Merrill Lynch threw a temper tantrum this past month by ordering all their offices worldwide to turn off CNBC. I have articulated on many occasions how and why the CNBC’s and other business publications censor criticisms of their big advertisers. This past month Merrill Lynch switched over to Bloomberg Television because of what one of our favorite economists, Lawrence Kudlow said about the firm on air. Mr. Kudlow has criticized the conduct of the nation’s largest brokerage firm on several occasions and the folks at Merrill do not take well to criticism.
This form of selective reporting is consistent throughout all the networks. We were the only firm to warn everyone about the impending doom at Enron back in 1998. When that house of cards was falling apart back in the summer of 2001 I was invited on all the major networks for interviews. What happened was incredible but not surprising. After conducting my pre-interview I was summarily dismissed. Their reason for not interviewing me was because of my accurate and truthful contention that the main cause of the Enron scandal was the large brokerage firms. The networks have major advertising deals with these banks and most certainly did not want me going on national television, telling the truth and threatening their ad money. Network news cannot let the truth get in the way of profits. The truth hurts.