CNBC seems to be engaging in the market equivalent of a Rorschach test. On Tuesday, the NBC-owned network tried to extrapolate meaning from a random market fluctuation, concluding that the appearance of one of their guests — a progressive Democrat — prompted a drop in stock values.
Host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera leapt to the conclusion that Rep. Raul Grijalva’s (D-AZ) appearance caused the Dow Jones Industrial to drop by 89.24 points, well within average fluctuations. “As we’re talking the market is selling off once again,” she told him:
GRIJALVA: The middle ground is a fair share. And if by putting the earned benefit programs on the table — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — as being the source for the deficit and the only way to reduce that and the only way to balance this, I think it’s wrong when there is no significant revenue. Not just gestures or token appeals about tax deductions and other areas, but a significant restructuring of that code to bring us back in line the way that we were under Clinton.
CARUS-CABRERA: Representative? You know what, as we’re talking, the market is selling off once again. Every time members of Congress come on — and I’ve got to tell you sir, I think you’re contributing to the fears that we’re going off the fiscal cliff, because it doesn’t sound like there’s any compromise in what you’re saying — do you care that markets are selling off dramatically when it looks like you guys can’t come to a deal?
The network’s confused attempts to tie the stock market to fiscal talks have worked in both directions; today, it constructed a narrative around a rise in stocks as a “struggle” that came about despite a generally negative outlook on the talks from both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).