MSM, and I include the NYT, completely FAILS to warn of the big one.
MSM openly admits, and I quote, "We have to find a way to cover this, in English, on Monday".
Jeez, that's a bit of a gap in your skills set for a knowledge worker. You can't cover the story in plain English????
And the NYT/IHT runs a second article on how other media have done either a better (witness previous post) or worse job of covering the crash, without covering their own coverage of the crash.
Can't wait for the self-flagellating 12pp supplement on the NYT's investigation into its coverage (shockingly inept) of the financial crash. WMD II.
Here's what one NYT journo has to say today about the markets (see below):
"The Internet is increasingly the medium of choice for stock quotes and market commentary."
You're damn right and we're NOT talking about nytimes.com are we?
The MSM newspapers better get busy with the fizzy or they are dead meat.
Turning to the TV for explanations and answers
By Brian Stelter
Monday, September 29, 2008
As the financial crisis grew, even Jim Cramer found it hard to explain.
Cramer, the hyperactive host of "Mad Money" on CNBC, knows how to appeal to his usual audience of day traders and market buffs. But over the last two weeks, as the very definition of Wall Street has been rewritten, Cramer found himself having to explain arcane financial concepts like credit-default swaps to an audience that was double its usual size and spooked by the market's moves.
"We have to find a way to cover this, in English, on Monday," Cramer wrote in a long e-mail message to Cliff Mason, a nephew and a writer for the show, on Sept. 21.
Since Sept. 14, when the investment bank Lehman Brothers said it intended to file for bankruptcy protection and Bank of America said it would acquire Merrill Lynch, the threat to people's pocketbooks has supplanted politics as the country's dominant reality TV show.
On every channel, journalists were struggling with questions that were flummoxing the viewers and, as it turned out, the best minds on Wall Street and in Washington: how did we get here, what happens next and what does it all mean?
Cramer's solution was telling his nephew to get a clip from Clint Eastwood's 1992 Western film "Unforgiven" and suggested showing the scene when the sheriff, with a gun to his head, says, "I don't deserve this." In the film, the killer replied, "Deserve's got nothing to do with it," and then shoots the man.
"Deserves has everything to do with it," Cramer exclaimed in the e-mail message asserting that the bankers who made bad bets should be punished. "We have to work that in."
For the moment, at least, seemingly the entire country cares about the markets.
The week of Sept. 14 was the highest-rated one in CNBC's 19-year history, with 502,000 viewers during the business day (counted as the 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours by CNBC). Last week the ratings remained high, with an average 441,000 viewers through Thursday.
Mark Hoffman, the president of CNBC, said the network had focused for years on "the delicate balance in business between fear and greed.
"When there's an aggressive move to one extreme or the other CNBC engagement surges," he said. "Through much of this crisis fear has beat greed silly."
As Tom Brakke, an investment firm consultant, put it in a blog post last week, the viewer impulse was perhaps "the same basic instinct that attracts onlookers to a car crash."
The ratings have also soared for the Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC in recent weeks. (Presumably they have also increased for the business channels Fox Business Network and Bloomberg, but their ratings are not publicly reported by Nielsen.
Business pundits are suddenly in demand: CNBC reporters have contributed daily to the "NBC Nightly News," and Fox Business Network hosts have appeared on "20/20" and "The View."
At one point during its coverage, the CNBC screen was filled with the faces of eight reporters and commentators, including one who was caught in the midst of a phone call, a demonstration of overkill that Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" called the "octobox," "when seven people talking about something just isn't enough."
Jonathan Wald, the senior vice president for business news at CNBC, said the network's priority remains getting information to viewers in real time.
"If you see anchors on the set with phones to their ears and computers at the ready, you know it means they are reporting right up until the time the red light goes on," he said.
While collateralized debt obligations are hardly TV-friendly material, the gradually unfolding pace of the crisis was tailor-made for the medium. The Internet is increasingly the medium of choice for stock quotes and market commentary, yet TV still provides a drip of news.
When Paul DeBettignies, a 38-year-old information technology recruiter in Minneapolis, saw that CNBC was showing live programming the last two Sunday nights at times normally reserved for documentary reruns,he knew something "had to be wrong."
Since then, he has watched every day because, he figures, "whatever's going on in New York and Washington will get here eventually." But his questions are numerous: "How does this tie in with the overall economy? How will this affect our banks?"
For Cramer, the collapse of the nation's leading investment banks harked back to an on-air outburst in August 2007, when he said that the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, "has no idea how bad it is out there."
Thirteen months later, Cramer is still speaking at a fever pitch. On Monday, adorned with a purple tie and a rarely seen grimace, Cramer fretted about the government bailout. "If this doesn't work," he warned, "we're going to have Great Depression II." He repeated the warning four times during the hour.
As the bailout talks dominated Washington last week, the financial story became more political, and the testimony of the Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. was carried live by the cable networks. The election was never far from the coverage, as the segments titled "Your Money, Your Vote" showed on CNN.
"It's as if Americans are studying for a test, and our coverage is a big part of their notes and research," said Liz Claman, a Fox Business anchor.
A PLACE IN THE AUVERGNE
International Herald Tribune
New York Times
Vacation /Business Trip Furnished Apartment in Paris