Posts filed under “Financial Press”

Update: Santelli Stares Down Playboy


On Saturday night, I referenced an interesting accusation from Playboy against CNBC:  They claimed that the now infamous Santelli rant was a plant.  (Rick Santelli’s Planted Rant ?)

As I noted then:

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.

Today, NY Mag reported that Playboy pulled the piece (insert your own bad pun here). The Daily Bail also had a few words to on the subject: We Stand Accused Of Having Fake Boobs. Megan McArdle at The Atlantic had the most persuasive fisking of the original piece I’ve seen.

I emailed Santelli earlier about Playboy dropping the post, but haven’t heard back yet.

The dropping of the accusatory piece suggests at best, the author could not back up their assertions. At worst, their accusations were false. Regardless, as the screen grab above shows, its now down.

The IMs are abuzz that CNBC’s legal team barked at Playboy, threatening litigation and Playboy quickly folded.

Fascinating development . . .


UPDATE:  March 2, 2009 7:17pm

Rick Santelli has posted a response to Playboy on the CNBC site:

“First of all let me be clear that I have NO affiliation or association with any of the websites or related tea party movements that have popped up as a result of my comments on February 19th, or to the best of my knowledge any of the people who organized the websites or movements. By the way of background, I am not and never have been a stockbroker. Not that there is anything wrong with being a stockbroker. The home I have lived in for 20 years is a 2,500-square foot ranch. Not that there is anything wrong with owning a larger, grander house. I am currently an on air editor with CNBC. Prior to my 10 years in this capacity I was a member in good standing on both the Chicago Futures Exchanges. My career in the futures industry spanned 20 years.

Anyone who has watched my thousands of appearances on CNBC is well acquainted with my aggressive and impassioned style. Over the next several days will put up some of my other passionate broadcasts of the past. Since joining CNBC in 1999 I have not traded the markets in any capacity. As a financial reporter I have never shied away from trying to promote discourse and dialogue of the important issues that affect markets and therefore our lives.”

(continued here)


Rick Santelli’s Planted Rant ?

I Want to Set the Record Straight
Rick Santelli,
CNBC, 02 Mar 2009

Is Rick Santelli Part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy? CNBC Responds
New York, 3/1/09 at 8:01 PM

The Mother Of All Irony: Playboy Magazine Targets The Daily Bail. We Stand Accused Of Having Fake Boobs

Playboy dips a toe into investigative journalism
Megan McArdle
The Atlantic, 02 Mar 2009 11:47 am

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

Category: Bailouts, Financial Press

Rick Santelli’s Planted Rant ?

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 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 “” 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

Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Financial Press, Television

Black Swans or Grey Goose?

David Reilly is Bloomberg’s new king of snark. His column this morning is another example of why media outlets should hire knowledgeable and opinionated experts and let them have their say. FT has this down to a science. I first noticed this with Michael Lewis, then Caroline Baum, and now Reilly. Its heartening to see…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Financial Press, Markets

Jeff Jarvis: What Would Google Do?

Named one of 100 worldwide media leaders, Jeff Jarvis discusse his book, What Would Google Do?

Category: Financial Press, Markets, Video

Newsweek on Bailout Nation

Newsweek covers the McGraw Hill issue; I should have an announcement on the book later this week. Here’s what the print edition of Newsweek has to say To most publishers, it would’ve been a touch of golden luck: a manuscript about the worst economic crisis in decades, written by a financial insider and finished months…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Financial Press

My Bad . . .

Sorry about today — it was (according to an emailer) all my fault. (Never mind that the futures were down 140 earlier this morning, and its an expiry) it was my bad. Actually, this headline references this morning’s Bloomberg radio interview, and it was in the context of Nationalization — common shareholders get wiped out,…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Psychology

Deficit Spending for Dummies

The following is via economist Warren Mosler of Illinois Income Investors Offshore Advisors. Mosler is a a believer in MOSLER’S LAW, which states: There is no financial crisis so deep that a sufficiently large increase in public spending cannot deal with it. ~~~~ The media is screaming that deficit spending simply takes money from borrowers…Read More

Category: Bailouts, BP Cafe, Financial Press, Markets

Experts, Crashes, Media, Skepticism

There is a surprisingly interesting article at Money Magazine on why so many so-called experts utterly missed the market crash, credit crisis, and housing collapse. Its an interview with Philip Tetlock who is (with no small amount of irony), an expert on experts. He is a professor of organizational behavior at the University of California-Berkeley’s…Read More

Category: Economy, Financial Press, Markets, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

The Future of Newspapers

A conversation about the future of newspapers with Charlie Rose, Walter Isaacson of “Time,” Robert Thomson of “Wall Street Journal” and Mort Zuckerman of “The New York Daily News”

Charlie Rose, February 11, 2009 running time 27:01

Category: Financial Press, Technology, Video, Web/Tech

Conspiracy of Optimism

Interesting discussion by NYT media columnist David Carr on a recent CNBC Power Lunch segment with Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb: Predicting Crisis: Dr. Doom & the Black Swan. As Roubini and Taleb were discussing a major restructuring of the economy, some of the questions were reflective of what we have previously described as the…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Markets, Television