Hey Joe,

Over the past few days, you have taken a number of shots at the blogging community. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what this new media and blogging is all about. Allow me to briefly educate you.

This *all around you here* is merely a medium of communication. It allows a small firm, or even just one person — without a television studio or a huge printing facility — to communicate with many other people. It provides an alternative outlet from the traditional media model. The few-to-many model you are familiar with is being replaced with a many-to-many model.

This technology allows me sitting on the deck of a lodge on a lake in Maine — and still respond to your snarky comments on TV this morning. Not only will they be read by 100,000 people today, but it creates a permanent, Google searchable record for the future.

Now, I can understand why all of this might frighten you. The usual gatekeepers are not in control. Audiences are fragmenting, your viewers seeking out alternatives. The blogging community is a pure meritocracy. There is quality research, analysis and commentary being found and read by millions every day. Look at the people who publish in our Think Tank — these are professionals who (non-professional) investors ordinarily would not have access to. This is what new technology allows.

As more and more people come to rely on alternative sources of information and data analysis, their former MSM habits are changing.

Look, I understand that you in the traditional old school media world feel besieged. Ratings are down, advertising is suffering, viewers have moved on. But rather than fight the new medium, you should consider adapting, rising to the new challenge.

You seem to have a bone to pick with those firms and people who already have adapted this technology to their businesses. You misunderstand this the new media. Blogging is merely a form of communication, one that millions of people have embraced as publishers, and 100s of millions of readers have come to rely upon — some as a supplement to their mainstream media diet, others as a substitute.

Even CNBC.com has a number of blogs. You may wish to recognize that while you fight the new medium, your employer has seen its future — and wants in. You should learn to love it.

But consider this: Had your industry had done a better job informing the population, challenging conventional wisdom, and let’s call it “afflicting the comfortable,” us bloggers would not even exist. Nature abhors a vacuum, and since you guys in the MSM created one, we stepped in to fill the void. For that, you have our undying gratitude.

But rather than fearing new technologies, why not come to understand them? Learn a little. Expand your view. Increase your sources.

The future has arrived. Embrace it.

-Barry Ritholtz

Category: Technology, Television, Weblogs

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.

40 Responses to “Do Not Fear New Technology Joe Kernen”

  1. call me ahab says:

    well said BR

  2. dead hobo says:

    What snarky comments? I watched for about 5 minute and saw a show with a more subdued tone, but then got on with my life to do more important things. I wrote a long reply yesterday to his unintelligible comment. Did moi touch a nerve? What a pisssy pants.

  3. Anurag says:

    Simply Brilliant!

  4. Jo says:

    ‘The waiters whistling as the last bar closes’

    These foolish things remind me of cnbc.

  5. VennData says:

    I’m not sure what Joe meant today by [paraphrasing] “…like a blogger you write one thing, than a month later right the opposite…”

    So changing your mind is a bad thing? Say, you’re selling stocks the first week in March ’09 than start buying the second week? How’s that “change” a bad thing?

  6. Greg0658 says:

    Century old newspapers and Super-Corps are not even spared from the computer .. welcome to my world of the last 2 decades. The computer main processor and its adding machine capabilities started the ball rolling. Next came type fonts & line art output via dot-matrix printers. Next the CCD in video and still cameras and the color printer.

    I loved a lot of that technology as it came out .. and still do. But its price entry point / smartness / ease of use is putting the graphics / photographers / video production industries in a squeeze with many new players too.

    Imo the snark from me #23 was partitially brought about by HiDef video required by the FCC. This tech change meant tossing just all but lights & tripods out. That is an immense expense and programming art suffered. We all payed this last decade via advertising (trickledown to everyday products) to make that changeover.

    A friend was pointing out a new website I should be on for models and related fashion industry types. (ModelMayhem). Now with the internet as a storefront – just about everyone who can type and point a camera can Be All In.

    My IBM Selectric / StripPrinter photo headline machine / darkroom / AB-roll video edit decks .. all great looking trash.

  7. snapshot says:

    Tapping into the “Think Tank” link helped solidify my reasoning behind checking your blog daily. Respected figures – all. Thank you for continuing your high quality posts. You are appreciated as one who is helping change the face of communication today and in the future.

  8. schmoo says:

    Great post, Barry. I didn’t hear Joe’s remarks because I don’t have cable TV and I refuse to pay for CNBC Plus (hello Bloomberg and Betty Liu). I am just high speed internet and broadcast TV (rabbit ears city) So, unless you decide to update your post w/ the OnDemand clip or I get inspired enough to fire up Think or Swim I won’t see the clip. Joe must hate hearing things like that.

    Anyway, maybe Joe (who I usually like) is trying to pull a Dennis Kneale and help his numbers by picking a fake fight with the Blogosphere. We’re his demo, after all.

    I found it kind of interesting that twitter and facebook got hacked the day after it was widely reported that Murdoch decreed that we WILL pay for content?

    The Empire Striking back?

    Tin foil hat?

    I find your lack of faith…disturbing.

    :-)

  9. Transor Z says:

    What I respect the most about blogs I frequent is the ability to provide post content. This blog and a few others have been freaking gems over the last year for those of us not in finance trying to follow current events. Either Barry covers it or provides leads on where to find it.

    What I respect almost as much as post content is the quality of comments by readers and the blogger’s interaction with the comments. Comments supplement the posts on the best blogs. Sometimes comments will even upstage the post — which is really exciting to see when it happens. A post on a hot topic attracts one or more big guns who take the time to weigh in and you’ve got a tremendous post and comment thread.

    Along with that is the level of integrity the blogger shows through his/her interaction with comments. The best bloggers will acknowledge comments that really add something to the topic — or that correct inaccuracies/flawed analysis in the original post.

    The reason I think this last point is so important is that a central — and fair — criticism leveled at blogging is the “semi-professional” quality of content. But the beauty of the medium is that on-the-ball readership enhances content and improves quality, through updates/edits. And this is actually being kind to contemporary journalists who get so much wrong in what they cover — when they do cover it.

    Rock on, Barry.

  10. CTX says:

    you can forget about ever being on Joe K’s show-

  11. tawm says:

    @ BR: Had your industry had done a better job informing the population, challenging conventional wisdom, and let’s call it “afflicting the comfortable,” us bloggers would not even exist. Nature abhors a vacuum, and since you guys in the MSM created one, we stepped in to fill the void.

    ——————-
    Well said, BR. Yesterdays’ discussion about CNBC and video media generally to be amusing, as most of TV programming is utter crap — particularly “news.” One needs only look at how irresponsibly the news channels cover election issues in this country to realize how worthless / harmful they are.

    I have not ever subscribed to CATV in my household (3o years). We lost our over the air reception when DTV signals started in June, and have not missed the TV a bit. (Summertime activities help, but there’s Netflix to take up the Winter slack).

    Print (although my beloved WSUrinal is flagging lately) and online suffice for info. TV is dying and I say good riddance.

  12. davossherman@gmail.com says:

    Barry:

    Super read, you could have boiled it down to just this:

    “Had your industry had done a better job informing the population, challenging conventional wisdom, and let’s call it “afflicting the comfortable,” us bloggers would not even exist. Nature abhors a vacuum, and since you guys in the MSM created one, we stepped in to fill the void.”

    Piss poor job is what I saw of it. Here are some examples:

    Housing: 19 million vacant homes, 4-5 million on the market, 90++++++ days of delinquent mortgages are ammasing, banks holding off on foreclosures for risk of mark to market write downs, Alt A’s and Option Arms come in this year and next—-another 1.5 trillion dollar mess—- and these “reporters” are calling bottoms?

    CRE – Will collapse on top of residential, a 3.5+t dollar mess.

    Like Hugh Hendly said “only monkeys pick [their] bottoms”.

    They missed the hole Fed CUSIP buybacks of the PDs.

    Unemployment is 26 million out of 150 million, that is 18% and Shadow Stats has it at 20%+/-, I don’t think they’d find the definition of a seasonal adjustment or a birth death model with a dictionary and the lights on.

    GDP is off by 30%+/- due to imputations, Hedonics and a bogus deflator, yet they call a -1% a good leading economic indicator. GDP is so inaccurate WHO CARES about what the BLS BSers release.

    Debt is over 80 trillion, they report only the on balance sheet of 11.6t, Medicare A&D and Social Security account for 63t and all the “bailouts” are another 13-24. We owe 80+trillion and we make about 6 maybe 8 trillion, we take in 2 trillion and spend 4 trillion.

    That folks is the definition of broke, busted, insolvent. That is NOT the definition of recovery.

    The very bottom line is this: This is a collapse. We are as insolvent as a subprime borrower, the only difference between our Ninja loan and theirs is that we have the moral ineptitude to burden our great grand kids with the ball and chain, but now we have spent so much we need the mother of all counterfeiters to create almost 2 trillion bucks and we need the Enron of all accountants to hide this in our books so that foreigners continue buying hundreds of billion in debt.

    Glad we have blogs so we don’t have to watch stupidity, yelling and shouting, and propaganda and bogus numbers.

    People may want to believe the best and believe they can kick this can down the road longer, but they aren’t stupid. Once they wake up they won’t come back to watching brainless boobalings babble.

  13. Chief Tomahawk says:

    “Do Not Fear New Technology Joe Kernen”

    HA!

    Has Joe even seen “Star Wars” yet? He has previously stated he never has… What a surprise he fails to embrace the blogosphere!

  14. As the young people say, “Word.”

  15. Moss says:

    The realization that the monopolization of financial/business information has ended is probably not sitting well with Joe. Besides, does anyone think he would be on the air if he looked like Rodney Dangerfield? Looks don’t matter in the blogsphere nor does corporate sponsors, studios, advertisers, clothing, hairdos or co-anchors.

  16. cvienne says:

    “Blogging is merely a form of communication, one that millions of people have embraced as publishers, and 100s of millions of readers have come to rely upon — some as a supplement to their mainstream media diet, others as a substitute.”

    BR says it all right there…”Communication” is a two (or more) lane bridge…

    I don’t want to be talked AT…I want to mix it up…

  17. cvienne says:

    @Joe Kernan

    BTW – For the many years that I actually did watch CNBC, (during the 90′s & early 2000′s)…I always kind of liked your approach to things…You gave me many laughs over the years…

    But I think we’re talking about something else here…The main problem is that now that the financial landscape has changed, and people “in tune” have more access than ever to real resources, well, than it makes the TV journalistic approach to financial journalism look comical…

    If your network insists on putting the likes of Dennis Kneale, Larry Kudlow, and Jim Cramer on the air, then my choice is to stay away…

  18. EricTyson says:

    Hey Barry – Could you please post the relevant video clip here of Joe K. here that prompted this missive?

  19. Do Not Fear New Technology Joe Kernen

    I don’t. I also don’t fear Old Technology Joe Kernen

    I don’t know why people get all worked up about the Joe Kernens

  20. Greg0658 says:

    Davossherman .. that was some monolith black slab you pushed over .. sorry to say – right on …
    but the “Once they wake up they won’t come back to watching brainless boobalings babble” we just gotta watch the train wreck in technicolor and you gotta admit there is a whole lot worse than the cash channel to immerse yourself in

  21. StatArb says:

    Old Media — whistling past the graveyard

    scared of

    New Media

  22. mrjohnnyt says:

    I had to laugh. Yesterday morning there was a news item about Red Box, the self-serve DVD rental machines. Out of Joe, Becky, and Carl, only Becky had half a clue about what these machines were.
    Joe made a joke about still using Blockbuster. Sounds about right.

  23. manhattanguy says:

    So Joe Kernan is like 70 years old give or take?

  24. wunsacon says:

    Bwahahaha!

    Barry, in my best Draco Malfoy voice: “good one, Goyle!”

  25. Onlooker from Troy says:

    You can smell the desperation coming off the likes of Kernan. The curtain is being pulled back, and they don’t like the exposure. They like to have the truth safely ensconced in a box that they only let us have a limited peep at once in a while. Serves the corporate purposes much better that way.

  26. zitidiamond says:

    With all the time he’s spending at teabagger and birther events, Joe just hasn’t had much time for thinking.

  27. mknowles says:

    “There is high quality research, analysis and commentary being found and read by millions of investors every day. Look at the people who publish in our Think Tank — these are professionals who readers ordinarily would not have access to. This is what new technology allows.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Thank goodness for blogs! Thank you Barry, I read you (and many other financial blogs) daily to help me better inform my clients. Television “news” has never served me as well as blogs do today.

  28. donna says:

    Who is Joe Kernan? ;^)

  29. investorinpa says:

    Barry,

    If this was on Facebook, I’d be giving it a “Like”…very well said.

  30. [...] Dear Joe Kernen, “Nature abhors a vacuum, and since you guys in the MSM created one, we stepped in to fill the void.”  (Big Picture) [...]

  31. JamesR says:

    As William Bernstein wrote (in 2001): “Turn on CNBC and you’re faced with an asylum narrated by the Three Stooges.”

  32. kcowan says:

    Joe, Becky and Carl are my solution to insomnia here on the Pacific coast. Flash them on at 3am and asleep like a baby in 10 minutes. I am amazed at how they can attract such big names and yet they ask no insightful questions.

    Financial pornography at its best.

  33. Christopher says:

    Speaking of entertainment….unlike CNBC….at least Billy Mays was honest about the pitch.

    And apparently liked the Bolivian Marching Powder….
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32334881/ns/us_news-life/

    I can’t believe we haven’t heard from CNBCSucks on Joe’s knicker twist.

  34. fatsacca says:

    A few weeks back he was stressing over his bad haircut, before that he was worrying about his fat self, all on air. He doesn’t like bloggers? Go figure.

  35. philipat says:

    Let’s face it, Kernen is a dinosaur who only knows how to read an autocue. US Squawkbox has been a joke for years since the MH/DF days. At least those guys could ask tough and intelligent questions.
    Kernen’s constant snarky comments about Europe (This to what is supposed to be a global audience) are embrassing. Is it that he has not yet realised that, unlike US Socialism for Wall St, at least in Europe it is the people who benefit? Or is it just a recognition that Europe Squawkbox is bar far superior to the US version. They actually allow guests time to contribute often complex opinions as opposed to the 10 second snake oil sales in the US version. And if Kernen believes so strongly that it is unacceptable to change opinions when the facts change, why doesn’t he remind guests of what they said on previous appearances?

  36. aupanner says:

    good stuff, BR and other bloggers. gotta love a nearly perfect free market at work. wouldn’t greenspan call this deconstruction of MSM – creative destruction – or something like that? painful for some exciting for many. fun to watch and be part of it.

  37. war6lock says:

    If it wasn’t for Becky Quick Squawkbox would no longer exist. Joe’s only downfall is that he has not realized that no one cares about his stupid comments about everything. He lives in his own world. Before Blogs were invented an investor had to watch the financial programs. It was like going to a movie on time and be forced to watch the commercials, or come late and not get a seat. Now with blogs and current data sites the financial programs are useless.

  38. BG says:

    BR,

    Just want to say thanks again for all that you do. You are right. We folks out here in the trenches would be going totally nuts (information-wise) right now after all that has taken place over the last 12 months if it weren’t for you guys. Thanks again!!

    BG

  39. ardano says:

    The Squawk franchise has been destroyed. Years ago, it was a real show. Haines was far better than the current crew. The show had an edge. Now there is too much production value and crap going on. Faber is gone and overall its just stale. Its also been “dumbed down,” which is terrible since the markets are so much more complex. A shame really…

    Some days Kernan must realize it and just gets cranky, much like Letterman. He seems to be annoyed by some of this responsibilities, like the earnings foolishness, but he follows the script.

    I also agree with those on this and other blogs that claim cnbc has lost it throughout the schedule. What’s surprising is that other overseas coverage is much different than cnbc here. I actually prefer coverage out of Asia and Europe.

  40. Fritzskelly says:

    Kernen is total baggage.

    If CNBC shit-canned him it would be a good start. I might actually up my viewing time from 5 minutes to maybe as high as 15 minutes.

    At what point did some CNBC executive decide to turn Squawk Box into a facsimile of Regis and Kathy Lee anyway? They might as well hire Al Roker to provide in depth financial analysis.