CNBC personalities like Rick Santelli and Charles Gasparino have done their loudmouthed best to hone the financial network's laissez-faire bonafides. Good luck holding that stance if CNBC's troubled parent company seeks a bailout.

In his column this weekend on General Electric, New York Times columnist Joe Nocera never actually uses the word "bailout." He doesn't have to.

CNBC owner GE just cut its dividend for the first time since the Great Depression after denying it would do so. The company's stock price was cut in half in less than a month and by nearly two-thirds over two months.In April the company missed earnings by $700 million two weeks after assuring investors it would meet its numbers.


Nocera shows (without telling) where this trouble might end up:

Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, A.I.G., Merrill Lynch, Citi, Morgan Stanley - they'd all come under the same kind of intense pressure, seemingly out of the blue, hammering the stock and blowing out the credit-default swaps while rumors swirled of imminent catastrophe.

CNBC has been aggressively protecting its right political flank against Fox Business News; it doesn't want to lose to Fox the way CNN did. As the two clips above show, CNBC has laid plutocratic cheerleading on just as thickly as right-leaning Fox.


Its anti-bailout rants will look pretty foolish, though, if GE falters and seeks government help, as Andrew Perez of The New Argument points out. Should investors trust a financial network owned by a financial disaster of a company? More even than GE's myriad other units, CNBC should hope it never has to answer that question.

[via The New Argument]