The Culture of Charade

Thought for the Day 1Source: Emily Sunderland

We’ve all seen them, and they’re dreadful.

“Business television” – CNBC, Fox Business and the like – often bring on lower tier would-be experts from the hinterlands to fill time by opining on the latest news, the newest data release, or the ongoing market action in response to an anchor’s softball set-up.The interviewee typically ignores the set-up and plows ahead to pre-scripted and mundane (at best) talking points as quickly as possible. Such appearances are often arranged by PR firms, who brag about such “placements” and are paid well for doing so. These hits are worth doing for the networks because there is nothing like 24 hours per day of actual business and market news on offer. They have lots of time to fill.

Even so, YouTube videos of this silliness tend to show up like clockwork that same day on the websites of the interviewees to be promoted both as a badge of inclusion in the universe of experts and as a marketing tool. It’s all about establishing and building a brand. They provide a veneer of supposed expertise even though the entire exercise is bogus. The “news” is effectively meaningless and the “analysis” adds nothing to the story. However, the interviewee’s Muppets won’t know that nobody who matters pays these appearances any mind and won’t recognize how lousy they are. It won’t even matter that almost nobody was watching. It’s a charade, but everybody plays along. Continue reading