Misplaced Outrage for Wells Fargo

Now that we enjoy have access to 24 hour cable news channels, talk radio, blogs, online news, and a myriad of locations to get our news and information, it’s getting harder to connect the dots. As a consequence, I still turn to CNN, NBC News, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times as trusted sources for my news.

Then NBC drops the ball.

Wells Fargo, with whom I’ve had my own issues which are now resolved, initially turned down the TARP money but, as TIME magazine said in this article, “Although Wells Fargo chairman Richard Kovacevich resisted, Paulson gave the bankers no choice“. 

Catching the first 15 minutes of NBC’s Today show this morning, I was quite surprised to view what was a highly unbalanced segment (embedded below) about the outrage over the “lavish” Las Vegas event that Wells Fargo was holding “with taxpayer money.”


Look. I’m no fan of the bailout and certainly no cheerleader for Wells Fargo. In fact, I’m so stunned by the magnitude of our current economic mess, so clearly (like you) just along-for-the-ride and with nearly zero influence on any outcomes, that it’s difficult to live in a state of anger all the time, though I’d like to often.

But when NBC does a segment like this with no mention of the financial strength of Wells Fargo (one of the few surprisingly solvent banking institutions) and that this sort of corporate event has nothing to do with the bailout money,  I can’t sit idly by without calling it out.

NBC News needs to be bitch-slapped for simply fanning-the-flames of misplaced outrage and forgetting that — unlike most of us in the new media realm — they can afford to perform investigative journalism.


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  1. Josiah Gulden on February 4, 2009 at 12:07 pm


    I would highly encourage you to slightly reorient and reword this as an editorial, and to submit it to not only the local papers but also the NYT and the WSJ. The American media is as (if not more) corrupt as the political system it works to “keep accountable.” You are absolutely right to call this flame-fanning… these networks aren’t looking for stories anymore, they’re looking for sensations.


  2. craigle bagel on February 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm


    the issue is systemic. the financial institututions, led by Paulson and including current and prior adminstrative leaders. WF is as much a part of the global banking system as any of them. We do a lot of worki with WF and are quite fond of many of the individuals, however the organizism is sick and doesn’t know it.


  3. EMComments on February 22, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Hi Steve
    Good post. I don’t think the outrage is misplace so much as completely faux. The attitude seems to be “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story” – probably the “way of the world” with mainstream media.

    However, NOBODY “needs to be bitch-slapped” – see pop singer Rihanna for details.

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About Steve Borsch

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.