Why there’s nothing worse than saying “no comment”
Last week, Rick Santelli and CNBC learned the hard way why avoiding the press can backfire.
On Feb. 19, the CNBC reporter went on a rant from the Chicago Board of Trade floor, claiming that President Obama’s plan to bail out people whose homes were going to be foreclosed was “promoting bad behavior.”
The display was not TV journalism’s finest moment; a reporter’s personal opinions have no place in a forum like that. Either it should have been labeled as commentary or moved to an opinion segment on the network.
The flare-up was the buzz of the social media world. Santelli’s “report” on CNBC’s Web site attracted enough traffic to fill the borough of Manhattan, and it prompted an invitation from Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” to talk about the spontaneous outburst.
Santelli was booked for the show last Thursday night, but on Friday he backed out. CNBC spokesperson Brian Steel said, “We all made a decision that it was just time to move on to the next story.”