CNBC and Fox Business personalities made clear where their loyalties lie in covering the Reddit-fueled GameStop stock surge this week, says Alex Shephard. "The message from financial media was loud and clear: Won’t someone please think of the hedge funds?" says Shephard. "You—a poor slob—might think what was happening was amusing. You might even see this as an act of populism, the little guy taking on extraordinarily wealthy people who bet on companies failing (and often help make them fail in the process). But what was happening was wrong, bad, no! This is not how things are supposed to work! The GameStop saga may very well end in tears, or worse. On Thursday, Robinhood halted trading of GameStop and AMC, a decision aimed at clipping the wings of the rabble-rousers who had briefly seized control of the market. But it has already been revealing—not just about how the stock market works, but also about how financial media works. The financial cable news networks are ostensibly aimed at the sort of person who posts or lurks on r/WallStreetBets—normies interested in the stock market and the economy, keyed up to get hold of that One Weird Trick to Get Rich that hurdy-gurdy stock hypeman Jim Cramer might shout at any moment. The programming on offer across these various networks promises to provide viewers with the True Scoops needed to make informed investments. But there is not, and never has been, anything populist about the way these networks operate. These networks are all about upholding the sanctity of the Blessed Market and protecting the interests of their high-faluting financial sector guests—the people who run hedge funds and corporate oligopolies, who are the keymasters of this universe. The interests of the audience are secondary. Anyway, they can feast freely on the scraps of their betters!"
TOPICS: GameStop Stock Saga, CNBC, Fox Business Network, Avalon Penrose, Cable News