I just got a chance to watch Jon Stewart's rant against CNBC from last night. It's an instant classic. Stewart was supposed to have CNBC analyst Rick Santelli on the show, but Rick cancelled. Santelli, of course, had a famous rant a couple weeks ago about the government's bailout for homeowners. Channeling Santelli, Stewart shouts, "Yeah, man, Wall Street is mad as hell and they're not gonna take it anymore! Unless by it you mean $2 trillion in their own bailout money."
Stewart then launches into a series of CNBC clips from the past couple years, starting with Jim Cramer saying Bear Stearns is not in trouble -- six days before Bear collapsed. I won't spoil the last clip, but it is priceless. To be fair, Santelli did oppose other bailouts. He just didn't have a crazy rant about them or ask the American people if they wanted to subsidize the banks, like he asked floor traders whether they wanted to subsidize their neighbor's mortgage. Whether or not you agree with Stewart's take on this, the unmasking of CNBC is some great stuff.
By the way, Marketplace editor Betsy Streisand pointed out a story today in the Wall Street Journal about CNNMoney. It launched a bunch of new online video business shows today. They include "a twice-a-week segment called "Help Desk," which will answer personal-finance questions, and "Conscious Capitalism," a weekly show on corporate philanthropy. Another, "New Money," will feature young entrepreneurs."
So CNBC's competition is growing, at least online.