CNBC Takes the Low Road with 'Rise Above' Campaign

Business Network Becomes Voice of the Far Right

CNBC has initiated a campaign called "Rise Above" which is a truncated version of something like "Rise above partisan politics to solve the problem of the fiscal cliff for the good of the country." Although the fiscal cliff issue has been around for months, the catchy slogan was curiously launched the day after Romney lost the election.

After three weeks of this campaign, it has the familiar smell of the same hypocrisy as the "fair and balanced" campaign that Fox News has used to dupe viewers into thinking that they had "risen above" biased reporting. If CNBC was any more far right in its "Rise Above" campaign, it would push Fox off the end of the pew at the Church of Grover Norquist.

It is probably foolish to expect that CNBC could actually live up to the ideal they espouse in the Rise Above campaign. The talking heads on CNBC in the days before the election were in full tilt campaign mode for Romney. Most predicted a 300-plus electoral vote mandate for their man, even though Vegas bookies for months correctly had Obama a bigger favorite than Secretariat when he won the Belmont Stakes by 32 lengths.

While Fox News is mostly preaching to the choir, CNBC is a popular network for investors, with particularly good coverage of issues that affect the stock and bond markets. CNBC's bias is far more harmful to those trying to manage their retirement plans and are expecting that its information and advice is based on factual and objective analysis rather than political hype.

Perhaps CNBC would be able to create a credible and objective push for non-partisan compromise if they actually allowed diversified points of view or employed a few liberal-leaning reporters. We see no new faces at CNBC for the Rise Above era, only the same old, white Republican men: Larry Kudlow, Rick Santrelli and Jim Cramer.

Kudlow was in denial about the Great Recession in 2007 and 2008, convinced that the "Bush boom is alive and well."

Cramer absolved Bush of any responsibility for leaving an economic mess, blaming Obama for "the greatest wealth destruction I have seen by a president," a full two months into Obama's first term.

On November 4, 2010, the Tea Party Patriots organization confirmed in an email to their members: "Tea Party Patriots wishes to extend a special thank you to Rick Santelli for his rant… which started this entire movement."

These guys are CNBC's standard-bearers for the Rise Above philosophy.

Kudlow had Ann Coulter as a guest. The CNBC initiative would be more balanced if they had Rachel Maddow share the screen with the hardcore conservative. Better still, the network could provide a forum for moderates of both political parties, whose voices are rarely heard over bombastic radicals.

As it is, the CNBC slogan stands for "Rise above the democratic election that went against our special interests even if it fails investors and further polarizes the country."


Published by Stan Barton

Free lance writer, retired executive and active consultant.  View profile