CNBC and the “Rise Above” campaign

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Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review is critical of CNBC’s “Rise Above” campaign, which he argues is mere political posturing.

Chittum writes, “So it is with CNBC’s ‘Rise Above’ crusade, which has blanketed its airwaves and adorned its lapels since the day after the election with pleas for a solution to the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.’

“You’ll note that CNBC has not Risen Above for the common good on issues like stimulating a depressed economy, ameliorating the housing catastrophe, or prosecuting its Wall Street sources/dinner partners for the subprime fiasco. But make no mistake: even if it had, it would have been stepping outside the boundaries of traditional American journalism practice into political advocacy. And that’s precisely what it’s doing here, at further cost to its credibility as a mainstream news organization instead of some HD version of Wall Street CCTV.

“The big question: Why is a news organization running what’s effectively a political campaign for Simpson-Bowles, complete with thirty-second spots and campaign buttons? Look, kids. You can get your very own Rise Above pin, wrapped in the flag, just like your favorite business-news personalities! Roger Ailes himself must blush at this kind of grandstanding, but I have a hard time believing the business class and CNBC would be so worked up over this austerity program if it weren’t for the major tax increases contained therein.

“The day after the election, Joe Kernen read off the prompter, with all the enthusiasm of a TASS newscaster, ‘We are ‘Rising Above’ the partisan rhetoric to find a solution for the fiscal cliff.’”

Read more here.