“I’ve always been . . . a provocateur.” That was my opening line in a mini-profile TV spot that CNBC taped with me as part of its “I am CNBC” campaign a few years ago. Truth in advertising.
But I never expected to provoke the firestorm of bitter, mean-spirited, angry reaction that greeted a simple column I posted on Monday: How to be Unemployed. It offered 10 rules from my whole-four-weeks of joblessness, you can read ’em here: http://denniskneale.com/how-to-be-jobless/250
More than 17,000 people read that column—not here on my new website, alas, but on an old nemesis of mine: ZeroHedge.com. More than a hundred reader comments were posted in response, 98% of them seething with hatred and rage. ZeroHedge vile-and-bile-spewing financial-blogger site—with some serious, smart stuff—that has argued the world is ending in a financial holocaust, very soon.
The Zeroes said were saying that when the Dow bottomed at 6800 in March 2009. I tangled with them as I anchored a nightly meltdown-news show on CNBC at 8 p.m. from mid-April ’til mid-September ’09. And the site’s crepe-hangers have adhered to that apocalyptic vision ever since—as the Dow rose 9,300 points. Even after yesterday’s 231-point dive on the Pain in Ukraine, the Dow is up 137% in five years.
They weren’t wrong: just early. It’s an old saying that journalists deploy (when we’re wrong). At some point another crash will occur, another crisis; markets do that. And new fortunes will be made on the rebuild, by those who still hold out hope.
It’s my mantra: Capitalism is optimism, monetized. And that is all I tried to do in the aftermath of the worst market crash since the Great Depression: sell a little hope. If we feel better, the economy will get better, not the other way around.
And that, apparently, is the sin that set off the juvenile, homophobic, homoerotic haters at ZeroHedge. Man do these guys despise me! The site’s followers, more so than its name-brand bloggers. (“Tyler Durden,” who posted my entire column on ZeroHedge yesterday, even wrote “Good luck Mr. Kneale”; it felt sincere. Sort of.) It’s perplexing, the level of antipathy and resentment aimed at someone they’ve never met, someone who simply doesn’t matter, really.
Must be those margin calls.
Worse, if you’re gonna hate, get it right. The profane posters at ZeroHedge get it wrong: They say I’m a shill for the mass-media and government when I bash government and the MSM alike; they say I’m a liberal when I am most assiduously not. Which means… they haven’t ever really watched me or read me at all.
You can sample the profane invective yourself by taking a tour of the carnage here. It shows how vituperative the comments get when cloaked by the cowardly claim of anonymity: http://bit.ly/1m38pzc
But we read ZeroHedge so you don’t have to! So herewith a few representative snippets, with a little commentary from me in-between.