Former Fox Business executive producer Terry Baker contends he was fired last fall in part because of his objections to controversial host Eric Bolling, whom calls a "fame whore" and someone who could damage the network.
"I think he's a complete loose cannon and his only desire is to be a star," said Baker, who last week signed on with Current TV as executive vice president of production. "He just says stuff to be inflammatory and I don't believe that he has any real knowledge of any of it. He's just saying whatever he can say to get attention."
Bolling is among the regulars on Fox News' The Five, the roundtable show that replaced Glenn Beck's program in July.
On both networks, Bolling has gained a reputation for controversial comments. Just last week, he said that the American hikers recently released from Iran were spies and that Iran "should have kept them." This spring, Bolling used his Fox Business show to push conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate. He has also made a series of racially charged comments, for example teasing a segment about Obama hosting the president of Gabon by saying: "Guess who's coming to dinner? A dictator. Mr. Obama shares a laugh with one of Africa's kleptocrats. It's not the first time he's had a hoodlum in the hizzouse."
"My belief when I was there was that at some point he's going to harm the network because he doesn't care about what he says," Baker, 55, added about Bolling. "He would happily be called names by the rest of the world if that got him hits on the Internet; he's a complete fame whore."
In a lengthy interview with Media Matters, Baker, who spent three years at Fox Business, said his concerns about Bolling were often ignored by higher-level executives.
Baker also weighed in on the future of Fox Business, predicting it will likely seek a closer link to The Wall Street Journal when the Journal's arrangement with CNBC ends in 2012. But he speculated that closer ties could cause friction inside the Journal newsroom.
He also said Fox News' image as a conservative outlet made it difficult to book many liberal or Democratic guests on Fox Business. Baker described being fired by Ailes as a "badge of honor."
CNBC has reportedly withdrawn the program World Business from its weekend schedule over allegations that the show was used as a public relations vehicle for members of the Malaysian government without disclosure. A blog reported that the production company behind World Business (FBC Media) had a contract with a Malaysian politician to improve his image using reports on World Business.
"In light of serious questions raised last week, CNBC immediately initiated [sic] an examination of FBC and its business practices and has withdrawn the program 'World Business' indefinitely," Brian Steel, senior vice president of media relations at CNBC, told POLITICO.
According to Politico, World Business did not air in the United States this past weekend, but did air on CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia.
CNBC's website describes World Business:
On "World Business," Managing Editor John Defterios and our team of international correspondents cover every corner of the globe, tracking the business trends that are going to affect you.
From the July 18 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box:
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Media Matters analyzed television news guests who discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's role in regulating greenhouse gas emissions from December 2009 through April 2011. Driven largely by Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, results show that in 76 percent of those appearances, the guest was opposed to EPA regulations while 18 percent were in favor. Of the appearances by elected officials, 86 percent were Republican. Only one guest in 17 months of coverage across nine news outlets was a climate scientist -- industry-funded Patrick Michaels.
Featured in a sympathetic profile in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, CNBC host Jim Cramer reminisces about the rhetorical beat-down he took at the hands of Jon Stewart when the two famously clashed on The Daily Show back in March of 2009. (Well, Stewart clashed. Cramer just kind of sat there and took it.)
From the Times piece [emphasis added]:
Cramer was especially incensed by what he saw as the political unfairness behind Stewart's attack. "They wanted to make me the Face of the Era, and they succeeded. Rick Santelli's a conservative. Ideological. O.K., I get that. But me? I was very anti-Bush. I'm a Democrat, I've got the canceled checks to prove it, and suddenly I'm the enemy? Me? Me?"
Today, Cramer can't figure out why he ever became the target of liberal wrath like the kind he faced from Stewart. After all, Cramer's a Democrat.
Regardless of his party affiliation, the fact is that just weeks into President Obama's first term, Cramer took to the airwaves to denounce the new president as a possible communist and warned investors that Obama and his Democratic administration were destroying wealth in America.
So maybe that's why Cramer became an appealing target of the left.
And don't believe me about Cramer's wildly irresponsible rhetoric in 2009? As Media Matters detailed at the time, Cramer repeatedly characterized Obama and Democrats as Russian communists, claiming Obama was "taking cues from Lenin." Cramer also used terms such as "Bolshevik," "Marx," "comrades," "Soviet," "Winter Palace," and "Politburo" to describe Democrats.
It was Cramer who appeared on NBC's Today and attacked Obama's "radical agenda" and claimed it was "the most, greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a president." He also claimed that under Obama, "no stocks can be considered truly free from danger" and warned viewers to "Obama-proof that portfolio -- like bomb-proof."
CNBC news anchor Melissa Francis announced she wouldn't vote for Obama's stimulus package. Host Joe Kernen mocked Obama as having been "hijacked by those -- the crazy -- by [Nancy] Pelosi, by [Harry] Reid" and described Obama's budget as "far left." During the same segment, reporter Carl Quintanilla said of Obama's budget, "There is some social engineering going on." Kernen also falsely claimed that Obama had promised to eliminate earmarks.
Basically, in early 2009, CNBC, as an all-business news organization, lost its collective mind and after eight years of mostly sleep-walking through the Bush years, awoke from its slumber to declare it was Democrats who had trashed the economy and Democrats who were ruining your investments.
That's the programming call CNBC made then. But looking back, Cramer can't understand why a liberal like Stewart was so mean to him on TV.
Ann Coulter's choice for president is back.
CNBC's Rick Santelli commented on his eighteen-month-old Chicago trading floor rant yesterday on the network's Squawk Box saying, "the Tea Party movement is moving along. It's pretty cool after a year and a half."
Remember, this comes from a guy who thought traders represented "the silent majority."
I happen to agree with CNBC's Steve Liesman though who told Santelli in March that he was "wrong on about everything."
Take a look at this flashback:
The Daily Beast has an excerpt from Randall Lane's new book, The Zeroes, which claims CNBC host Jim Cramer's protégé and former pro-baseball player Lenny Dykstra "was secretly paid to plug stocks on" the Cramer co-founded website "TheStreet.com and give access to Cramer."
In an era of epically wrong financial predictions, boisterous Jim Cramer's declaration that "Bear Stearns is not in trouble!" a week before its March 2008 collapse, rated among the most moronic, or at least the most infamous.
But it turns out that Cramer made one call far worse: He decided to make a stock-picking star out of a mumbling former Major League Baseball All-Star named Lenny Dykstra, giving him a high-profile column and ultimately an expensive "premium" newsletter on Cramer's site TheStreet.com. How did Dykstra return the favor? As I reveal in my book, The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane, Dykstra took money --$250,000 worth of secretly issued stock -- in exchange for recommending that stock to TheStreet.com subscribers. He also promised access to Cramer in exchange for the stock, which he apparently hid under his brother-in-law's name.
It was Cramer's repeated endorsements -- echoed by de facto validation from everyone from CNBC to me -- that enabled Dykstra to pull off the scheme.
Jim Cramer single-handedly created the concept of Dykstra-as-financial genius. Known mostly for his willingness to crash his body into walls or his cars into trees (nickname: "Nails"), the former New York Met and Philadelphia Phillie became an investment columnist for TheStreet.com in 2005, after sending Cramer an unsolicited email. For the next four years, Dykstra made stock picks, focusing on "deep-in-the-money calls"—a way to buy leveraged options—for tens of thousands of followers on Cramer's website.
The excerpt does note that there is no indication that Cramer had any knowledge of the payments to Dykstra:
Cramer, I am sure, had no knowledge of Dykstra's "pay to plug" scheme—an arrangement that could well lead to a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation. He was just a dupe. But his relentless endorsements and promotion of the ballplayer's stock-picking over the years must now surely rank as his most ill-conceived.
In March, I noted that the SEC was investigating TheStreet.com.
From the June 11 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box:
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Just over a year ago, CNBC's Jim Cramer found himself in hot water with Jon Stewart. The host of Comedy Central's Daily Show was relentless, running segments targeting the high-strung CNBC host, the most notable of which was titled "In Cramer We Trust" and addressed Cramer's pushing of Bear Stearns just days and weeks before it collapsed:
In the days that followed, Cramer would take to CNBC sister networks for defense from Stewart, prompting this response from the comedian:
The whole ordeal led to Cramer appearing on Stewart's show for an extensive interview where the money talker made a "deal" to "start getting back to the fundamentals of reporting." Cramer also agreed with Stewart that he was a "snake oil" salesman.
Ultimately, Cramer walked back much of the ground he conceded in the interview later calling Stewart's criticism of CNBC "naïve and misleading."
Well, Cramer has landed himself back on the Daily Show, this time for his comments surrounding Goldman Sachs before news broke of the SEC charging the bank with fraud:
Now that Stewart and Stephen Colbert (host of the Colbert Report) have extended their contracts with Comedy Central through 2012, Cramer has some time to live up to his previous commitment to get "back to the fundamentals of reporting." Otherwise, this latest Daily Show segment is only the latest in what will surely be a lot more to come.
From the March 18 edition of CNBC's The Kudlow Report:
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The New York Post (part of the News Corp family) reports:
TheStreet.com, the financial Web site founded by loudmouth stock picker and TV personality Jim Cramer, is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The publicly traded company attracted the attention of regulators because of accounting woes at a former subsidiary called Promotions.com, TheStreet.com said yesterday.
TheStreet.com revealed the news in an SEC filing explaining why it will be late reporting its annual financial results.
Last summer, TheStreet.com announced there were "issues" related to how it had been recording revenue at Promotions.com, the marketing company it acquired in 2007. An internal probe ensued and resulted in several quarters of delayed earnings results for the parent company, frustrating investors.
TheStreet.com "is cooperating fully with the investigation," CEO Daryl Otte told The Post.
Cramer, the host of "Mad Money" and a former hedge-fund manager, co-founded TheStreet.com in 1996. He remains a commentator on the site as well as chairman of the company's board.
From the March 15 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box:
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As Mediaite.com's Colby Hall notes today:
CNBC is no longer just "first in business worldwide," as their tag line states, it is also the place to see on-air dust-ups between correspondent's and anchors. Back in December we noted an on-air kerfuffle between host Steve Liesman and reporter Rick Santelli in which Santellit told his host "You don't say anything I find interesting." This morning viewers of the financial news channel bore witness to another tiff between the squabbling CNBCers.
Transcript of their exchange (via TV Newser):
Liesman: Rick, you've lost enough people enough money by now.
Santelli: Why don't we put that to a referendum? Let's put it on our website right now. Who lost you more money, Steve Liesman or Rick Santelli. Put your money where your mouth is.
Liesman: Rick you argued interest rates would be higher, you argued for the crash of the dollar, Rick. Rick, you had everything wrong, Rick. There wasn't a single thing you had right.
Santelli: Jobs, jobs, jobs. I talked about the credit crisis.
Liesman: You were wrong... you said the credit crisis was nothing. I'll pull the tapes.
Santelli: Okay. You pull the tapes Steve Liesman.
Liesman: You were wrong about everything.
Despite reports that "don't ask, don't tell" will be tackled in President Obama's State of the Union address tonight, the initial line-up of cable and broadcast network hosts and commentators offering analysis after the speech includes only one openly LGBT figure, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
From Mediabistro's TVnewser:
|Wolf Blitzer and Campbell Brown will anchor coverage leading into the address along and post-response analysis along with John King. Soledad O'Brien will report on polling data and Jessica Yellin will moderate a focus group in Ohio. Anderson Cooper will report and anchor "AC360" from Haiti at 11pmET. Larry King will be live at 12amET.|
|"O'Reilly Factor" will end at 8:55pmET and Bret Baier will anchor the address, the Republican response, and analysis live until 10:30pmET. Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Joe Trippi, and Bob Beckel will contribute. Carl Cameron and Major Garrett will report. Greta Van Susteren will be live for "On the Record" until 11pmET. Sean Hannity will be live from 11pmET until midnight.|
|Starting at 9pmET, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow will anchor coverage of the address and response. Live editions of "Countdown" and "Rachel Maddow" will air at 10:30pmET and 11:30pmET|
|Fox Business will have coverage from 8-11pmET anchored by Neil Cavuto from the Newseum. Elizabeth MacDonald will host "Fixing America" beforehand and John Stossel will lead a "town hall" discussion afterward.|
|CNBC special coverage begins at 7pmET with Larry Kudlow in D.C. followed at 8pmEt by "President Obama 1 Year Later," which will be anchored live by John Harwood and Carl Quintanilla from Washington. CNBC will carry the address with and have reaction until 10:30pmET.|
|C-SPAN will begin special coverage at 8pmET with "a historical look at Presidents in their first year in office" followed by the address and response. Coverage will conclude at 11pmET. C-SPAN2 will air live reaction from Representatives and Senators from the Capitol.|
|ABC News' Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos anchor coverage of the address and response from D.C. with Jake Tapper, Jon Karl, and Martha Raddatz contributing. Sawyer will anchor "World News" from Washington and Terry Moran will anchor "Nightline," also from D.C., live at 11:35pmET.|
|Katie Couric will anchor coverage of the address and response at 9pmET as well as CBS' "Special Report: State of the Union" afterward. She will be joined by Jeff Greenfield and Bob Schieffer, with Chip Reid and Nancy Cordes reporting. Harry Smith will anchor "The Early Show" from Washington, D.C. tomorrow morning.|
|Fox News' Shepard Smith will anchor special coverage for FOX broadcasting starting at 9pmET. Chris Wallace will join for analysis and Shannon Bream will report from Capitol Hill.|
|Brian Williams will anchor from DC for NBC News with David Gregory. NBC News correspondents Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, and Kelly O'Donnell will also contribute.|
|Jim Lehrer anchors PBS' broadcast of the address and response at 9pmET followed by analysis from Mark Shields.|
Since we probably won't see much in the way of LGBT voices tonight, Pam Spaulding from Pam's House Blend brings us some reactions from LGBT leaders to President Obama's comments on DADT.
From the January 21 edition of CNBC's Squawk on the Street:
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