Money, TV Shows, & Entertainment

by Brian Johnson on March 30, 2009

CassandraMoney shows should not treat finance as entertainment by turning the buying of stocks into a joke or by turning a discussion of serious economic situations into an occasion for groundless argument.  These shows discuss issues directly involved in the managing of people’s money, pensions, savings, and 401ks. The networks that produce these shows, then, have a moral responsibility to treat the subject matter with the seriousness that it requires. 

To fulfill this obligation, the networks should do two things.  First, the network should only invite experts to discuss financial topics.  Participation should be limited to those who have actually worked in the field that they will be discussing.  All too often, financial reporters who have little or no work experience in a particular field are invited to comment on very serious economic issues and their presence drowns out the founded insights of real experts who should be listened to.  Second, the networks should see themselves as obliged to foster a healthy debate founded on factual evidence and cogent argument, and not gut feeling.  The moral obligation of these networks should be a constant pursuit of the truth.

Watching the following video, one can see how the networks, as they have operated thus far, have turned a real expert, into someone who appears to be irrational.  We can’t help but be reminded of Cassandra, who, in ancient Greek mythology, was gifted with insight of prophesy but cursed to never have her prophesies believed.  Peter Schiff is drowned out in the rumblings of non-exerts who cast doubt on his very real predictions by arguing against him with little more than their unsupported opinion or through charges against his patriotism.  In each case, he is right and they are wrong, but they are made to seem experts, and he is made to seem unreasonable.

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