It's a conversation, Barney, not a soliloquy . . .
Discussing the regulation of executive pay with CNBC's Mark Haines today, the testy liberal Dem from Massachusetts was affronted when Haines tried to get in a word edgewise.
Before long, Barney announced that the interview was over, and ripped off his earpiece. Unruffled, Haines got off a good last line: "Fine, goodbye sir. We'll manage without you." [Hat tip reader Chuck S.]
View video at right.
MARK HAINES: Mr. Chairman, though, I hate to burn down the house here but it seems to me that you're dealing with a model that no longer exists. Because shareholders, we don't have mom and pop sitting at home holding these shares. These shares are primarily in mutual funds and the ownership is a derivate instrument, and I just don't see how you get the --
BARNEY FRANK: Well I don't understand how you think that burns down the house and why you think doing nothing is --
HAINES: Well, you talk about shareholder participation --
FRANK May I respond, sir?
HAINES: You're talking about shareholder participation.
FRANK: May I respond?
HAINES: My point is the shareholder is at arms length to begin with.
FRANK: No, I disagree with that. I think that in the first place, solutions don't have to be perfect to be better than the status quo. What you have collectively suggested: let's do nothing at all. Let's acknowledge that there is --
HAINES: No, I have not suggested that.
FRANK: Please stop interrupting me. Alright, excuse me. Do you want to lose me? Do you want to lose? Excuse me --
HAINES: I am not going to let you misrepresent what I said.
FRANK: I'm trying to respond to your misrepresentation.
HAINES: Well I am not misrepresenting.
FRANK: I apologize but this interview is over. I get three different questions, different angles, I try to respond. You want to interrupt because you don't like what I'm saying. Then you can find someone else to interview.
HAINES: Fine, goodbye sir. We'll manage without you.
Note how things started to go downhill after Frank essentially posed questions to Haines: "I don't understand how you think that burns down the house and why you think" etc. For some reason, Frank was offended that Haines tried to explain his position.
Guess when you're the lordly Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, the media minions should know their place and just let the great man speak.