Fight Club: ZeroHedge v. CNBC – Round One

On a lazy summer trading day, CNBC anchor Dennis Kneale declared to a largely absent audience “The Great Recession is over.”

Rather than institutional investors and traders rushing back to the office from the Hamptons, Disney World, or a multitude of other summer vacay hot spots, Dennis’s career-gambling call went largely unnoticed. However, as usual, leading indie finance outlet ZeroHedge took responsibility to chronicle the moment so we can bond Dennis to his word should his Ms. Cleo like prediction turn out to be charred tea leaves. As a result, Dennis and the PR team at CNBC decided to fabricate some talking-head style East Coast/West Coast financial gangsta drama in an attempt to magnetize a few more eyeballs on the way to the airport who might be willing to say, “I’m coming, honey. Just one more second, I have to watch this …”

First, Dennis is clearly not interested in an honest debate about the economy, otherwise why would he make so many patently false emotional statements about every blogger living in his or her mother’s basement. Surely Dennis has heard that newspaper and television are losing their audiences to the web because there are some incredible bloggers who are willing to do and say what the mainstream media will not. (I shouldn’t make too many assumptions about what Dennis knows because high profile media professionals tend to live in a radically provincial bubble.)

Also, why would Dennis waste valuable network time engaging alleged basement trolls who he claims are nothing more than name-callers? I am not understanding Dennis’s logic (i.e., bloggers are inconsequential name callers, but I [Dennis] am willing to both engage and converse with them on a major media outlet).

In Dennis’s rant, he notes how he has invited several popular bloggers onto his show to “debate” his point of view. Again, I wonder if Dennis realizes his audience is older than 12 and knows no true debate can occur on a heavily edited and controlled media set. If Dennis is truly interested in a real debate, he will submit to a third-party location with a mutually agreed upon moderator. The debate will have a list of questions both parties must answer, and a time limit in which to answer. As a matter of fact, I, Damien Hoffman, would be happy to mediate such a real debate that can be podcasted to the known universe. Further, Dennis will stop whining about how his identity (and ego) is plastered on the overwhelmingly muted flat screens of every financial professional’s office. Instead, he can focus on the exchange of objective ideas absque the abuse of the bully pulpit advantages and spin.

Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge rebutted Dennis’s false assertion that ZeroHedge “bailed” on Dennis’s VIP invitation. Unlike Dennis, Tyler posted the email exchange with the CNBC producer proving Dennis misrepresented the events in the video above. Again, I am having a hard time understanding Dennis’s logic about how bloggers are somehow more disingenuous than major media outlets (in my experience, I have found the opposite to be true — and Tyler does a great job explaining a few reasons why CNBC may have some serious conflicts of interest in regards to anchors promoting stock market opinions.)

Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Like any genuinely honest intellectual, Tyler also agreed to debate Dennis in an objective setting. As I mentioned above, there is literally no other sensible way to watch an authentic battle of rational ideas. Any excuses Dennis makes to avoid such a real debate only further serve to strengthen Tyler’s case that Dennis has ulterior motives regarding the rant about bloggers.

And lastly, Tyler defends his anonymity by calling on platinum level company including Mark Twain, the authors of the Federalist Papers — Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay — and more. Again, unless Dennis thinks his core viewers are still ignorant middle-schoolers, he must know that the messenger of facts and substance is completely moot in the Platonic forum of rational thought. This fact becomes more important when purveyors of facts find themselves with less than a sliver of resources compared to an opponent with access to a highly manipulative bully pulpit. Maybe Dennis learned that but for scientists and philosphers willing to spread their “anonymous” ideas, America would definitely not exist as we know it today (rather, we would still be living under the Grand Inquisitorial Institutions’ [insert your favorite here] iron fist as they are infamous for either rhetorically smearing/branding their dissenters or simply snuffing them out in creative ways.)

So, at the end of Round One in this warehouse Fight Club match, Tyler Durden appears slightly bruised on his chin while Dennis Kneale has a deep cut above his right eye and some serious facial wounds. Who will take Round Two and, ultimately, win the ZeroHedge v. CNBC Fight Club match? Stay tuned and feel free to express your anonymous opinions below …

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