Is there another shakeup imminent at CNBC? Since the economy has been on the rocks, NBC Universal's financial network has been in the spotlight - political tug-of-war and all. This time, another one of the network's star on-air personalities, Jeff Macke, could be out.
Macke had been a cynical, sometimes conservative voice on CNBC's "Fast Money" and in other CNBC and MSNBC appearances, often pointing out flaws in the Democrat-controlled political culture in Washington, D.C. Now, he could be following the same path his former colleague Dylan Ratigan, who left CNBC's "Fast Money" in March.
Once upon a time, there was Dylan Ratigan, host of CNBC's "Fast Money," and co-host of that network's "Closing Bell." He was never partisan and willing to criticize both political parties in Washington, D.C. Now he seems to think Bristol Palin has taken Karl Rove's job as the sinister mastermind of Republican politics.
In late March 2009, Ratigan left CNBC for destinations unknown, but on May 6 it was announced he would begin hosting a show CNBC's sister network, MSNBC. Ratigan appeared on MSNBC's May 6 "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," not only to preview his new show, but comment on Bristol Palin, daughter of former GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and her campaign promoting abstinence.
"The thing that really stands out to me with this, because the hypocrisy is obvious - it's as obvious as a closeted gay senator voting against gay marriage," Ratigan said. "There's a prevalence in politics of this type of behavior, unfortunately. That's why the conversations like the one we're now having exist."
One of the subplots in the soap opera known as CNBC took another turn on Monday as some of the pieces fell in place of who's doing what and why.
Last Friday, CNBC and former "Fast Money" host Dylan Ratigan parted ways officially. However, on CNBC's March 30 "Fast Money," show panelist Guy Adami, the managing director of Drakon Capital, announced Melissa Lee, a fill-in host over the past year for the popular network show, as the new caretaker of the show's "center seat," that plays the moderator role for the show.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, and nothing," Adami said. "Listen, clearly you've noticed some changes on the set, but as a show and as a network, we'd just like to wish Melissa Lee, the Emissary, all the best as she now takes the center seat on ‘Fast Money.'"
A prominent CNBC personality that had been outspoken about the media's role in the current financial crisis, himself included, has reportedly left CNBC.
A spokesman for CNBC told NewsBusters Dylan Ratigan, the co-creator of one of the network's most popular shows, "Fast Money," is leaving the network effective March 27.
"Dylan told us that he is leaving CNBC effective today," CNBC spokesman Brian Steel said in an e-mail. "We thank him for his quality work and wish him well."
Despite his tax problems, President Barack Obama's newly minted Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, was sold to Congress as the one who was going to save the fragile financial system.
However, in what was billed to be a big announcement, and Geithner's first major appearance, he failed to deliver. The Treasury Secretary was slated to outline his plan to rescue troubled financial institutions from the toxic assets they had on their books. But he failed to give specifics and the markets suffered; the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) nosedived 382 points.
CNBC "Fast Money" host Dylan Ratigan had his own description of Geithner's performance. In an appearance on MSNBC's Feb. 11 "Morning Joe," he likened it to "soiling a bed."
On Thursday's "Today" show NBC reporters offered little skepticism of Barack Obama's dictations to corporate America, instead buttressing Obama soundbites with sloganeering as, Meredith Vieira declared, "President Obama lashing out at Wall Street and clamping down on corporate fat cats," and Savannah Guthrie underlined, "The President bashed Wall Street," and "took a shot across the bow." The "Today" show then brought on CNBC'ers Melissa Francis and Dylan Ratigan to discuss Obama's capping of executive pay at $500,000, to which they both agreed, "it didn't go far enough." "Today" anchor, millionaire and world traveler, Matt Lauer himself lectured: "Can the culture of Wall Street be changed? Let, let's just be clear here. Private jets, perks, lavish trips gone. Is it ever, are they ever gonna come back?" But when Ratigan tried to use the ratings performance of the "Today" show to make a point, Lauer jokingly, but quickly, cut him off as seen in the following exchange:
MATT LAUER: Just going back to the beginning. We talk about $500,000 for these corporate CEOs. Let's just be clear-
DYLAN RATIGAN: It's a ton of money.
LAUER: That's a lot of money. It's a lot of money-
MELISSA FRANCIS: Yeah.
LAUER: -for the average person waiting on tables and...
RATIGAN: Not to mention if you, if you ran your, if, if this show had, has, ratings went to zero-
LAUER: Don't bring this show into it.
Is it possible the financial media played a role in facilitating the alleged $50 billion Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme? An interesting theory by Jon Najarian, CNBC analyst and cofounder of optionMONSTER, contends that they very well may have unwittingly done just that. Madoff, he believes, used media publicity to lure investors to his scheme.
As Najarian explained on CNBC's Dec. 22 "Fast Money," Madoff got his reputation on Wall Street in the payment for order flow business. That's when a brokerage firm receives a payment as compensation for directing the order to the different parties that can execute the order at a lower cost.
"First of all you needed something that was very credible, because what he started off with was very credible," Najarian said. "As we both know, Dylan, he was in the payment for order flow business before anybody else. That meant folks that he was buying on the bid and selling on the offer back when the spread on NASDAQ stocks was 50 cents wide."
This just in: Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama makes us feel better. That's the way marketing guru and host of CNBC's "The Big Idea" Donny Deutsch sees it.
Deutsch appeared on CNBC's Election Night coverage to explain how the country needs a hug and Obama was just the right guy to do - in his psychoanalysis of the nation's temperament.
"I'm going to go back to his dad," Deutsch said. "I'm going to go back to his dad - I think people are looking for a kinder gentler nation. I think whoever gets in there - for two reasons - number one, we've got two countries, so nobody is getting in with 58 percent, 42 percent - whatever the Electoral College goes. We all know it's going to be a few points. Secondly, you have a frightened populace right now. We all know that - we've been calling that for the last eight weeks. And you need a commander in chief that's going to give the country a hug."
CNBC's Maria Bartiromo on Thursday excitedly told viewers that an intra-day rally which had brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average from down about 275 to up over 170 was caused by rumors that the presidential race had tightened.
I wonder if these rumors will get reported by Obama-loving press members.
With about fifteen minutes to go in the trading session, the camera found a suddenly happy Bartiromo on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange gleefully saying the following (file photo):