facts are stupid things

Watch Tea Party Godfather Rick Santelli Blubber About the Jobs Report Conspiracy

In the interest of Journalism, CNBC had a roundtable of experts weigh in on the jobs report, hosted by CNBC’s senior economics reporter Steve Liesman, who heroically tried to bring a measure of logic and informed analysis to the discussion. Turns out, having a logical and informed discussion about a total non-issue isn’t very easy! Especially when your panel of experts includes some guy who bases his analysis on the fact that he knows about trucking companies (which we hear are a less-than-perfect indicator of the statistical methods employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and CNBC on-air editor Rick Santelli (who loves to scream and yell when he is asked for evidence to support his beliefs — oh, and sort of invented the Tea Party).

It starts with a bunch of old dudes plus one blond lady with a laptop sitting around a table arguing about the jobs report, and then one of the old guys (his name is Ken,  apparently he has something to do with trucks) argues that the trucking industry is down! Ergo de facto, the methodology used by the BLS is useless! Then this other guy talks for a minute and gets cut off because everyone was sick of listening to people who aren’t Rick Santelli — he says that actually, which doesn’t go over too well with the panel of experts huddled behind their laptops — and Rick Santelli starts yelling about the stock market while some guy in the background puts his shoes up on the desk. Who is this guy? Why is he wearing white socks with Romanian piano teacher shoes on the trading floor? And putting his feet up when it’s in the frame while Rick Santelli is yelling? Whatever, not important! What’s IMPORTANT, according to Rick Santelli, is that he KNEW the numbers would fall in September. “What are you implying,” Steve Liesman asks, and Rick, sounding more and more like George Costanza, screams I’M NOT IMPLYING ANYTHING,  and then, arms waving around, YOU CONNECT THE DOTS. I’m a market whisperer! CONNECT THE DOTS!”


“I am connecting the dots,” Liesman replied. “I’m asking you to be honest about the dot connecting that you’re implying.”

“I’m honest!” Santelli screamed, and then add, “If you are looking for a conspiracy — and I’m not — you would only need to change certain numbers!”

“There’s been the last three Septembers, they’ve had this number surge,” Liesman calmly explained. “If this is a conspiracy, Rick, it goes back three years.”


About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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  1. eggsacklywright

    Jack Welch is the expert in this arena. He's very familiar with juggling numbers to reach the desired result.

  2. kyeshinka

    I don't know if I'd call him The Godfather, but I wouldn't mind taking Santelli to Lake Tahoe to do some fishing.

    1. justkillmenow

      And on your soul when they start screaming about being Christians. Those people scare the hell out of me.

  3. mrblifil

    It is interesting to note how quickly the charlatans assume manipulation of information in order to gain political advantage. It's almost like they're telling us something.

  4. Terry

    The problem, well one of them, with the neocon and teabagger Republicans is that they are corrupt and assume that everyone else thinks and acts like they do.

  5. Not_So_Much

    I don't know if I even have the strength to kick that guy in the balls as hard and as often as I want to.

  6. SoBeach

    I used to watch CNBC. They used to be pretty apolitical. Then Obama got elected and some of them lost their ever-lovin' minds. Santelli and Cernan belong on Fox. Idiots.

    1. BadKitty904

      Now, that there is about as pithy a bit of political punditry as I've heard this election cycle…

  7. Incitefully_Joe

    The guy with is feet on the desk is simply Going Galt, because of overregulation.

    This is also why he's wearing white socks with business attire, which is a major fashion faux pas, but only if you're actually working, instead of Going Galt.

    In the words of Rick Santelli, "Suck it, losers!".

  8. freakishlywrong

    If Santelli could connect the dots, he'd be wearing a hair suit and standing in water for what he and his ilk did to our economy.

  9. BaldarTFlagass

    I'm surprised that the Great Santelli didn't start bouncing the basketball off the other guy's head.

  10. actor212

    So the chief conspiratacist Teabagger, funded and fronted by Freedomworks and the Koch Brothers, is butthurt about a new conspiracy that makes absolutely no fucking sense?¹ Wow. I mean, wow.

    ¹ Cuz, why not deploy this in 2010 when it might have saved Congress for the President, you dumb shithead?

    1. MosesInvests

      That's common to the entire Mediterranean. My ex says that I can't speak Hebrew with my hands in my pockets.

  11. johnnyzhivago

    All of this makes me wonder – can we trust anything? Could this all be a dream where we're really living in a dystopian world where we are nothing more than batteries to power a giant computer complex (let's call it a "Matrix") that really runs the world???

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      Our whole solar system… could be, like… one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being…

  12. ttommyunger

    I'm old enough and country enough to remember quilting bees. Seven or eight old women would sit around quilting and gossiping. On occasion one old woman would sit in; too lazy or stupid to quilt, but would hover at the periphery and chime in (In Camden, Missouri her name was Orrie Sellars). This scenario is different because one of the women is young.

    1. kyeshinka

      I wonder what they call quilting bees in Camden, New Jersey? Not making a joke here; just a legitimate question.

      1. ttommyunger

        1. I have no ideal how they came to be called “Bees”. Camden, (Ray County) Missouri. Pop. 385 when I lived there.

          1. shelwood46

            Looked it up. They think bee meaning gathering comes from the Latin "bene" meaning "boon" which became "been" meaning "help given by neighbors" shortened to "bee".

  13. John Birf Society

    Santelli is a dangerous virus that affects the gastrointestinal and central nervous systems. Extended bouts can cause paranoia, delirium, confusion, and is associated with waste products to spewing out of every orifice.

  14. prommie

    Well look at that, its the triumph of anecdotal evidence over scientific statistical analysis! In other words, "are you gonna believe me or your lying eyes?" Math is of the devil, my buddy BillyBob done tole me the Obamaconomy is bad fer his shit-hauling bidness, so it is.

    This guy is living proof that when the republicans get desperate, the clinically insane turn pro.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Fuck these assholes, fuck them and their need to shit on any good news ever, to lie and pervert facts about our tenuous prosperity, to try and make things seem worse than they are, and to prohibit progress on any level in the name of "winning" "appearing to be right" and "selfish greed." They should all join HST in hell. (except it's probably funner if he's there)
      And this is what I say when I am in a GOOD mood.

      1. prommie

        So, aren't you gonna respond to your legions of admirers, my dear? I will just be standing here tapping my foot for a while.

        1. FakaktaSouth

          Oh my! Well of course wonkette crushes are very nice, but I'm gonna love you forever for reals.

          1. prommie

            I guess I am gonna have to accept that, even if I did have to say something first. Forever, for reals.

    2. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

      "A mile can't be 5,280 feet! There's no way! A friend of mine walked a mile once and he said it totally felt more like 3,000 feet! 4,000 feet tops! Fact! So there!"

  15. smitallica

    Thank you, Santelli, for proving the old adage: If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law, pound the law. If you have neither, pound the table.

    You fucking asshole.

    1. anniegetyerfun

      Just because they done said those numbers in a smart British voice don't means I gots to believes them.

  16. MistaEko

    Ignore that the BLS rules set up walls of separation between politics and beancounters that church and state dream about…

    Routinely, business journalists espouse something to the effect of "If you want to really know if this bit of news is true, just look at how the markets are reacting to it." And sure enough, the market went up after the numbers came out.

    That CNBC would have a roundtable to wonder if this basic tenet of market systems was broken some way, some how, and global investors are in on the con job, all while the green arrow ticks higher, disqualifies anything they may say later. Because this isn't politics, it's people's money. Why on earth would you want to listen to some politically slanted blow hard tell you what to buy or sell when the next corn futures number comes out?

    Fucking kill your television. Or at least switch to BloombergTV.

    1. SoBeach

      Why on earth would you want to listen to some politically slanted blow hard tell you what to buy or sell when the next corn futures number comes out?

      Fucking kill your television. Or at least switch to BloombergTV.

      Abso-friggin-lutely. I turned CNBC off years ago. Political screaming makes as much sense on CNBC as it would on ESPN.

  17. GunToting[Redacted]

    They really do make it easy to keep the list of the first to be up against the wall when the revolution comes current.

  18. ManchuCandidate


    AOL/Time Warner
    Any darling from the Tech Boom/Bust
    US Amercia Real Estate Bubble
    Bear Stearns
    etc etc etc

    You know the various corps and markets, loud mouth hypocritical assholes like Santelli have been vigorously defending as the paragons of virtue. Defending number juggling is a way of life for dicks like them.

  19. natl_[redacted]_cmdr

    Let's make "Santelli" a thing, like Dan Savage made "Santorum" a thing.

    I suggest "Santelli" shoud refer to that last bit of pure liquid bile in your throat after you vomit.

    As in: "You all done puking brah?"
    "Almost. [spit] Still a little Santelli left. [spit]"

    1. Tommmcatt_Again

      I think it should refer to that pube you always get in your throat when you go down on someone.

  20. ahnc

    The signs of desperation from the Tea Party is so friggin uplifting.
    Better than my morning cup of coffee.

  21. glasspusher

    All I'm sayin' is, if you want a different speed of light, all you have to do is change the numbers!

  22. Yellerdawg

    I was hoping his head would explode Scanners-style right there on the screen. If/when that happens, I will go with the conspiracy angle. Until then, I will go with, "In your face, suckers!" Or, alternatively, "Holiday season hiring, idiot."

  23. hagajim

    I'd like to know when CNBC became a political channel. I thought they were supposed to cover business for fucks sake.

    1. SoBeach

      It started in the summer of 2008, picked up steam in November of that year, and went full-Santelli in February of 2009.

  24. Dr_Zoidberg

    When I connected the dots I got a giraffe wearing a top hat! I don't even know what that means for the economy….

  25. Esteev

    Short Santelli: I'm not saying there's a conspiracy but there could be! And I'm not that irresponsible not to speculate. And by speculate, I mean scream about student loans.

  26. fuflans

    you know, if you turn off the sound, you can really focus on spain's ibex numbers.

    also you will notice some of the ugliest people on tv.

  27. Chow Yun Flat

    “If you are looking for a conspiracy — and I’m not — you would only need to change certain numbers!”

    Santelli's IQ number for example: from 10 to 9 (which is still way too high).

  28. lulzmonger

    Vaporware: the meat-based format.

    Needs more Santelli biting the heads off of live chickens.

    Good to know that these shouty Hairdo Delivery Systems were so sharp at picking up on the REAL conspiracy to rig those LIBOR numbers … oh, wait, actually they totally fucked the pooch on that one. For years on end.

    Well, at least they warned folks away from losing their shirts over toxic ARMs & bag-o-burning-shit financial packages in 2006-2008 … oops. looks like they all had their dicks up Fifi that time too!

    Hmm … perhaps a "Mandatory Pound Of Flesh Extraction" failure clause is in order.

  29. aklibtard

    This is the old playbook. Come up with a total fucking insane bullshit, then keep repeating it so often that it starts to become an actual "controversy". Eventually the news reports "both sides" of insane bullshit just to show they're not biased. Truth and bullshit get so convuluted that eventually the bullshit is a legitimate position to take. I'm just asking questions.

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