My first reaction to this was, "Well, if this became a common practice, at least we'd hear the word 'unexpectedly' a lot less often."
Over at Mediaite on Friday (some R-rated content is at link; HT Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin's place), Josh Feldman ripped CNN business reporter Felicia Taylor, whose background includes stints at the Financial News Network, CNBC, for devoting nearly three minutes to the economic predictions of psychics.
I watched the segment myself, hoping against hope that it would come off as a spoof. It didn't.
Here's some of what Feldman had to say (internal link, bold and italics are in original):
First off, let’s tackle the idea that such methods bring comfort to people who are suffering through these difficult economic times. If certain individuals wish to consult psychics to feel better about their future, go right ahead. There are dozens of articles from the last few years showing that, as the economy is getting worse, the psychic business is booming. But why in the world would this be taken seriously by a mainstream news organization?
Here’s where it gets really weird: One woman thinks she can predict the future of the economy based on Ben Bernanke’s moon sign. (On a related note: What the heck is a moon sign?) She predicts that Bernanke will have great success sometime in the late summer/early fall, though this might not necessarily have anything to do with the economy. Maybe he wins a free ocean cruise vacation or something. And by October Bernanke is “really, really happy.” Well, that settles it, then. Show’s over, folks, you can all go home! The Fed Chairman is scheduled to be really, really happy in about four months’ time, so you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
What’s particularly hilarious about this segment is how seriously Taylor seems to take this subject and how she tries to talk about serious economic subjects with individuals who make a living making up random crap about people’s lives.
What's also particularly hilarious is how CNN is racing to the bottom in the ratings even faster than MSNBC:
Thursday, June 23, 2011:
- Total day, Total Viewers -- MSNBC 443,000; CNN 393,000
- Primetime, Total Viewers -- MSNBC 871,000; CNN 621,000
Thursday, June 24, 2010:
- Total day, Total Viewers -- MSNBC 464,000; CNN 447,000
- Primetime, Total Viewers -- MSNBC 883,000; CNN 690,000
- Total day, Total Viewers -- MSNBC, minus 4.5%; CNN, minus 12.1%
- Primetime, Total Viewers -- MSNBC, minus 1.4%; CNN, minus 10.0%
You don't have to possess any special powers to know that if CNN spends much more time looking to psychics for economic predictions, its ratings will continue to tumble.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.