CNBC's Rick Santelli's self-described rant on TV made him an instant “viral video star,” said Phil Rosenthal in the Chicago Tribune. Santelli’s complaint (click here for the video) was that "the government is promoting bad behavior" with President Barack Obama's mortgage bailout plan. It “clearly resonated with many Americans,” but it also undeniably made Santelli a star just as he was getting ready to negotiate a new contract.
“Once upon a time, cable channels were embarrassed by on-air outbursts or other anchor antics,” said Brian Stelter in The New York Times. But within minutes of Santelli’s rant CNBC had posted the clip on its homepage, where more than 1.7 million people have watched it. “Cringe-worthy” moments are bound to show up on YouTube anyway—CNBC apparently preferred to have people see it with “advertisements attached.”
“There's been a lot of discussion about whether Rick's Rant was appropriate for a reporter in his position," said Jim Goldman in CNBC. But Santelli “clearly struck a nerve,” and we all benefit when someone with “expertise” shines a light on a shared problem. The rant got people talking, and thinking. “Now the debate can really begin.”