Funny, I Didn’t Know FOX was Spelled CNBC

Fox News has long been the bête noir of the political left. I don’t really watch Fox News, so maybe I’m missing something, but I never quite got why they were so agitated by it. If a show or channel bugs me, I just don’t watch it. I try not to drone on and on to my friends about how much it bugs me.

But, boy does the left drone on about Fox News. The Daily Kos site is a good gauge of the left’s mental state. A quick search reveals that over the last six years, there are been more than 18,000 stories or diary posts on Fox News. That’s something like 9 a day, every day.

But if recent events are any indication, Fox News is about to lose its starring role to a new bogeyman for the left…CNBC. The business channel’s ascension to this spot is equal parts funny and dark. A quick timeline:

It all seemed to start here, on February 19th when one of their anchors ranted against Obama’s housing foreclosure plan.

The next day, the President’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs responded to the rant by calling out the reporter, Rick Santelli, by name. (Remember, this is a cable news reporter.) Huffington Post had this write-up on the response.

A couple weeks later, soon after the release of the Obama budget proposal, CNBC Mad Money host, Jim Cramer broadcast this rant against the proposal. Gibbs responded the next day. And that night, Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on Comedy Central aired this funny report on CNBC.

A few days later, Stewart began what became a well-publicized “feud” with the Mad Money host that culminated in this in-studio smackdown/interview last Thursday. Press Secretary Gibbs said he had “enjoyed thoroughly” the interview when asked about it the next day.

So then, today, the left-leaning group Media Matters announced a new CNBC “watchdog” effort. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched this new website, designed to “fix” what is wrong with CNBC. It details its short-term goal:

CNBC should publicly declare that its new overriding mission will be responsible journalism that holds Wall Street accountable. As a down payment, we ask you to hire some new economic voices — people who have a track record of being right about the economic crisis and holding Wall Street executives’ feet to the fire.

I do watch CNBC from time-to-time. And, in full disclosure, I’ve been on the network quite a bit over the years. But, I don’t have any strong feelings about them one way or another. But this whole time-line has a weird feel to it. All this media criticism started just about the time many anchors on the network began voicing concerns about Obama’s agenda.

I’m not suggesting there is a coordinated campaign against CNBC. But, if there were, I’m not certain it would look much different. (It’s a bit hard to believe that the new website was created, posted and signatures from 1,700 economists were gathered since Thursday, as the site implies.) And, we do know that the White House has organized coordinated campaigns against other media personalities recently.

Since Santelli’s rant, there have been almost 300 stories or diary posts on CNBC over at Daily Kos. That’s something like around 10 a day.

Fox, meet CNBC. CNBC, this is Fox. I think you guys are going to be spending a lot of time together.