Why can’t CNBC contain its guests?


Marketwatch.com media columnist Jon Friedman was not impressed by the cat fight on CNBC on Friday between billionaires Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn.

Friedman writes, “Is it memorable TV? Absolutely. Will it have a long life on YouTube? Certainly. Will CNBC figure that this is more good than bad, since controversy — like sex — sells with the public? People are likely now to tune in to CNBC, especially when the likes of the tough-talking Icahn come on.

“CNBC, Comcast and NBC Universal declined comment on the matter immediately thereafter.

“At the same time, it isn’t all fun and games for CNBC, though many of its on-air personalities were yucking it up immediately afterward, as if CNBC had pulled off a coup. This wasn’t pro wrestling,however.

“The network may escape the wrath of the Federal Communications Commission, but parent Comcast Corp. probably won’t be pleased by the attention. Likewise, big brother NBC News won’t relish the controversy. It reflects poorly on CNBC that someone as famous as Icahn chose to utter a curse word on its network.

“It looks like CNBC can’t control its guests and that it might secretly welcome this kind of forum. Plus, someone might conclude that an out-of-control commentator thinks that it is appropriate to use unsavory language on CNBC.”

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