Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Financial Wannabees...I Mean, Financial Media

Did you know that Nike sponsors (pays for and has its logo on) the “in-the-field” clothing worn by reporters for the Fox Business Channel? Neither did I, till a few days ago, when one of their young field reporters did a stand-up from Ponte Vedra, Florida, as they breathlessly awaited the big statement from the golfer whose many girlfriends undid him.

As a former news anchor – and note, I did not say “journalist”, because I am not now one, and never was – I though it just a bit of a conflict that the “reporter” who was covering the “event” was wearing a polo shirt with two logos: one, the big Nike swoosh, and the other, the Fox Business Channel logo, to cover a “news” event concerning a golfer who makes millions from Nike.

I also noted that neither the in-the-field reporter nor the in-studio anchor on “Fox and Friends” could pronounce the name of that Florida city. (Homework? ME, do homework? Accuracy? Credibility? Hey, I’m on TV – that’s credibility enough.)

Let me make a clear distinction here between the men and women who are writers – journalists – for publications like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, Barron’s, Investor’s Business Daily, and the like. These are smart, impartial, hard-working scribes.

Then there’s the TV gang.

Let me throw out a couple names: Neil Cavuto and Jim Cramer. What a pair to draw to! The former on Fox, the latter on CNBC. The words “huckster”, “shill”, and “carnival barker” come to mind. It’s a side-show worthy of any three-ring circus.

Stuart Varney: does his British accent make him more distinguished, more reliable, more credible? No. Maria Bartiromo: hobnobs with CEO and CFO’s, drops more names than El Rushbo, has filed to trademark the name “The Money Honey”; had the notorious dalliance with failed CitiGroup exec Todd Thompson.

Real, sterling journalists there.

Let me make another clear distinction, while painting with this broad brush: Christine Romans of CNN. I see her reports on the CNN morning news broadcast, and she seems to play it straight down the middle, as befits the morning show of “the most trusted name in news”.

Although, for my money (excuse the pun), John Stewart is the most trusted name in news. Often, I watch the repeat of his Comedy Central nightly broadcast at 6 PM, rather than the local TV news. He’s actually doing “real” news, albeit with a bite.

It’s the sort of “anchoring” that’s near and dear to my heart. If only I was 15 years younger…and about a hundred pounds lighter….

No comments:

Post a Comment