CNBC: Sue Herrera Tells It Like It Is

by: Kevin S. Price

CNBC's Sue Herrera, speaking of class clown Dennis Kneale* a few minutes ago:

And by the way, thanks for that oil-can't-move-to-$150 call yesterday, Dennis. And we had it set a new record high. So, he's a contrary indicator, folks, that's all we can tell ya.

Indeed.

And while we're on the subject, we'll add a new item to our list of Things We Don't Like About CNBC.

New Item

  • Bob Pisani's crutch-like reliance on the word "here." If you haven't noticed this before, and get annoyed by verbal tics like this, we apologize for bringing it to your attention. If you have noticed it, we feel your pain.

Old Items

  • The little clock in the upper-right corner of the network's charts rushing past in hundredths of seconds. As if the general tone of the whole production weren't short-term jumpy enough.
  • Those Pat Boone gold ads. The leathery face is bad enough, but the overweening hucksterism has earned these spots a place in this particular hall of shame.
  • Cramer's Fed-Begging. Part schtick, part sincere, entirely over the top.
  • Rick Santelli not getting enough love. Chicago's own is a rare (if not "lone") voice of reason in the wilderness.
  • Erin Burnett insisting that her guests say something positive. We like positive stuff ourselves--where it's justified. But scraping around for a "silver lining" for its own sake strikes us as something other than disinterested.
  • Dennis Kneale. We don't understand Kneale's relentless, damn-the-evidence optimism on the economy and the markets. But the real problem with Kneale is that no one on CNBC's air gets more immediate corrections, curious looks, and dismissive headshakes. It's the willful cluelessness, not the opinions themselves, that make Kneale CNBC's most mutable voice. We simply do not understand why the network has made him such a fixture. Perhaps it's because no one with a fuller sense of reality could muster Kneale's spin--a kind of spin CNBC's decision-makers think they need to sustain their audience.
  • "It's four o'clock on Wall Street. Do you know where your money is?" What in the world is that supposed to mean? Why do Maria Bartiromo and her understudies insist on saying it every day? This is a daily must-mute moment.
  • The sound effects used to transition between images during Bartiromo's 4:00 summary schtick. Too loud. Too grating. Utterly unnecessary. Sort of like most of the fake noise made in NBA arenas these days: sound and fury signifying nothing.
  • Inane questions about why the market is doing what it's doing at a given moment. Bill Griffeth on February 27th, when the S&P 500 was 0.73 points above the previous day's close: "Why are we higher today?" Good grief.

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* Who, in disucssing the "recession myth," just called Wal-Mart's sales the "single best indicator of the economy in the U.S." No. We are not making this up.