Bowtie Guy thought he was the only one man enough to criticize Jon Stewart in the media, but now his old boss is taking up the slack and going on the offensive, attacking Stewart for having the audacity to tell the truth about CNBC's coverage of the financial sector.
NBC Universal CEO went out of his way to blast Jon Stewart's ongoing dissection of CNBC's ludicrously amped-up coverage of the stock market train wreck, saying that "just because someone who mocks authority says something doesn't mean it's true." Of course, that's the exact definition of being out of touch: When everyone else is looking at your financial network and seeing a bunch of ratings-obsessed charlatans who, though they surely knew better, talked up a host of terminally ill companies that were about to collapse, you look at your financial network and tell a media conference that "CNBC is a spectacular organization that's done a tremendous job."
The next thing you know, Zucker will be saying Ben Silverman is doing a wonderful job of running NBC too.
What I found especially appalling about Zucker's remarks was his faux populism. Here's a guy who travels on a corporate jet, whose salary, bonuses and stock options are probably right up there with most of AIG's bonus babies (Zucker doesn't have to disclose his compensation, but his predecessor in the job, Robert Wright, earned $17.8 million in 2006), yet he has the nerve to act like he's in the same boat with the rest of us, telling the audience, "Everybody wants to point a finger -- I'm upset that my 401(k) isn't what it was too. ... But to suggest that the business media is responsible for what's going on now is absurd."
Buzzmachine has a good observation too:
The press didn’t cause us to go to war in Iraq, he said; a general did. The press missing the financial crisis didn’t cause it. “Both are absurd,” he said.
Really? I think that says that the press has no importance and no role in public policy. Doesn’t matter if we miss the story, he’s saying. It’s not our fault. Will he take no responsibility?
I'm confused. What is the function of the press then? Are they only supposed to hand out doughnuts to their favorite politicians during a major campaign? Is that their role?
They have been given certain freedoms so they can police the government, but Zucker is abdicating that right. We need investigative reporting immensely because of the need to uncover the Watergates in the Beltway. Without the press monitoring the system all hell could break loose. Oh, wait. it already did.
Moyers and Russert and Cheney Oh, My!