Watching CNBC is bad for your health

by
Paul Krugman

Add Paul Krugman of the New York Times to the list of people unhappy with CNBC‘s “Rise Above” campaign about the fiscal cliff.

Krugman writes, “No, this is what the audience wants. And it’s what they want even though the Austerian stuff the network peddles has been wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong (have some fun with Chittum’s hyperlinks on Larry Kudlow). Never mind that the Keynesians have been right about interest rates, inflation, austerity, and more; the audience wants to hear about the debt crisis and hyperinflation coming any day now unless we cut taxes on the rich, or something.

“Actually, you see a lot of that in the comment threads whenever Joe Weisenthal says something reasonable about macroeconomics; what you see isn’t just disagreement, it’s blind, spluttering rage.

“It is, I believe, a tribal identity thing; the consumers of business news want to see themselves as part of the economic elite, although they mostly aren’t. And Chris Mooney wins again: we’re talking about personality types who aren’t responsive to evidence. Indeed, the more often you show them that their hard-money, anti-spending prejudices have been proved wrong, the more deeply those prejudices become entrenched.

“So what’s the moral of the story? Maybe it’s this: don’t spend much time watching CNBC. It’s bad for your financial and intellectual health.”

Read more here.