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article imageOp-Ed: Tea Party founder Rick Santelli discredited on the air at CNBC

By John Presta     Jul 15, 2014 in Politics
Chicago - Rick Santelli is credited as the founder of the Tea Party with a raging on-the-air rant broadcast on CNBC on Feb. 19, 2009. That rant included an accusation that the government is "promoting bad behavior" and labeled high-risk mortgage holder as "losers."
Steve Liesman, CNBC’s senior economics reporter and a frequent critic of Santelli, told Santelli he was "wrong." It was not the first time Liesman has called out Santelli for being "wrong," but this time it just didn't sit well. In fact, Liesman tore into his outspoken colleague by telling him that all of his dire predictions about the Fed’s actions have been proven wrong.
Liesman said, "It's impossible for you to have been more wrong, Rick. Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the US economy to rebound. Rick, it’s impossible for you to have been more wrong."
Liesman hit Santelli where it really hurt with his next statement, "Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick. Lost people money, Rick. Every single bit of advice. There is no piece of advice that you've given that's worked, Rick. There is no piece of advice that you've given that's worked, Rick. Not a single one. Not a single one, Rick."
Santelli's thread is that if interest rates don't go up, the trading public will lose money. it didn't happen. Liesman continued, "The higher interest rates never came, the inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened, the dollar never crashed, Rick. There isn’t a single one that’s worked for you."
Santelli ranted on the air about the fed and its chair, Janet Yellin, risking inflation. CNBC host Scott Wapner intervened, saying the “the jury’s still out as to whether the Fed is going to help.”
But this set Santelli off: “Jury? Who are you talking about? Who’s the jury specifically? Academia? Professors? That valet you let park your car?”
As happens in these things, co-panelist Josh Brown also piled on: “Rick, you already decided this wasn’t going to work five years ago. Is some of your anger about confirmation bias?”
“I was right! I was right!” Santelli shouted back at Brown. Santelli walked off to the applause from Chicago floor day traders. The same applause he received when he shouted in 2009, "Who wants to pay someone else's mortgage."
As Santelli left the floor and off camera yesterday, he said, “End of conversation. Hasta la vista!”
In that famous rant in 2009, Santelli said he and others were planning to throw a "tea party"in Chicago to show their "anger." The exploded rant resembled the famous "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" diatribe from the character Howard Beale in the 1976 movie Network.
It did work: briefly. The 2010 midterm elections is when America showed its anger by electing Tea Party candidates for the House of Representatives. That Tea Party has had some impact on the governing and legislative processes in Congress. Culminating in the federal government shutdown, America had had enough.
America is tired of the Tea Party and their clinging to discredited viewpoints. After five years, Santelli insists he is "right," when he is clearly "wrong."
Beale was assassinated by the Ecumenical Liberation Army, putting an end to The Howard Beale Show.
The film ends with the narrator stating:
"This was the story of Howard Beale, the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings."
A figurative assassination occurred on the air at CNBC on Monday, when Santelli was taken down by Liesman and totally discredited. He hit Santelli where it hurts, in the pocketbook. Liesman pointed out that Santelli's advice loses money.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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