you can’t just do it at will, can you, Rick? I mean, you have to say something.

QUICK: Yeah, do it at will. Let’s see.

SANTELLI: Listen, all’s I know is, is that there’s only about 5 percent of the floor population here right now, and I talk loud enough they can all hear me. So if you want to ask ‘em anything, let me know. These guys are pretty straightforward, and my guess is, a pretty good statistical cross-section of America, the silent majority.

QUICK: Not-so-silent majority today. So Rick, are they opposed to the housing thing, to the stimulus package, to everything out there?

SANTELLI: You know, they’re pretty much of the notion that you can’t buy your way into prosperity, and if the multiplier that all of these Washington economists are selling us is over 1, then we never have to worry about the economy again. The government should spend a trillion dollars an hour because we’ll get 1.5 trillion back.

QUICK: Wilbur?

WILBUR ROSS (chairman, W.L. Ross & Co.): Rick, I congratulate you on your new incarnation as a revolutionary leader.

SANTELLI: Somebody needs one. I’ll tell you what, if you read our Founding Fathers, people like Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson, what we’re doing in this country now is making them roll over in their graves.

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Financial Press, Television

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

215 Responses to “Rick Santelli’s Planted Rant ?”

  1. ottovbvs says:

    If there’s any truth in it, then it’s definitely sword time….it wouldn’t surprise me.

  2. TrickStyle says:

    Rick was a Swift Boat Veteran for justice wasn’t he?

    This is trashy stuff.

  3. franklin411 says:

    Great stuff, Barry! TYVM for bringing it to our attention!

  4. buckykatt says:

    Who cares, it’s all fluff to begin with, and they are all selling hype anyhow, and Playboy could also use a little boost as they sink into the abyss, stock price wise. So everybody wins, except of course US taxpayers.

    This is the world we live in, a constant bombardment of half truths, outright lies, partisan bullshit, you name it.

    I’d rather have Santelli as president anyway.

  5. “This is the world we live in, a constant bombardment of half truths, outright lies, partisan bullshit, you name it.”

    ’bout sums up all that needs to be said..

    of course, the idea that the (D) claque isn’t behind the accusation that this is an (R) stunt should Never cross our minds..

    let alone, the idea that the (D)’s & (R)’s Both win by continuing the ongoing polarization of the ‘Cained Peep..


  7. franklin411 says:

    Lyon and Bucky,

    Why don’t you guys read the article and then post?

    Nahhhh, why bother? You know what you know because you know it in your gut. Gut thinking worked so well from 2001-2009, why change now, right?


    EDITOR: I am under orders from the B man to “delete jackass comments” — and Lyon qualified

  8. DC says:

    Great dig. Barry’s now beating the pants off the full-time bloggers (when do you sleep, dude?).

    The “Trader” is the one they call Wolfman — first name is Eric. Santelli once told his full name but I don’t recall it. Wolfman is Rick’s ever-present sidekick in the daily screamfest from the CME.

    Last summer during the meltdown Eric made a crack linking subprime borrowers to drivers of “Escalades with spinners.” No hint of racism…certainly not possible among Rick’s diverse posse.

  9. franklin411 says:

    I’m sorry, but playboy girls are just plain nasty. If I bought a playboy I really would read the articles…When it comes to pictorials, I can do much better through google! =P

  10. Mike in Nola says:

    Sounds plausible to me.

    Someone is paying CNBC a lot of money for those very frequent commercials alleging that the CBO said the stimulus was bad for America and concluding with a shot of Schumer wth a voiceover indicating that people like him are spending all our money: not just a Jews, but a New York Jews.

    As far as I can tell right now from the rantings of a nutso brother in law, the party line for the Republicans is that things are really that bad and that Obama’s actions are pushing us into a depression. The perfect fix. I would hope that the advertising geniuses who got such an inexperienced guy elected have some plan to counter this as the should have been doing when the Republicans tried gridlocking the stimulus: call them out as obstructionists and blame any future declines on the Republicans. All this bipartisan stuff is bullshit.

    (Meant to say “that things really aren’t that bad”)

  11. SC says:

    Re: Rick Santelli’s Planted Rant.

    The story looks accurate to me. Zachary Christenson is listed as the registrant of the domain name, which was registered with GoDaddy.com 03-aug-2008.

    The whois information on any website is publicly available. From Whois.net:

    WHOIS information for: chicagoteaparty.com:


    Whois Server Version 2.0

    Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
    with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
    for detailed information.

    Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
    Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
    Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
    Status: clientDeleteProhibited
    Status: clientRenewProhibited
    Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Status: clientUpdateProhibited
    Updated Date: 03-aug-2008
    Creation Date: 03-aug-2008
    Expiration Date: 03-aug-2009

    Last update of whois database: Sun, 01 Mar 2009 02:00:05 UTC < << NOTICE: The expiration date displayed in this record is the date the registrar's sponsorship of the domain name registration in the registry is currently set to expire. This date does not necessarily reflect the expiration date of the domain name registrant's agreement with the sponsoring registrar. Users may consult the sponsoring registrar's Whois database to view the registrar's reported date of expiration for this registration. TERMS OF USE: You are not authorized to access or query our Whois database through the use of electronic processes that are high-volume and automated except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations; the Data in VeriSign Global Registry Services' ("VeriSign") Whois database is provided by VeriSign for information purposes only, and to assist persons in obtaining information about or related to a domain name registration record. VeriSign does not guarantee its accuracy. By submitting a Whois query, you agree to abide by the following terms of use: You agree that you may use this Data only for lawful purposes and that under no circumstances will you use this Data to: (1) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via e-mail, telephone, or facsimile; or (2) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that apply to VeriSign (or its computer systems). The compilation, repackaging, dissemination or other use of this Data is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of VeriSign. You agree not to use electronic processes that are automated and high-volume to access or query the Whois database except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations. VeriSign reserves the right to restrict your access to the Whois database in its sole discretion to ensure operational stability. VeriSign may restrict or terminate your access to the Whois database for failure to abide by these terms of use. VeriSign reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .EDU domains and Registrars. [whois.godaddy.com] The data contained in GoDaddy.com, Inc.'s WhoIs database, while believed by the company to be reliable, is provided "as is" with no guarantee or warranties regarding its accuracy. This information is provided for the sole purpose of assisting you in obtaining information about domain name registration records. Any use of this data for any other purpose is expressly forbidden without the prior written permission of GoDaddy.com, Inc. By submitting an inquiry, you agree to these terms of usage and limitations of warranty. In particular, you agree not to use this data to allow, enable, or otherwise make possible, dissemination or collection of this data, in part or in its entirety, for any purpose, such as the transmission of unsolicited advertising and and solicitations of any kind, including spam. You further agree not to use this data to enable high volume, automated or robotic electronic processes designed to collect or compile this data for any purpose, including mining this data for your own personal or commercial purposes. Please note: the registrant of the domain name is specified in the "registrant" field. In most cases, GoDaddy.com, Inc. is not the registrant of domain names listed in this database. Registrant: Zachary Christenson Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)

    Domain servers in listed order:

    For complete domain details go to:
    Verio Inc. – Growing Your Business, One Click At A Time

  12. tCA says:

    First, it seems to me a struck a popular vein. Let’s face it, there are far more of us paying our mortgages and getting nothing out of Obamprah’s package. Loan mods will just prolong this deleveraging process. That, plus O’s tax-avoiding nominees, the non-stimulus package, etc. have pissed many people off of all political stripes.

    Second, would this be viewed differently if it was left-wing propaganda vomited out by the MSM? Now that little O is facing some media scrutiny, he’s starting to show is inexperience and he (his minions) want to shut up the dissenters. Wasn’t this the type of thing that happened in Germany in the 1930′s? I think Bush’s camp has the same accusation thrown at them. (“Payback’s hell, bitches!” is I think the street’s response.)

    Third, if Santelli was put up to it by some right-wing wacko, fine. However, it’s the limited transparency or disclosure of one’s bias that has people turning away from traditional TV and newspaper outlets. My local newspaper, the Strib, is Exhibit A of a traditional outlet not willing to admit its own bias. Therefore, I don’t subscribe beyond the Sunday coupons. Of course, now, paying for their intellectual dishonesty makes no sense when I can hit the internet outlets for “free”.

    PS- What’s Soros and Gore up to these days?

  13. KidDynamite says:

    DC – it sounds like you’re talking about Eric Bolling – the oil trader.

    Barry – I LOVE this Santelli conspiracy theory! I’d feel like the little kid tugging on Shoeless Joe Jackson’s pantleg begging “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” if I found out Santelli was a shill.

    but when do we get a thread to talk about the other conspiracy theory: the one where on the day that the S&P was sitting on a critical support level, and got enough bad news to potentially crush any chance of a rally (effective Citi nationalization, GE dvd cut for first time in 70 years or so, and GDP down over 6%) that should have sent the market into a vicious tailspin – the market still attempted a rally!

    Are you telling me this wasn’t the Plunge Protection Team trying to get things rolling, before running out of ammo (hence the selloff into the close) ? someone remarked to me about month end trading – but my experience has been that month end trades are usually of the mark UP variety, not the mark DOWN variety…

    Viva la PPT!

  14. Paul Jones says:

    The Allegation:

    1) Right wing cabal looks to “astroturf” Obama’s economic agenda.

    2) The cabal hands Rick Santelli a script including the “Chicago Tea Party” meme.

    3) Rick Santelli rants on air.

    4) Cabal “astroturfs” Rick’s Rant on prepositioned URLs and DRUDGEREPORT, etc.

    Assuming #2 is correct…

    Question: is any of this illegal? Or is the right excluded from the First Amendment? I don’t see how this is different than Comedy Central or MSNBC’s non-spontaneous anti-Bush segments.

    This is not a Smedly Butler moment.

  15. Joseph T says:

    It did seem kind of weird that the Drudge Report immediately had the rant as a headline item. Santelli had made other rants that no one paid attention to.

  16. mark mchugh says:

    Ya know, damn it, I read this and I’m now thinking somewhere between maybe and probably. I caught the clip live and thought it was pretty powerful, but I agree, the buzz afterward was bigger than it should have been. Something from CNBC should never be youtube’s lead video (that struck me as odd too).

    I must say that the content does strike a chord with me. I want the pretender’s kicked to the curb, and let house prices go where ever markets take them (the sooner the better).

    But geez Louise, I just can’t bring myself to think Santelli’s another shill (even part time). But, damn it, there is something screwy about this….

    And just for the record, I have NEVER believed Cramer’s famous “They know nothing!” rant was genuine. They needed to cut rates fast and wanted public support, so they cued Cramer. He’s saving that story for his memoir’s.

    But all this is coming from someone drawn to conspiracy theories like a moth to flame.

  17. franklin411 says:

    It’s not illegal for CNBC to conspire with a nutter like Koch, even if they were paid to do so. It’s VERY important if they were, though. It would be a scandal of the highest order that would totally eviscerate CNBC’s integrity as a news source. I know most of us don’t think highly of CNBC, but it’s one thing for CNBC to be an incompetent news source. It’s quite another for it to be a CORRUPT news source.

  18. t_line says:

    Many people (and not just political operatives) register and “park” domain names for use at some opportune time in the future. It could be that the Republicans saw a good bit of TV video and decided to use it to their advantage. Nothing in this proves that Rick Santelli, Larry Kudlow, or anyone at CNBC planned this all in advance, in collusion, with these guys.

    Politicians are very good at fanning spontaneous bits of nothing into a big PR deal; witness Joe the Plumber.

  19. jonbirge says:

    Jesus, people! Drop the conspiracy theories! Look at this line:

    SANTELLI: We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.

    He says right there this isn’t the first time he’s coming up with this. But that does NOT mean the rant was scripted. Hell, if it were scripted, it would’ve been a lot better. Pretty clearly, there was an idea for a “Chicago Tea Party” and I’m guessing he’d been told about the idea. Even the CTP is a purely partisan publicity stunt, it doesn’t mean Santelli’s rant was scripted. It sounds to me like something he just threw in.

    Seriously, people, calm down. If you hear hooves, don’t assume right wing zebras.

  20. franklin411 says:

    I think you should post more of the article. I found this evidence to be most damning:

    “ChicagoTeaParty.com was just one part of a larger network of Republican sleeper-cell-blogs set up over the course of the past few months, all of them tied to a shady rightwing advocacy group coincidentally named the “Sam Adams Alliance,” whose backers have until now been kept hidden from public. Cached google records that we discovered show that the Sam Adams Alliance took pains to scrub its deep links to the Koch family money as well as the fake-grassroots “tea party” protests going on today. All of these roads ultimately lead back to a more notorious rightwing advocacy group, FreedomWorks, a powerful PR organization headed by former Republican House Majority leader Dick Armey and funded by Koch money.”

  21. buckykatt says:

    Of note, St. Louis Tea Party Protests Obama Stimulus Plan…

    ST. LOUIS — Critics of President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan gathered beneath the Arch Friday to cheer speeches over a bullhorn and toss tea into the Mississippi River.

    A few conservative activists organized and promoted the rally, with help from talk-radio hosts. Pleased with the turnout in 35-degree bluster, leaders said they had stolen a page from liberal tradition by taking to the streets with homemade signs.

    “If I had known this many people would show up, I’d have charged admission,” said Bill Hennessy of Ballwin, the lead organizer. “We’ll do this every chance we get until Congress repeals the pork — or we retire them from public life.”

    Hennessy estimated that more than 1,000 people showed up. There was no official count, but the crowd spilled across roughly one-fourth of the grand staircase from the Arch to Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard. Former state Sen. John Loudon, R-Chesterfield, said, “We conservatives are usually pretty pathetic at making crowds. But this one’s good.”

    Hennessy said he got the idea after Rick Santelli, a CNBC market commentator in Chicago, last week called for a tea party to protest Obama’s anti-recession plan. Santelli’s comments became a YouTube hit, and similar “tea parties” were planned in other cities.

    The original took place on Dec. 16, 1773, when American patriots dumped imported tea from merchant ships into Boston harbor to protest British colonial taxes.

  22. franklin411,

    w/this: “It’s quite another for it to be a CORRUPT news source.”

    for the edification of us young Grasshoppers, please, do, tell us of a ‘news source’ that isn’t..

  23. brentg1117 says:

    franklin: >>>>>CNBC’s integrity as a news source

    you gotta be kidding. pay a PR firm enough, and YOU could be on there 3 times a day saying whatever you want.

  24. livinginlosangeles says:

    I know that this site leans left, and as a conservative, I find much to be learned from this site. I appreciate all of the graphs and observations. However, this is a stretch. I’m sure that Santelli hangs out in these circles where people talk about “”Chicago Tea Partyies”, but you need a clearer line connecting Santelli to some Koch-backed media campaign.

  25. SteveC says:

    CNBC has been trying to get a youtube moment out of Santelli for months. They finally got one, and have to be loving it. I doubt they change a thing.

  26. Scott F says:

    I’m pretty, centrist, and this site leans way right of me.

    Ritholtz is much more of a free market guy than those who only pretend at having free-market-bonafides, and want to bailout the banks, autos etc.

  27. ottovbvs says:

    tCA Says:

    February 28th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    “Question: is any of this illegal? Or is the right excluded from the First Amendment? I don’t see how this is different than Comedy Central or MSNBC’s non-spontaneous anti-Bush segments.”

    …….Sure it’s not illegal but it’s hardly ethical…..although ethics don’t seem a big deal in your lexicon…..neither apparently does a lot of secret string pulling by the notoriously kookie Koch family…some folks value systems are very screwed up…..if it turns out to have some substance then I’d day CNBC is in some hot water and in political terms its will be a huge own goal….now it’s out there the story is going to gain some traction because bloggers are going to be all over it so I guess we’ll see what happens over the next few days.

  28. buckykatt says:

    I wonder if franklin411 works for AKPD Message and Media aka Dave Axelrod?

  29. Since this is now an issue: My views are pragmatic rather than ideological. I agree with Ron Paul about many issues — but I wouldn’t follow him off a cliff. I supported McCain in 2000, I did not in 2008 (I did not vote in 2004).

    I am much more interested in Truth than Spin, getting to the underlying reality than politics. You will note I posed this as a question, and that I don’t know what the truth is — but I would like to find out. Those of you who are SO SURE about the reality of this — having performed exactly ZERO research — belie your obvious lack of knowledge and political bias.

    If this turns out to be remotely true, then it confirms my worst suspicions about the negative impact of media on investing.

  30. franklin411 says:

    Yes, yes…we all hate CNBC. But the fact is that there are different hats at any organization. Santelli can say whatever he wants to if CNBC chooses to give him a “commentator” hat. When he’s wearing his “reporter” hat, we expect neutrality. And if he is in any way, shape or form tied to a political movement on which he is commenting, then we expect disclosure the same as if he was commenting on a stock he personally owned.

  31. AGG says:

    I agree. It was contrived. Anyone who didn’t watch and hear this massive visual and aural echo chamber in action during the last 17 years or so is the victim of that river in Egypt. The fun part is watching how fast the faux fizzles now a days. It’s the flip side of how all these lies and fabrications out of whole cloth became “accepted consensus” during the Bush and Clinton years. It’s really quite entertaining to watch these cretins fall on their falsehoods. I do believe we grasshoppers are getting the picture of how we are constantly being targeted for fun and games.
    I might add that Santelli isn’t stupid. He knows the right answers to our economic woes. It’s just that he is, ahem, “well paid” for his services as a water carrier for “truth, justice and the pecuniary way”.

  32. ottovbvs says:

    Barry Ritholtz Says:

    February 28th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    ……Basically agree with you Barry….this maybe fluff but if it’s not it doesn’t reflect at all well on CNBC’s cred…..on the political front it will be used to discredit everything he stands for…..whatever that is.

  33. Jax or Better says:

    I like Santelli — his takedown of Cramer was priceless. But if it turns out this guys is shilling for the Right wing noise machine, or was part of any pre-planned planted phony news, well then his ass is out the door.

  34. gthog61 says:

    This is a crock of speculative BS. Tea party is a common anti-tax symbol.

    Obama was “associated” with Ayers. They ran that education slush fund together and it was a miserable failure.

    Anybody who thinks going into massive debt, throwing money blindly at every problem, is going to solve anything is an idiot. Why is losing money of a house due to speculating with a risky overleveraged mortagage any different than losing money on Wall Street?

    Would that the posters on this site had any interest in lib conflicts of interest. For one thing, we’d have a different SecState.

  35. ottovbvs says:

    buckykatt Says:

    February 28th, 2009 at 7:11 pm
    I wonder if franklin411 works for AKPD Message and Media aka Dave Axelrod?

    …….and who do you work for…..I always start from the assumption that at least a third of blog postings come from boiler rooms of various sorts…..although this site seems largely free of them…..I think we should give you and franklin the benefit of the doubt

  36. I would love if some of you smart guys / gals could fisk the actual Playboy article.

    I want to know — is this accurate? Do their allegations hold water?

    So far, I’ve only read I believe it/I don’t.

    You people are pretty savvy — please prove/disprove this.

  37. mlomker says:

    I’ve always considered Reason and Cato to be libertarian. When did Republicans start listening to their good ideas? I must have missed it.

  38. franklin411,

    other than being a walking proof for the disavowal of the “Rational Expectations Hypothesis”, thanks for dodging my Q:

    for your edification: http://www.icerocket.com/search?tab=web&fr=h&q=Rational+Expectations+Hypothesis

  39. dan. says:

    now factor in the over the top bat crap crazy speech that limbaugh did at cpac today.

  40. franklin411 says:

    How would you prove something like this? You’d need a confession, frankly. The article seems to prove all that can be proven from the outside, which is that the sites hosting this supposed-rant came online suspiciously rapidly. Also, these sites were organized through political operatives and shadowy organizations that tried very hard–though not hard enough–to scrub their connections to the right wing John Birch Society founding multibillionaire Koch family.

    Beyond that, you’d need a leak from CNBC to actually prove this beyond a doubt.


    BR: You find evidence that supports the hypothesis, or weighs against it.

    We are looking for the preponderence of evidence

  41. franklin411 says:

    I’m not saying CNBC can or should be impartial. I’m saying they can and should be transparent in how they operate.

  42. Greg0658 says:

    I saw that live and was in the middle of posting on this site and mentioned it .. the fox and hedgehog thread (February 19th @ 8:59 am)

    I got caught up in the seeming spontaneity of it .. I don’t log my CNBC airtime .. but I was most likely boucing between CNBC CNN MSNBC as they are in the lineup from wakeup

    the air was building up that smell (unequality) for some time .. I fired an email off to MorngJoe talking on class warfare on the 17th .. I think it was with Zbigniew Brzezinski .. told em better late than never

    do I sometimes think you are being played by what you’all term Shortsellers .. Ya
    do I think the Financial Industry is allowed to print money in sorts .. Ya
    do I think the blue collar labor world is being played by the white collar desk jocky world .. Ya
    do I think there is enough work and commodities to go around .. not if we keep this up for sure
    do the Dems & GOP need to battle for the media to cash in .. Ya
    is the internet a threat to that election money stream .. Ya

    this isn’t the thread but put me down for longtail tax increases the more you reap from the blue collar underclassman .. say enough is enough when the tax weight is enough .. leave some for somebody else .. this business of life isn’t football

  43. DC says:

    KidDynamite –

    Pretty sure it isn’t Eric Bolling. I watch CNBC a lot so I’m rather certain (no Bloomberg on my cable and I use my PC for my work [self-employed if you're concerned] so it’s not convenient to stream it).

    Bolling is of course at Fox now — or at least last I heard since I don’t watch that either. The CME dude is a different Eric and he’s just this trader that Santelli always stands beside and who tends to chime in with his views rather often. As far as I know he’s never disagreed with Santelli on anything so he serves as the Ed McMahon go-to character.

  44. franklin,

    though, I was asking you to name a ‘news source’ that isn’t Corrupt..

  45. schmoo says:

    The far right have been worried about Obama for a long time. Interestingly, they were also worried about Giuliani. Human Events was buying up both their names on Google AdWords as far back as Spring 2007.

  46. JoWriter says:

    This looks to me like an attempt to blacken the good name of the political philanthropists in the Koch family. The Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and other groups cited are well-respected conservative organizations offering a home to people who want to support conservative ideas.

    Re: DC’s comment linking criticisms of people driving Escalades with racism – Racism? I don’t think so. I’m getting pretty fed up with the default to racism that leftists run to when they run out of nasty adjectives and adverbs. [note: sleazy, shady, notorious right-wing, fake-grassroots....]

    Here in Oregon, Escalades are popular with Mexican-nationals running large quantities of various illegal substances. Hummers, on the other hand, are big with mortgage brokers and instant cash outlet owners.

    Also, Portland, Oregon had its first Tea Party last Friday at noon and they, too, were surprised at the big turnout. Another one is planned for Vancouver, Wash, just across the river. And, yes, talk show hosts did provide crucial information for supporters and real-live grassroots organizers. I haven’t seen anything like this since Republicans demonstrated in downtown Portland for Bush/Cheney in 2000.

    And just a reminder – the heavily-hyped Edsel was a huge failure. Even the most thoroughly planned spontaneous demonstration won’t take off unless it hits a real nerve.

  47. Barry
    they are cloaking the registration of that website (http://chicagoteaparty.com)

    With 99.99% of websites, you can go to an online “Whois” directory and find out which paerson or entity’s name is listed as the registrar of the domain…in this case, somehow they’ve got it unregistered

    on top of that, even the IP address they have listed is a fake, whois.net has it listed as, which is the notorious feedback loop address that webmasters use to trick newbies, when you attempt to connect to that IP address, you get looped right back to your own machine

    someone went to great lengths to remain an anonymous owner of this domain, so the Playboy story could be legit


  48. franklin411 says:

    You left out the part where Koch family patriarch John Koch helped found the John Birch Society, which supported segregation in the 1960s. I’m sure it was just an oversight.

  49. bonghiteric says:

    The times that I hear Santelli he usually proves a good counterpoint to those two numbnuts, Liesman and Kneale. I had heard about the rant for a day or so before catching a replay of it on CNBC radio. Compared to some of his bouts with Liesman or Cramer I thought it was anticlimatic at the time. The most interesting thing about the Playboy article, I thought, was Kudlow’s involvement with Koch.

  50. Ventura2012 says:

    I love it, the liberals are all worked up now, Santelli really pointed out what a failure this administration is and how quickly the clowns like Obama and Summers are losing credibility with the American public. Protests in 40 cities, Obama promised change yet he brought the same shills along for the ride and move of the same big spending plans. I would be surprised if Obama makes it 4 years the way he is being exposed.

  51. Greg0658 says:

    ps – on the chord tCA strikes at 6:35 pm
    “First, it seems to me a struck a popular vein. Let’s face it, there are far more of us paying our mortgages and getting nothing out of Obamprah’s package”

    I don’t need to see the scammers now full of cash from this WS Ponzi Game who have also knocked down the economy .. to begin cashing in via repossessions …. that just isn’t right .. maybe the rules as reworked and perceived now .. but not right

  52. gorobei says:

    Barry, the site was registered on 3 Aug 2008 – just google “whois chicagoteaparty.com”

    The entire site just seems to hold a clip of the video and an offer to register.

    The whois record shows Zach Christenson as the owner. Not much google info on him.

  53. Lynn says:

    It got worse. After the White House Press Secretary mentioned Santelli’s rant and recommended that he read the proposal before commenting, the CNBC anchors (particularly Kudlow) were outraged. How dare the White House attack a reporter! Of course, CNBC milked the White House “attack” by replaying it and feigning indignation. What a bunch of drama queens!

  54. alnval says:


    Thank you. Now that the issue has been joined please keep us updated as things develop.

  55. Bill D says:

    1. Rosenberg is a Classic Liberal – not a rightwing [sic]-er, who isn’t afraid of discussing complex issues on his program. It’s almost a graduate level seminar on many nights.

    2. Ayers, by today’s definition, was a terrorist. One may want to forgive or ignore the fact, but it doesn’t make it go away.

    3. Obama clearly did not provide all of the details about his relationship with Ayers. In hindsight that shouldn’t be so surprising based on his recent personnel judgment (Richardson, Daschle, Geithner, Holder, Freeman, etc.).

  56. bonghiteric says:

    @ JoWriter,

    “Here in Oregon, Escalades are popular with Mexican-nationals running large quantities of various illegal substances. Hummers, on the other hand, are big with mortgage brokers and instant cash outlet owners”

    Awesome sentence! And I thought I was too sarcastic sometimes. Please post more nuggets of insight like this.

  57. jpm says:

    Barry’s now beating the pants off the full-time bloggers (when do you sleep, dude?).

    I would have preferred that you make that choice of words about something other than a Playboy-based article.

    But I do agree with the sentiment.

  58. franklin411 says:

    That was actually some really smart political theater there. Wall Street is in the pits right now WRT public opinion. A recent CNN poll put them at the bottom of the list of people the American people trust to fix the economy. So you have a wealthy Chicago trader like Santelli and a room full of wealthy bond traders who probably got very rich off of the tears and sorrow of the people saying that these American citizens are “losers” who deserve to die in a fire. It was smart PR for the White House to call attention to that and ask the American people whether they feel these ultra-wealthy traitors speak for them.

    No, Mr. Santelli. You are not America.

  59. crabsofsteel says:

    Who cares what Santelli or CNBC does? They are a source of nothing. As for the previous poster worried about some far right-wing organization advertising on CNBC, they can take their place alongside pajamagram and cashforgold. Everyone, to a person, I work with who watches CNBC all day watches it in case there is breaking news. Unfortunately most of the time, the news is neither news nor breaking. Santelli is in the right job.

  60. QBall says:

    An article about Rick Santelli would not get interested in an issue of Playboy. Now an issue with the ladies of CNBC (and/or Fox Business), now that would get me to buy a a copy. Barry, you are entering dangerous waters here. The vast right-wing conspiracy ended with the discovery of a stained dress.

  61. buermann says:

    I guess if I was just a humble balanced budgets organizer, fighting the principled fight for fiscal discipline, and had started organizing my humble organization last August, picking out the “tea party” theme in advance and so forth, I would have probably rolled out my PR campaign when I had protesters lined up against the first 750 billion, rather than waiting around until some Democrat started trying to funnel the money to the banks through subsidized mortgage rates.

  62. ZackAttack says:

    This past campaign, I made the mistake of donating $50 to Ron Paul. The campaign apparently sells your email to all and sundry.

    Well, here’s what I got from Dick Armey last Monday. Apparently there’s already a site up named IAmWithRick.com. This doman was registered to FreedomWorks on 2/20, the day after the rant. Awfully quick, but not damning evidence:

    From: Dick Armey
    Subject: Join the National Taxpayer Tea Party Revolt
    To: Moi
    Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 1:23 PM

    Dear Brian,

    Last week you may have seen or perhaps heard about CNBC’s Rick Santelli and his report from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, ground zero for American capitalism and free market commerce, where he called for a “Taxpayer Tea Party” in the wake of efforts to enact a new, multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded housing bailout.

    If you are like me, you stood up and cheered.

    Rick was channeling what so many limited government advocates have been feeling now for a long time when it comes to out-of-control spending on the backs of hardworking U.S. taxpayers to reward the irresponsible and the corrupt: enough is enough!

    Whether it’s this latest housing bailout bill (the second in less than six months), a bailout for the auto-industry or failed banks, the more than $1 trillion sham of a “stimulus” bill, or the $400 billion omnibus spending bill that Congress is now debating, Americans are sick and tired of their hard-earned money being thrown around. In just the last few weeks, FreedomWorks has been contacted by volunteers within the ranks of our own membership (a nationwide network of hundreds of thousands of activists) that want to take to the streets in mass protest to this big government bonanza.

    And FreedomWorks is answering the call with a new website, IamWithRick.com. True to its name, the site features the video of Rick on the floor of the Chicago Exchange and seeks to enlist those concerned taxpayers who want to go to the Taxpayer Tea Party that he talked about this summer in Chicago. In addition, FreedomWorks is also helping to organize other tea party protests in cities around the country. Currently, we have events planned in Chicago, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Fort Myers, Orlando, Greenville, SC and cities across North Carolina.

    We need your help to make these events a success. Go to IamWithRick.com, sign up and select one or more of the tea parties that you would like to attend or help us to organize. Also, please consider making a generous contribution to our tea party effort. Your contribution will help us recruit more taxpayers to attend our tea party protests, making them more effective.

    Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the new Obama Administration are running the bailout train full steam ahead towards the destruction of our American capitalist system and ultimately to outright socialism. They must be stopped!

    Join FreedomWorks at our taxpayer tea parties taking place all over the country. Visit IamWithRick.com today!

    Dick Armey

  63. Ventura2012 says:

    Ease up on Santelli being a right wing shill, he was highly critical of the Bush bailouts and all the BS that the Bush administration did. The only time I have heard him cheer a politician is after Ron Paul taught Ben Bernanke a lesson in Austrian Economics.

    PS: Barry I noticed you said you agreed with Paul alot…I thought you were a Keynesian not an Austrian.


    BR: Any port in a storm . . .

  64. bobmitchell says:

    You can always pay half the poor to kill the other half. Not quite there yet, it starts as a shouting match.

    The most sucessful part of the “republican” machine in the past 20-30 years has been their ability to make people believe they are rich. The dems are supposedly the other side. They have much more in common, including bankers.

    Santelli’s appearance in NYC a few months ago was also suspicious. He looks and sounds terrible in the studio.

    I said this on the original post about this rant, where was the press when he was “arguing” against the Tarp in the fall? Of couse he did not use language that was nearly as strong. He merely accused the entire banking system of being BK, or as he put it insolvent. He was very careful to not say in words that he disagreed with the TARP. He said that was up to the people. Sure. Then came the trip to NYC.

    I used to enjoy Rick, thought he was the only person on there that knew what he was talking about. He lost every bit of credibility with me.

    Did anyone else catch Larry Kudlow when one of his “correspondents” had to explain to him that bond holders are above stock holders in the corporate capital structure? He doesn’t even qualify as a pundit.

    Barry, I do like your blog, and I am beginning to check it more often. Your appearances on CNBC made me very nervous, and still do. CNBC has become the bond holders talking their own book network.

    Just the way I see things.

  65. Andy Tabbo says:

    I’ve always had a positive view of Santelli. He comes across as pretty straightforward and oftentimes makes a huge amount of sense. I do not think this was some sort or coordinated thing.

    What I do believe is that there are groups sitting around to pounce, on both the right and left.

    In terms of Charles Koch. I think he’s more a libertarian than anything. He funded the Libertarian party in 80′s and I think his brother even ran on a ticket? Charles Koch is an excellent businessman who runs a very successful and huge private business…probably the largest company most people have never heard of.

    Whether or not he’s funding secret organizations on the right….I have only one thing to say….

    It’s a free country (sort of) and he’s really rich. He can do whatever he wants to do as long as its within the limits of the law. The left has their sugar daddies as well….Soros.

    Funny Barry….I’m a Ron Paul fan as well…I voted for McCain in 2000 but refused to go with him 2008…I think theres probably a lot of people with similar views politically….It astounds me there is not a legitimate third party in this country.

  66. Haigh says:

    The cheerleaders of big government have been very effective at using the politics of envy to advance their agenda. The major media is saturated with their shills. Santelli’s rant aimed to use the politics of envy to attack the agenda of the big government cheerleaders. Turnabout is fair play. The question worth puzzling is whether or not it was good for CNBC ratings.

  67. t_line says:

    >> BR: You find evidence that supports the hypothesis, or weighs against it.

    >>We are looking for the preponderence of evidence

    Look for files that were created before the CNBC segment, then uploaded to websites after it. I looked at chicagoteaparty.com but there was nothing like that there. That site is so simple, it could have been created and uploaded in 20 minutes.

    Officialchicagoteaparty.com was registered on 2/19, but there is nothing to show that it was registered before the TV segment. (It takes about 10 minutes to register a domain name). You could request that information from the registrar – but I doubt you’d receive it.

  68. franklin411 says:

    This is an interesting quote:

    “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

  69. Peter Davies says:

    Glad you raised the subject BR but I’m suspicious of the political conspiracy line of the Playboy article.

    I too felt uneasy about the rant and I also believe it was contrived but for another reason: RATINGS.

    It recently transpired that a big CNBC programming guy had left the network who had been responsible for encouraging on-air slugfests, mainly between Gaspirano and the likes of Kneale, Liesman, etc. I forget the guy’s name and source article. This was also a jack-of-the-ratings tactic.

    The speed and scope of the follow-up reactions to Santelli’s rant was as suspicious as it was impressive. Same deal as Cramer’s rant last year.

    I no longer regard CNBC USA as a business channel; it’s an entertainment channel masquerading as a business channel. Sadly CNBC Europe is now showing tendencies in this direction while CNBC Asia is holding back – so far.

    Thankfully, we still have Bloomberg and BNN in Toronto.

  70. bobmitchell says:

    Just another thought on how politics is very similar to economics. Dems vs republicans is very similar to Keynes vs. Freidman(austrians go here) Not that much difference, especially in practice.

    All of Neo-Classical economics is at best an Art. Government policy should be about responsibilty to the citizens, not ideology. Just like trading. Believe what every you want, at the end of the day you have to look at the Books.

    9.7 trillion in spending(bloomberg, february). 75 billion to homeowners. Seems a little off center.

  71. VennData says:

    It’s circumstantial, but the “are you listening President Obama!” tag at the end was unnecessary unless you want to associate the negativity.

    And as for the first part of the rant, what’s so un-American about helping your neighbor? How many of those floor trader’s have neighbors with conforming loans that qualify under the plan? Not in their neighborhoods.

    As for hard data, all you need is find out who got the URL, when, and what it’s been doing since.

  72. gms777 says:

    “On Thursday, December 16, 1773, the evening before the tea was due to be landed, Captain Roach appealed to Governor Hutchinson to allow his ship to leave without unloading its tea. When Roach returned and reported Hutchinson’s refusal to a massive protest meeting, Samuel Adams said to the assembly “This meeting can do nothing more to save the country”. As though on cue, the Sons of Liberty thinly disguised as either Mohawk[7][8] or Narragansett[9] Indians and armed with small hatchets and clubs, headed toward Griffin’s Wharf (in Boston Harbor), where lay Dartmouth and the newly-arrived Beaver and Eleanor. Swiftly and efficiently, casks of tea were brought up from the hold to the deck, reasonable proof that some of the “Indians” were, in fact, longshoremen. ”

    That whole American revolution thing…”as though on cue”…sounds fishy to me…

  73. Maj Tom says:

    BR –

    Been reading this site daily for about as long as you have been around. And, been watching the ONLY sane person on CNBC – Santelli – for longer than that amount of time. Gotta say – he has been making the same points over and over again – for years. He was the first to warn about the explosion in derivatives – 3 years ago… Back when no one could say Tier 1 2 or 3 ratios… Rick is about as mild mannered and well spoken as they come – and those that watch videos like the below obviously haven’t watched CNBC much when he gives reports if they think this is normal for Rick. These “rants” are out-of-character, but if you listen to this 8 minutes to what he says – in Sept of 08 during the middle of the crash – everything he said has come true concerning the bailout. Liesman, who is an english major, and Bouradjian, permabull, were on the wrong side then. I might add – government intervention did not prevent the downfall in the market…


    After reading alot of the comments here – I am pretty much disgusted because about the only people I have agreed with during this whole mess of the last several years (starting at the bust in the housing market), has been Ritholtz, Tim Knight, Calculated Risk, Nouriel Roubini, Mike Shedlock and Rick Santelli. Sorry – BR – gotta say that Rick knows more about the markets than the entire list above combined.

    For those that have only read or have seen Santelli only recently – you are clueless if you think this is a PR stunt by CNBC. CNBC tries to find ways to prop the market with idiots like Kneale and Griffiths, et al. These guys are shills and continually get everything wrong. I thought Santelli would get kicked off the station years ago for ranting against the ultimate market shill – Cramer. The whole Chicago Tea Party garnered attention for what it was – the truth. 92% of us are pissed off because some neighbor who bought a house with no credit, no downpayment, and has a bigger house is getting bailed out. Thank goodness someone with balls is saying it.

    I can’t stand the thought of bailing any of these yahoos out, the “losers,” the financial institutions, the wall street investment banks, autos, the whole lot of them. In the end, I have saved money and inflation is eating that alive, I put a down payment on a house, I have excellent credit and a low mortgage rate. I have lived within my means while the government, banks, and a small proportion of “id” generations have lived above their means – with leverage.

    BR – I catch just about every TV appearance you make – and just too bad Dylan R doesn’t give you much time on Fast Money… Don’t lower yourself into thinking Santelli is any more than just an honest guy speaking his mind and the media picking up on it because he said “losers.” And for those making comments about Santelli being a rich wealthy bond trader – you need to get a life and facts straight before you comment…

  74. guru says:

    First, is this any different that what the Dem’s did with Soros and the Moveon.org crowd last year?

    I’d say the Dem’s response is interesting too. It didn’t take a full news cycle before Obama was taking his am at CNBC and Santelli and firing his cannons. It took about just as long as that video to make it the air and the Internet.

  75. Groty says:

    The “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” lives!!

    I wonder if Barry’s “libertarian” left wing ever gets tired from flapping so much?

  76. franklin411 Says: February 28th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    this: ” JoWriter,
    You left out the part where…………………………………………………… I’m sure it was just an oversight.”

    is a True Classic, coming from one who was, Twice, asked to name a ‘news source’ that isn’t Corrupt..

    Does Axelrod pay well? Will he pay in Coin, if so asked? Please, give the ‘info’ “franklin”, edify us, O knowing One, and, grace us, be frank about it.

  77. SS says:


    You are to be commended for posting this thoughtful reflexion on the manipulation of public opinion. Perhaps you might think of carrying the sense of responsiblity you’ve shown here further and challenging the likes of Larry Kudlow, Denis Neal, Rick Santelli and others on CNBC when they mouth such non-sequiturs. Larry is even noted in the Playboy article as being a stalwart of far right organizations of which they site several. Yet your repeated appearance on these shows without any direct challenge to them serves to lend their tendentious airings of cant an air of legitimacy. I understand how difficult it may be to challenge them but I believe you have reached a point in your career where responsibility can triumph self-interest narrowly viewed. It would be well appreciated and make Rick’s rant look like “small potatoes.” Best and Thanks!


  78. Bob the unemployed says:

    The question is: was Santelli a willing dupe, or an ignorant dupe?

  79. Ventura2012 says:

    Still waiting for one of the limp wristed liberals on this board to challenge the multiplier effect of the stimulus that Santelli spoke of.

  80. will profit says:

    What, did your Saturday night checkers tourney get cancelled and this muck raking was was your way of venting. Yeah, Playboy is noted for its hard hitting journalism. Barry, did you fall and hit your head? Your blog site is so much better than this. You blew it on this one.


    BR: Go read what I wrote (not what you were expecting to read).

    I state clearly I have no idea if this is true, but that I believe someone (either Playboy or CNBC) owes an apology.

  81. Vega says:

    BR, I totally disagree with you. Santelli has been pissed off about the socialization of losses for the last year and a half. Clearly, the fact that we are now, as taxpayers, paying monthly mortgage payments DIRECTLY sent Santelli over the edge.

    I really don’t think it’s fair of you at all to call him out like you’ve done. Why? Everything he said was true. Not only that, but Santelli is clearly not a politician. His insight goes so much deeper than everyone else’s combined on CNBC. People like that are not politicians, they’re outsiders. Strangely enough, he’s been able to hang on to his job while idiots all around him jabber non-stop about the merits of bailouts and why “the market sure seems to be holding up well today despite all the bad news.”

    You might want to get in touch with him and ask him yourself about the allegations you quote. That’s the right thing to do.

    “He’s a witch, he’s a witch, burn him, burn him!” Come on, gimme a break.


    BR: Like I said, I find that Santelli is usually on the ball; On most of the bailout related issues, we actually agree much more often than we disagree.

    And, he’s been responsible for some of the best moments on Squawk Box. But this one simply felt wrong, and the Playboy allegations were serious enough they were worth posting.

    What is fascinating is how many of the comments are all heat no light. Pure emotion, no thought process — on both sides.

  82. mark mchugh says:

    From the article:
    …..If you look at the scores of blogs and fake-commenters on blogs (for example, Daily Blog, a slick new blog launched in January which is also based in Chicago) all puff up Santelli like he’s the greatest journalist in America, and the greatest hero known to mankind….

    Here’s something weird. On Thursday 02/19 (the day of the rant) we had an open thread here at TBP. The name “Santelli” appears 43 times in that thread (I used it myself).


    I do remember being a little disappointed that Rick was the dominant theme, but most of the comments seemed to be from folks I recognize as regulars, not “fake commenters”.

    Unless……..We’re all unconsciously programmed operatives of some right wing sleeper cell astroturfing program (that means you too, Barry) and don’t look now, but we’ve been activated!

    I’d discuss this further, but I have to go buy a copy of “Catcher in the Rye”.

  83. Maj Tom says:

    will profit Says:

    February 28th, 2009 at 9:25 pm
    What, did your Saturday night checkers tourney get cancelled and this muck raking was was your way of venting. Yeah, Playboy is noted for its hard hitting journalism. Barry, did you fall and hit your head? Your blog site is so much better than this. You blew it on this one.

    Okay – so will profit said it more succintly than me, but it needed repeated!

  84. Becky says:

    WOW! I supported McCain in 2000, too! I voted for Perot 2 times before that and Ron Paul this time. I had to write him in because he wasn’t on the Ohio ballot. I want a 3rd party and a 4th party!

    I find it hard to believe the Santelli rant was contrived because lots of websites had been talking about tea parties for months. I think things have just reached the boiling point, and this latest mortgage bailout plan must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    I also think Santelli is one of the best people on CNBC.

  85. wisedup says:

    It never ceases to amaze. What exactly is the goal of Koch/Rush et al.? These “leaders” are the biggest consumers of government services ever seen. Services for them are good, services for the majority are bad. I’m inclined to give them what they want — they get to pay no taxes and in return they give up all recourse to the legal system, security, water, electricity, phones, etc. etc.; banks have no legal obligation to process their transactions accurately. Perfect freedom for them, right?
    Santelli claims he is pissed now. Wait until his assets zero out, then we will see some true anger.

    It is sad. I’ve been watching Rick for several years and always thought of him as a straight shooter, not a slanter or a ranter.
    Barry has always warned that every source should be double checked, but it is always discomforting to implicitly trust someone and then have to give it up.

  86. jcaughron says:

    I’m a lot like you … try to be politically neutral and pragmatic rather than ideological. After all, markets don’t care who’s in power. They react to the factual state of things. Unfortunately, it’s seemed to me in recent years that the truth no longer matters to a great many otherwise sharp people. I work with a lot of guys I really respect but who allow ideology to trump intellectual honesty. This is really sad.

  87. try2bamused says:

    And all along I thought that GE employee Santelli had his tantrum because GE nuked their divy. That hadn’t happened yet you say? Oh, never mind.

  88. guru:
    It is pretty hard for Obama to ignore it when it leads Brian Williams newscast the very night of Santelli’s rant. CNBC is owned by GE. GE used to be run(and probably still is in some ways) by Jack Welch. Welch is a known hardcore Republican. It is no surprise that CNBC does what is best for GE.

  89. zodiac says:

    All this crap about Santelli representing America is totally false. I am from Chicago and worked at the CME long time ago. The people that work there are the same as me — white ethnic Chicago natives — Italians, Polish, Irish, Czechs, Lithuanians, etc. (no Blacks or Hispanics allowed) who would never, ever would be positive about Obama, since he’s a n***** and a lib****. I firmly believe these traders are the sources of the most racist and sexist jokes that go around the world among traders. After his remark about bad behavior by home buyers with an extra bathroom, Santelli should have asked “WHO HERE WANTS OBAMA TO FAIL?” The roar would have been even louder.

  90. Big Tony says:

    For those that disagree with the Santelli rant, I would be interested to know specifically what part you disagree with.

    Many of you appear to be quite emotional about this issue, yet other than Santelli using the harsh term “losers,” or calling out Obama, I don’t see what there is to be disgruntled about. Santelli has been against the bailouts from day 1, as stated above by “Maj Tom.” I am willing to bet that most of you generally agreed with Santelli’s opinions right up until the point where he called out your massiah. After that he was just a political shill in your minds.

  91. franklin411 says:

    This is not about Santelli’s beliefs. He’s free to think whatever he wants. This is about Santelli’s perversion as a journalist. If the article is correct, then Santelli lied to the viewers by pretending that he was “ranting” when actually this whole thing was a pre-arranged scheme paid for by an extremely wealthy right wing billionaire.

    This is about propaganda, not politics.

  92. “This is about propaganda, not politics.”

    take your pick:

    either: “You would know.”

    or, “What’s the difference?”

    and, last anyone knew, Santelli was Never a “Journalist”.


    how ’bout I make it easier for you? do us a fave, name a Journalist that’s employed in America: _________________

  93. Maj Tom says:


    Really – he is not a “journalist.” Just the fact you make that comment means you don’t watch or know anything about him… He reports the numbers at 7:30 CT from the pit. That is it, he isn’t an investigative reporter, he doesn’t cover other news. Occasionally, Kernen asks an opinion when the news comes out. As of late – the Liesman/Santelli debate has been comical. This rant from Rick wasn’t even his best. But I will say, these are rare, very rare.

    Go youtube Santelli and watch the better ones – and I might add – when he was bashing the bush administration. Regardless – do some research before you make a post – that way you won’t embarass yourself in front of these other posters…

  94. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Ventura2012 Says:
    February 28th, 2009 at 9:19 pm
    Still waiting for one of the limp wristed liberals on this board to challenge the multiplier effect of the stimulus that Santelli spoke of.

    Ahhh . . . the squawking of a chickenhawk blowhard.

    What if the liberal’s wrists aren’t limp? What if the liberal would get right up in your face? Bet you wouldn’t like it much. Bet you’d back down.

    You can find your multiplier in the unemployment/consumer confidence/credit collapse caused by the Republican deregulation echo chamber and it’s self-sodomized middle class adherents.

  95. franklin411 says:

    Actually I watch CNBC every day (less so lately, though…I find they spend more time trying to out-Fox Fox News than actually reporting on the economy) and have for years. Santelli’s job is to do the Bond Report, not comment on public policy. Occasionally they interview him for his own opinions, but his job is to cover the bond markets.

    I find it amusing that you think that just because he reports numbers, he’s not a “real journalist.”

  96. will profit says:

    Marcus Aurelius,
    Uhhh…it was Bill Clinton who signed the legislation repealing Glass-Steagall. It’s fools such as yourself that try to make this economic collapse a one party issue. There is more than enough blame and shame for parties to share. Get off your dumb ass and do a little reading. You might discover you can be something other than a one dimensional MORON.

  97. JoWriter says:

    @ Zodiac: “All this crap about Santelli representing America is totally false. I am from Chicago and worked at the CME long time ago. The people that work there are the same as me — white ethnic Chicago natives — Italians, Polish, Irish, Czechs, Lithuanians, etc….”

    What????? They aren’t America? Isn’t Santelli Italian?

    And, to those who pointed out the Libertarian leanings of Charles Koch, I forgot about that. I was actually in the Libertarian Party when the Kochs were supporting the national party. All that money from them wrecked the party. How? Just the way the stimulus will cause a lot of trouble in the American economy. I’m hoping Soros’ money will do the same thing to the Dems. ;-)))

    For the LP, lots of ‘free money’ floating around removed incentives to do any political work and encouraged party members to line up at the trough. It was pitiful.

    Cheer up, those of you who wish there was a third party out there! The LP still lives! There are plenty of elected Libertarians around the country, usually in nonpartisan positions. I have been able to vote Libertarian for the past 20 years and have never felt guilty about my vote. When people complained, I always said, “Don’t blame me, I voted Libertarian.”

    @ MajTom – I watched that Santelli YouTube clip inserted. It was awesome and thoroughly backs up you and the other commenters here who have said he is knowledgeable and consistent. Wish I’d known about him earlier.

    BR – you are doing a good job in a very, very difficult, emotional environment and I, too, read this blog religiously. Oops! Can I say that?

  98. Big Tony says:

    Off topic, but the United States is down for the count, and I am not sure she is getting up.

    Friends, both political parties are organized crime syndicates that provide protection for loot. They run a protection racket, and this credit crisis underscores my point. The little guy will get left holding the bag while the crooks ride off into the Hampton’s sunset. While we argue amongst ourselves, they steal us blind!

    Until we can get the majority to agree with the above statement, I am not sure our country can enact fundamental change to steer the ship in the right direction. Sad really…..

  99. gnomic says:

    It smacks of typical GOP propoganda, consistant with Rove and Rush – specifically, the blame the victim technique. While the question is academically interesting, the so what of it eludes me. So some CNBC sells out – not news. The particular hyporcracy of his rant is vaugely amusing, but spending any time at all on this loser is far too much.

  100. mike j says:

    I’m way late to the party here (though I did read the article at first when there was only 1 comment — but I was on the train to the city and viewing on my G1 so commenting wasn’t convenient, but I digress). It’s possible that whatever right-wing propaganda machine everyone refers to has grabbed this thing and run with it but I think what really catapulted it was the WH Press Sec responding directly to it. More specifically, the way he responded. I watched video of the speech he gave — mostly in response to that white-haired correspondent that SquawkBox always has on when they are covering White House stuff — and I have to say, Gibbs (WH Press Sec) is a bumbling idiot. Watch and listen to his response and it is so oddly reminiscent of W’s many speeches with the same mannerisms and voice inflections. It’s like he’s pleading with everyone to come down to his level of intelligence.

    I hated W and am somewhat neutral on O at this point so don’t take this as flamebait for either side. All’s I’m saying is: if it was a conspiracy, then WH Press Sec Gibbs played right into it (wittingly or unwittingly) and if it wasn’t a conspiracy, well, who cares?

    -Mike J