CNBC anchors went to battle in a full meltdown debate on Wednesday after one accused the other of abusing his position to help President Donald Trump.
The flashpoint for the anger seemed to be when Joe Kernen took Andrew Ross Sorkin to task for being so skeptical of the stock market rally during the coronavirus pandemic.
“For a while it was how can stocks be where they are because of oil prices, remember that was your take, then how can it be based on where interest rates are right now, then it could be, how can stocks be, and then it was every single discussion you have over the weekend was about how can stock prices be here when the economy is here,” said Kernen.
“Now it’s gonna be your earnings, but can you see how that probably isn’t the coincidence stuck right in your face?” he mocked.
Sorkin launched into a tirade against Kernen in his own defense.
“Look, Joe, you missed it all the way down too!” said Sorkin.
“Joe, you missed it a hundred percent on the way down, and you missed the hundred thousand deaths,” he continued, “so we can have this debate back and forth, or you can try to question, the questions I’m asking …”
“I never said it was gonna …” Kernen interrupted.
“Hold on! Hold on!” yelled Sorkin.
“You panicked about the market,” said Kernen later in the debate, “you panicked about COVID, panicked about the ventilators, panicked about the PPE (personal protective equipment), panicked about ever going out again, panicked …”
“Joseph! Joseph!” yelled Sorkin, “you didn’t panic about anything! Joseph, a hundred thousand people died!”
“I understand that,” said Kernen.
“A hundred thousand people died, Joe!” Sorkin fired back.
“And all you did was try to help your friend the president!” he yelled. “That’s what you did! Every single morning on this show! Every single on this show! You used and abused your position! You used and abused your position!”
Kernen denied trying to help the president and countered that he was trying to help investors navigate the economic downturn caused by the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s the fiery debate on CNBC:
CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin accuses co-anchor Joe Kernen of abusing position to help Trump