Leave Dennis Alone!

He's been called "schlubby," "functionally retarded" and a "total idiot tool." He's been accused of "carping, acting out, and cartoonish behavior." His name is fast entering the vernacular as a synonym for "uber-douchebag." (As in, "Joe Kernen may be an even bigger Kneale than Donald Trump. Nah . . . Trump is way Knealier.") One blogger is so perplexed by his bizarre and annoying behavior that she's resorted to armchair psychoanalysis to understand him ("[W]hat happened to this guy in childhood, or adolescence, or a previous life that made him the way he is today? It has to have been something horrific, right? You can't just be born like this, can you?") He himself admits he has a "high obnoxious quotient" (and that's apparently after trying to "reign it in"). And judging by the comments on this site and countless others, there seems to be a widespread obsession with inflicting damage on his reproductive organs.

No, they're not talking about Glenn Beck. These uncivil and unprovoked attacks are directed at Dennis Kneale, CNBC anchor and financial reporter par excellence. Is it any wonder he momentarily lost his composure recently while addressing bloggers on his show?

These Kneale-bashing "digital dickweeds" -- as Dennis so cleverly called them -- don't seem to understand that ad hominem attacks have no place in journalism. They insist on lambasting Dennis for every minor foible (who hasn't copped a double-feel off a colleague and a subordinate's wife in the back of a taxicab -- with her husband present?) and weakness (who doesn't carry a 2X3 of Jamie Dimon in their wallet?).

But the truth, I suspect, is that they're just jealous. It's not difficult to see why. First, Dennis has unmatched insight -- like the time he suggested on-air that Steve Jobs' health issues were really just a case of "PMS". The fact that the suggestion came totally out of left field makes it all the more original and gutsy. Second, he's a paragon of journalistic integrity and decorum. His comment that successful financial news TV is all about creating "conflict, drama and struggle" to "fool" people into learning, makes perfect sense. After all, what is journalism but the the art of deceiving people for their own good? And third, to top it all off, he has the rugged good looks that one would expect of a bona-fide TV personality (no, that's not a pompadour, and yes, the camera does add a couple of chins).

Like the other members of the insignicant new media, Tyler and this website are also guilty of giving Kneale a digital wedgie. So what if Dennis refused your offer to contribute to ZH or participate in an open and unscripted debate? When one's busy trying to hold on to one's coveted 8:00pm timeslot on CNBC one doesn't have time to trifle with the irrelevant bloggers that one devotes airtime to chastising. And if you're so much smarter than Dennis, how come you don't have your own financial entertainment show? Anyone can present facts, figures and cogent opinion, but only a select few have that je-ne-veux-pas-savoire-quoi that makes a Kneale.

So to all the cowardly anonymous dickweeds out there, please stop saying Dennis is a pompous, half-witted meathead who'll do anything for ratings. Or that he's a sycophantic stooge of the banking industry. Or that his attitude should be adjusted with a pair of plyers and a blowtorch. (And, while we're on the subject, the "Sterilize Dennis Kneale Before It's Too Late" T-Shirts are really uncalled for.) Instead, take a cue from the ladies in that taxicab, and just leave Dennis (and his reproductive organs) alone.


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