Dennis Lets Zero Hedge Have It

Tyler Durden's picture

Preamble: here is the original post... the supremely ironic thing is I didn't even say anything negative about DK.

First, I ask readers to watch the following clip



I want to make a few points:

First, I have respect for Dennis - he lays out his beliefs (regardless if these beliefs are based on completely flawed foundations or not) and defends them, on prime time TV, in a "financial news" medium whose very existence every viewer realizes is contingent on not only the continued viability of massively bad debt-laden GE (due to its inextricable ties with GE Capital, which lent out more toxic second liens than virtually any other entity), but by implication, the well-being of the overall economy, as well as the continued financial support by PIMCO and other financial company sponsors who have explicit and implicit ties with the current administration, and who profit exclusively from a rising market. In retrospect, one can see where Dennis' viewers may get confused by the blurry line between a hopelessly severe conflict of interest and honest personal opinion.

Second, I want to address some points that Dennis made in his monologue. Zero Hedge received an invite from Dennis' producer Dave at 1:34 pm to appear on the show. Of course, our frequent readers realize this is a non-starter for anyone at Zero Hedge due to the nature of our operation. We countered by offering a telephonic interview at an indeterminate point in the future (and desirous of at least a 24 hour advance notice: again, frequent readers will attest that I tend to post constantly, for about 18 hours a day), and even offered Dennis a forum on Zero Hedge to directly address our readers, whom he, we assume affectionately, had some florid words for. Nowhere did we give the impression we would have a call today, and offered up a date in two weeks for an extended call, which would take place upon my return from a reconnaissance trip to Europe (ironically to check up on some of GECC's major investments in the region: stay tuned for my observations). Our overture was denied, yet somehow Dennis decided to make a point of misrepresenting the communication that took place. We provide a transcript of the email exchange earlier for our readers' convenience.


Third, I would be very happy to have a sensible, rational discussion with Dennis on any topic of his choosing, and to demonstrate my opinion, which he may or may not agree with, as to why I find his conclusion that the recession is now over laughable. However, this will not occur on CNBC's 10 second sound bite terms: a good case in point is Dennis allowing the other blogger exactly 46 seconds of air time to justify his opinion, before cutting him off irreverently and turning off his microphone. Zero Hedge knows very well how prime time media operates. Which is why I, in turn, extend Dennis an invitation to appear on a podcast, or any other non-CNBC hosted venue of his choosing, for a deabte which will be as lengthy as necessary, without commercial or otherwise interruptions, without prepared notes, without tele- or ear-prompters, in which I am happy to deconstruct his thesis point by point, not having to worry about his producer cutting me off, or Fritz Henderson's bathroom break at 1 Bowling Green causing an epileptic fit inducing bout of CNBC Breaking News.

Fourth, as pertains to anonymity, Mr. Kneale would be well-advised to read the Zero Hedge manifesto:

though often maligned (typically by those frustrated by an inability to engage in ad hominem attacks) anonymous speech has a long and storied history in the united states. used by the likes of mark twain (aka samuel langhorne clemens) to criticize common ignorance, and perhaps most famously by alexander hamilton, james madison and john jay (aka publius) to write the federalist papers, we think ourselves in good company in using one or another nom de plume. particularly in light of an emerging trend against vocalizing public dissent in the united states, we believe in the critical importance of anonymity and its role in dissident speech. like the economist magazine, we also believe that keeping authorship anonymous moves the focus of discussion to the content of speech and away from the speaker- as it should be. we believe not only that you should be comfortable with anonymous speech in such an environment, but that you should be suspicious of any speech that isn't.

To this point, and this is where there is obviously major friction in opinions as I am not sure if Dennis, a TV pundit, can quite comprehend this, Zero Hedge is not about personalities, goatees or glasses - it is about ideas, facts and opinions. People come to Zero Hedge not because of my chiseled washboard abs, but because they appreciate my insight into things financial and economic. My personality is not relevant when discussing critical concepts. Who knows - maybe I do not care for being recognized while having diner at Campagnola. Zero Hedge realizes that a little individual humility when evaluating the trillions and trillions of debt which our children will inherit as a result of the current spending spree by the Administration (which may or may not end this immediate recession, only to result in a default of the US 10 years down the line), would come in useful: maybe Mr. Kneale should also consider that as he hopes to build credibility before his CNBC viewers.

Lastly, direct attacks by Dennis against Zero Hedge readers with pejoratives such as "digital dickweed" is somewhat beneath a person who, at least in his personal view, is sufficiently erudite to have an informed opinion on such critical issues as the end of a recession.

In conclusion, I have no bad blood with Dennis at all - I believe it would greatly benefit both Dennis' viewers as well as my readers to have a sensible discussion on this very relevant topic. I have proposed several ways in which this can be achieved: if Dennis would like to take on the challenge, I am game. If not, I understand: after all Zero Hedge is at the forefront of the "anonymous, dark and cowardly" blogosphere, whose corners Dennis would be the last person to brave as we deal not with the ethereal, bright lights of "hope and fortitude" but scary, mysterious concepts like facts and substance.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Anonymous's picture

just reading that gave me a digital dickweed.

Anonymous's picture

Bravo TD.
Hold the high ground!

Anonymous's picture

Dennis Kneale is such a moron it isn't even with your time to debate him. Better to spend your time keeping your readers informed.

fiscalcorruptocrat's picture

Sadly, it's just as laughable to think that Dennis would take ZH up on the offer to participate in a discussion not bound by the comfortable terms CNBC provides for him. The second that's taken away, he and others like him become vulnerable.

Was Dave The Producer late for the short bus or what? He seemed to be having a little trouble navigating the simple concept of NOT TODAY, thank you.

jdoo's picture

How did this segment enlighten and/or enrich the audience of CNBC?

How does "dave" the producer justify calling this news and putting it on the air?

ZenProfit's picture
ZenProfit (not verified) jdoo Jul 1, 2009 5:23 AM

CNBC is infotainment. Not news.

Dennis Kneale is a Supreme dickweed.

Anonymous's picture

Vikram pandit has monkey balls.

RobertPaulson's picture

First, that guy came off as rather dickish. Second, your manifesto describes perfectly your use of anonymity. Lastly, I would thoroughly enjoy seeing Dennis squirm with the salty facts thrown at him by TD, let's let Project Mayhem begin already. I look forward to the first fight.

FischerBlack's picture

Dennis Kneale squirming while salty facts are shot in his direction?

As a visual, that's a bit much. But maybe that's how Kneale likes it.

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

Anonymous's picture

CNBS.. what a crock.. so let me get this straight.. the offer was to go on their turf with 46 seconds to defend your views against CNBS's unofficial-paid- Fed spokesman-posing-as-anchors??

seriously, they must be smoking some green shoots.. so glad I have cancelled CNBS from my satellite dish.. what a joke they have become..

YOU HEAR THAT CNBS (and you obviously do read ZH)... you have lost so many viewers!!!!

Anonymous's picture

Excellent point TD. My only worries are who will be updating us with daily market-related news when TD is out of town?

Anonymous's picture

Dennis Kneale is a dickweed.

Anonymous's picture

Tyler, congrats on new web site & the continuation of your & your team's excellent reporting.... Many readers, as do I, follow your web site with RSS readers - could you fix the RSS feed that it shows all embedded media files and the full text of the post please? Keep up the good work!

Anonymous's picture

Ask him if Citi is ever going to go back to 40 when he said he guaranteed the next 10 points was up. Or if FRE / FNM are still good for a flyer?

Anonymous's picture

First of all, good luck with the new site! Also would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for the continuous effort of reporting what REALLY is going on....

Many readers, as do I, follow your site by means of RSS reader, could you fix the rss stream of the new site, so that it shows all embedded media files and the full article as with the old site please - keep up the good work

agrotera's picture

Most elegant retort.

(But, i did read ZH for the first time because of the chiseled washboard abs that i saw on twitter :)

But, when i read my first ZH article, i forgot about the picture!!! )

Anonymous's picture

Dear Tyler, Unfortunately, Mr. Kneale will be otherwise engaged tending to CNBC's garden of green shoots (those damn seeds just don't seem to want to take this year) so he'll be unable to utilize any of the forums for discussion that you've proposed.

Anonymous's picture

Around 1:27 in I thought to myself "who is dumb enough to watch this crap?" and then realized that my own IQ had dropped about 20 points -- so I stopped watching in order to post and let my brain recover.

TD, as much I push for the free exchange of ideas and healthy debate, going on this show is a suicide mission. There is no way to compete against the spin, flashy graphics, canned messages, douchebag hosts and slick producers of CNBC. They could make Mother Theresa look like Leona Helmsley in 15 seconds flat.

Your 18 hour days are best spent unearthing that which is hidden, not selling advertising for CNBC.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Agreed. As someone who has been quoted in the media before, I can tell you, it is a losing proposition, they will spin your words anyway they want.

Socrates's picture

I'll second that "agreed." I used to be a letter writer to a large paper in NJ for about 15 years with 8-10 letters of up to 350 words. There was an issue regarding Clinton's welfare reform and they called for an opinion. I included that Johnson's attemmpt at his "Great Society" destroyed the black family unit and in the inner cities, many black families are completely dysfunctional and lead to lives of crime. The story included my name and a supposedly direct quote of mine stating that black familes are dysfunctional and criminal. When I contacted the editor he stuck by the reporter's direct quote. So I played him the recording I had hit proving her to be wrong. They would not issue a correction, but allowed me a letter the next day to discuss Johnson's "Great Society" and how it had done what I had stated. If your words don't make the story bleed they will merely change them.


agrotera's picture

Dear Socrates, please leave us with a few questions now and then if you wouldn't mind...thank you!

Socrates's picture

Dear agrotera,

After corrupting the youth of Athens - and that was proposterous as they were already corrupted and I was saving them - the question is if I should have asked for one lump of sugar or two, as I like my poison sweet.

Is a man a glutton if he sweetens his poison? Does he die a less digified death if he does? Have the heads of Goldman Sachs food and wine tasters yet?

Get back to me on those if you would.


agrotera's picture

Thank you Socrates, and I think you were self respecting to have sugar in your poison by chosing sweetness in your last moments....the King James bible corrupted the translation of "blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth"--the more accurate translation would be blessed are the self respecting(how is that for a tiny little mistake!) so that would mean that you inherit the earth!

I better let some of the other student's give their ideas about GS...

Anonymous's picture

ZH - I agree - mainstream media just make stuff up. It's "entertainment" designed around the ads. When will people finally understand this? The shows are literally designed and redesigned almost hourly around the ads that are booked.

I always enjoyed sitting with my "celebrity" friends and reading the daily newspaper telling about the incredible things that they said and did hundreds of miles away from where we were (with pictures!!).

Loved the explanation of the use of anonymity.

However, I think that you might have missed the point. They do not want your opinion? I would suggest that they only contacted you so that they could claim due diligence and fairness? In other words, it's a fun game for them - contact, mess up the contact and then they have free hand for the slander. Disagree? Is it really worth tens of thousands of dollars to fight them in court?

Suggestion : don't use so much space at the top of the web page for the header? I'm a heads-up display, at-a-glance kind of guy. A full 15% of the main page on my screen is black (black is the new black?). If I was going to be funny, I would think that you are making a statement - into the void, and beyond?

Thanks for a great blog and I like the new web site!

BabaBooey's picture

The longer you keep your anonymity, the more money I will donate to this amazing site.

Dont come out from behind the curtain.

anonymity = power!

Gilgamesh's picture

Denninger also has a nice response up.

Respect, not so much.

Anonymous's picture

Thanks - sounds as if he might have felt a little left out not being mentioned by name by DK.

To Dennis Kneale: You're An Idiot

Since Dennis saw fit this evening on CNBC to "go after" bloggers who in turn had gone after him, yet he omitted The Market Ticker, I'll go ahead and put a full-on dredge out behind my stern and slow to 3kts.

And Dennis, if you would like me on your show, I'll be happy to appear. Phone is fine. And I'm not anonymous, nor do I want to be - CNBC already has has my full bio, my full name, and my CNBC-standard disclosure document back with a digital signature affixed. You can also "whois" this domain and get my full name and address. Good enough? Several employees of NBC Universal are on my forum and a CNBC producer has my direct email address - just ask around and I'm sure you can obtain it, and if you do email me I'll be happy to call you at your convenience.

OK, now on to the facts - your idiotic and utterly unsupportable "the recession is over" call.

Pete - still anonymous but trying real hard not to be.

Alex's picture

How sad he is, trying to appear relevant by insulting what he probably thinks is the hot blogger of the day. What he does not understand is that what few intelligent viewers he has, will inevitably come to this website, read the above "high road" response, and then become faithful ZH subscribers themselves. And so his bandwith narrows accordingly.

All in all, you will likely get a stronger following while simply being reasonable, in the face of a childish demand for attention. Who would think this possible in a CNBC world?

Anonymous's picture

It is so sad that CNBC cannot have a intelligent dialogue with anyone that comes on the show. I suggest that all that are serious about the financial markets STOP WATCHING CNBC the GONG should go off for Dennis Kneale.


I will follow Zero Hedge.

agrotera's picture

I can't stand to hear him but i turned it on tonight thinking this might happen, and God, right out of the gate--boom, he launched right into the insults....i thought it was kind of funny though, because any person with a critical eye can see that every word out of his mouth has nothing but an agenda to keep, and he had no interest in hearing what the blogger he had on had to say...

Socrates's picture

I think he's tuning Japanese, I think he's turning Japanese, I really think so!


Angel Face's picture

IMO, Dennis "douchebag" Kneale ranks below the former occupants of the 8PM time slot, Carmen Ulwench, Donnie Deutsch. CNBC may as well go back to reruns in that slot as they did prior to the meltdown. Reruns would be more informative than Kneale. Given the frequent changes in this time slot, it would appear to be where CNBC sends personalities to die. One can hope.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Carmen's not on anymore? She was hot. Bummer.

Angel Face's picture

She might still be on, but not prime time 8PM. I think she is a cow, but to each their own.

Comrade de Chaos's picture

If he is so f. righteous I dare him (Dennis) to index his CNBC compensation to the number of correct market calls. Let's say to get 100% of what he is getting, he has to be 60% right. In order to get 80% of his compensation, he 'll have to make 40% correct calls. And all of the excess money will go to charity of his choice.
Even better, let's have zero hedge readers vs. Dennis bet, it could be a minimum amount but whoever loses has to go on the record by saying, I have been f, wrong, etc.

Anyway, neat little article on RE:

anonymike's picture

Funny, he talks about hiding behind anonymity, while he hides behind an obviously overwhelming playing field advantage on CNBC (based on the interview with Mike). Meeting on neutral ground for a respectful and fair battle of intellect, until it ends naturally, is a wonderful response. Then everyone would get get to see if he can support the stuff he claims in the cozy CNBC studio...

Anonymous's picture

Ok. Marla is kind of hot in print.

Comrade de Chaos's picture

"consumer income is up a bit too" , what and how exactly a bit compares to historical average Dennis? Dude, you ve got to learn how to manipulate data better than that, just take an econometric course for a chance.
p.s.s. Isn't the recession over when we have two consequent quarters of positive economic growth? For the sake of argument, you ve got to have the last GDP number to be positive to claim, it's over. Of cause if Dennis comes from the Chinese Politbureau statistical school, his claim is absolutely valid. (or else.)

KC's picture

Honestly? That is one of the most ridiculous and unprofessional requests I have seen. Did this really air on national television? Someone got their fefe's hurt. The problem with trying to relate to CNBC's soap opera of market analysis is it pulls you down to the t-ball playing to stick with the major league fight.

Woodshedder's picture

Dennis Kneale and CNBC, you just got owned.

Did you really think ZH would go down without a fight?

While this is all good for a great laugh, what is not a laughing matter is that CNBC and Dennis Kneale are responsible for individual investors losing millions, if not billions of dollars.

I am surprised after Cramer was deconstructed by Stewart, that CNBC is willing to let you hang yourself out to dry, but then again, maybe I'm not, as it would be convenient for you to be the idiot foil of CNBC...the scapegoat, if you will. No one likes you anyway. No great loss, right?

Dennis, why don't we go through all of your previous bits over the past year and look at all of the calls you made that were dead wrong. And then lets think about the people who may have acted, or not acted, based on your entertaining bits. That is all you are, an entertainer. The problem with that is that most entertainers do not cause the wholesale destruction of personal wealth as a consequence of being entertained by them.

Finally, I have a blog, and I'm not anonymous. Trust me, neither Kneale nor CNBC wants my blog to host all of Kneale's fantasy reporting which has been somehow passed off as financial journalism.

FischerBlack's picture

I think we need to use 'pwned' more often.

Anytime program trading hits, say, 40% of NYSE volume, the NYSE was, by definition, pwned. If we're sticking our necks out, even if the NYSE stops reporting member firm volume, whenever NYSE PT volume hits 40%, we can say, by definition, Goldman pwned the NYSE.

Goldman will hate it, it'll be true, and we get to flex our post-modern parlance -- what's not to love?

Woodshedder's picture

Done. I used owned as I was worried Kneale may not get it.

Anonymous's picture

Sorry Mr. Kneale, nothing personal against your salesmanship skills, but I am saving up for the Truth and am therefore at a loss for the resources to squander on the hype...err hope you are selling.

shargash's picture

I wonder if The Daily Show writers saw that clip from Kneale. One can hope.

Anonymous's picture

I F'N LOVE YOU!!! TD, I came across your blog by happenstance through twitter, and always, ALWAYS check in on your posts first thing in the morning. I'm not big in the market, or finance, but everything that I read (what is SPY anyways?) makes abso-f'kn-lute sense! And I have no idea what the SEC just did that won't allow you to see what GS is up to, but it just proves that you're really onto something and they need to demonize you least the masses begin to see through the "veil".

Keep up the excellent work!

FischerBlack's picture

Actually, anon, your reaction is one that's growing more and more common among non-financial types I know. Let's admit, there aren't that many people in this world conversant with the somewhat arcane financial topics at issue here at Zero Hedge. But people do sense when they are getting screwed. And more and more people are starting to realize that not only are they getting screwed, they're getting ass-raped with no lube whatsoever.

My brother is one of them. Here's a quote from one of his recent emails to me:

"I don't know what the hell is going on with that financial crap you're going on about, but I just know there's something going on that is going to piss me off when I find out about it. And so I get even more pissed off right now. And people who are really pissed off and don't know why do some crazy things..."

Anonymous's picture

You know what, that's the thing: I just can't pay my Chase card at the end of every month with a straight face. Let's see you get 0% (nearly) interest rates from Barry B and co; you get capitalized gratis via taxpayers; then you pump dump your own stock price over and over; then, you still won't lend to these people or help renegotiate (for the most part) their shitty ass loans in Nevada or whatever. J Dimon can come to my house for Pastis, and we will talk it out with my associates: Raekwon, Ghost, and Bobby D.

Anonymous's picture

Dennis who???