LMAO: Attorney General Jerry Brown Punks CNBC


019-525It’s not every day you see a state attorney general hold a blank piece of white paper in front of his face during a nationally televised interview and tell the reporters they can cut off the interview if they don’t want to cover the story. But then again, Jerry Brown isn’t like most attorneys general, let alone most human beings.

Brown was asked to go on CNBC Tuesday to talk about the $200 million fraud case ($56 million plus penalties) his Department of Justice had just filed against State Street Bank, and the talking heads and headettes on the business news network got more than they bargained for.

In addition to giving State Street an opportunity to respond to the charges even before the charges were aired, the network embarrassed itself by trying to bitch-slap Brown. When Michelle Caruso-Cabrera put on a snarky, cynical, world-weary reporter act and accused Crusty of flogging the case for political gain, Brown didn’t hesitate a second, breaking the fourth wall and refusing to be caught by the convention of a live national interview.

“OK, first of all, if you don’t want the interview, shut it off,” Brown said, “It was your idea, so that’s pretty silly. You feed off this just like any other media outlet.” Moreover, he added — knocking Ms Caruso-Cabrera back on her heels — “It’s kind of symptomatic of the insensitivity and the arrogance of the Eastern financial elite that you would say, ‘Oh, $56 million, why don’t you suck it up and forget it?'”

Then, when nitwit Dennis Kneale — who appeared to be making snide asides while Brown was talking — asked Brown if the whistle-blower who brought the case to the AG’s office was paid to bring it, Brown took no prisoners:

“What are you guys doing? Are you pimping for the defendant in this case? I can’t believe it.”

This is what makes Jerry Brown one of the most compelling and interesting political figures in the country. He is totally unafraid to break through the bounds of convention, and won’t let himself get caught in a double bind. You gotta love it. Check it out for yourself:

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There are 18 comments for this post

  1. avatar Silent Sleuth says:

    OMG you nailed it! These CNBC people are so smug and contemptuous of anyone who isn’t a billionaire or who wants to regulate Wall St. They are getting paid huge salaries to get honest actors like Jerry Brown to go on their “air” for the sole purpose of reading the clever questions that their producers have fed to them just so they can insult the “guest”. Thank you CalBuzz for helping Crusty call these guys/overblown-cleavage-gals out. Good job, Jerry!

  2. avatar Ave7 says:

    Actually I think Brown came off a bit befuddled. He only had three talking points and just kept hammering them, which is fine if you’re running for 6th grade class president, but as a California Gubernatorial candidate I would expect more. Plus, the questions were not out of line. He did call a press conference, so why not acknowledge that he is seeking publicity? Then when he doesn’t like a question so he hides behind a white piece of paper? That’s just weird. And $56 million is well worth the state’s effort — but is it worth the AG himself? CNBC is right that if Brown weren’t running for Governor, he’s probably not standing there talking about this. And Brown never fully articulated what the State Street contract called on them to do — he just made a general claim that “they should have given us the lower rate.” And he claimed other states’ actions were “under seal?” Is he violating the seal by talking about that fact? All in all I think it was a thin-skinned, shallow, and overly defensive effort by Brown. He made it look like those snarky idiots at CNBC were on to something.

  3. avatar SezMe says:

    Ave7 wrote, “He only had three talking points and just kept hammering them, which is fine if you’re running for 6th grade class president, but as a California Gubernatorial candidate I would expect more.”

    You gotta be kidding me. Hammering a few talking points over and over and over again is what EVERY politician does when in campaign mode. You are quite welcome to expect more but you should also expect to be sorely disappointed. Or maybe this is your first gubernatorial campaign.

  4. avatar Ave7 says:

    And just like clockwork, Jerry Brown’s campaign committee just sent out an “ain’t we great” statewide email with a link to…you guessed it…this CalBuzz page!

    So to recap:

    1. Brown calls a press conference (using state funds) and criticizes CNBC for asking questions.

    2. CNBC accuses Brown of playing gubernatorial politics with the AG’s office and Brown righteously chastises them (from behind a piece of paper).

    4. CalBuzz links to the CNBC video and applauds Brown for giving those pesky talking heads “more than they bargained for.”

    5. One day later Brown uses the CalBuzz coverage in a campaign email, paid by his campaign committee, to promote his candidacy for Governor.

    As CalBuzz put it, “this is what makes Jerry Brown one of the most compelling and interesting political figures in the country.”

    • avatar pdperry says:

      I think CalBuzz has been pretty clear as toward what side of the political fence they lean.

      It’s still an interesting read…

    • avatar drayegon says:

      Ave7 How much does it cost to call a press conference? Exact amount in Dollars please.

      Did the State of CA file some Charges to recover more than $100.00 from a financial institution? As far as I am concerned that in itself is enough to let the whole world know that at least somebody is trying to put a stop to the wrong things that banks and other financial institutions are doing to all of the public.
      For that matter I do not care if Jerry is running for Emperor of the North. If they did not wish to hear what he had to say. Then do not air his interview at all. They could have pulled the plug at anytime and said they had technical difficulties. That would have been the end of that.


  5. avatar Crimes says:

    The video speaks for itself. Jerry Brown, as A.G., had a press conference to let Californians know that they’re going after Wall St. fraud that affected our state pensions. Yeah, he’s running for Gov. too, but he didn’t handle that interview like it was a commercial for his candidacy. I’ve seen plenty of those interviews. This wasn’t one of them. He answered the questions pretty straight on. When the female anchor asked her question, she was clearly dismissive and snarky. She wasn’t asking him about the merits of their case, which is why CNBC INVITED HIM on their program. She tried to change people’s perception of the underlying story, by insinuating that he was purely politically motivated. Anybody who’s studied linguistics, journalism, acting or broadcasting knows that a question can be asked in such a way as to suggest a certain answer is “the truth”. Many people on cable news do it all the time. Jerry called them on it and took offense. He basically said, “fine… end the interview. Take my face off camera. You ASKED ME to be on YOUR show.” That seems reasonable to me. The media is always trying to make everything about the political competition. Brown wanted to talk about Wall St. Fraud. You know. Wall St. The very people who sponsor and pay for CNBC. You bet your ass those anchors are looking out for their sponsors and jobs. They know where their money comes from. Cheers to Jerry Brown for going after these thieves and then calling the media on their own bullshit.

    I don’t know if I’d classify it as some kind of serious smack-down issued by Jer, but he definitely stood up to the usual media bullshit and made me proud of him. Jerry’s doing his job as the A.G. Good. I didn’t vote for him for that job, and I wasn’t planning on voting for him for Gov., but as long as he does his job and speaks the truth to these “talking heads”, I’ll give it some thought.

    Any reasonable, intelligent adult can see that Ave 7 is clearly shilling for the Wall St. thieves. Classic misdirection. Look over here, not at what the people who are stealing from you. Please. We’re not that stupid, although apparently there’s a decent sized segment of the American population that are… they just tend to watch FOX.

  6. avatar Rod95407 says:

    It seems everyone has lost sight of what Mr Brown was actually there to speak about. The $56 million dollars due California’s workers. All of this distraction is exactly why our country is going to */@! in a handbasket. Focus people. Another bank has just screwed us the American Public. Get it?

  7. avatar syncro says:

    Talk about befuddled, poor Ave7 has to make up lies to advance a lame point no one else can even grasp. Either that, or he is such an idiot he did not understand the story.

    To recap: Brown files suit to recover $56 million State Street Bank ripped off from the tax payers of California. The bank committed fraud by cheating on a contract and pocketing money that, under the contract, belonged to the state. Ave7 is not able to understand these facts mostly because he does not want to and wants to find some way to criticize Brown.

    Why? Because he is a bitter wingnut republican who would rather see a corporation rip off taxpayers than acknowledge that a democratic politician is once again doing the job he was elected to do, and doing it well.

    Rigjt on, Jerry! You made all of them look loike fools, especially Ave7.

  8. avatar serenitynow says:

    Hey boneheads! Whether Jerry Brown is running for Governor or not the fact remains that the State was overcharged 56 mil.. Browns political ambitions are a red herring in this case. He has a fiduciary responsibility to get that money back and b slap those State Street mf’s with the maximum penalties. Should he NOT enforce the States position because he is running for Governor. Moreover, 3 talking points is more than our indolent population can retain. Ave7, SezMe and pdperry you really are children.

  9. avatar tconnell says:

    How the media and the politicians and Wall Street get away with what they get away with is totally beyond me.
    Jerry Brown and Michael Moore and Bill Black are champions !
    Too bad Ted Turner sold out to the likes of the new owners of CNN. Usted to be when Turner was the owner one could get an honest unbiased news story.
    We are getting screwed big time by this new group of crooks.

  10. avatar Ave7 says:

    So here’s what a bad week looks like at Steve Glazer’s desk: You stage a press conference for political purposes and get called on it. But you get a lucky break when your buddy at CalBuzz writes a puff piece. You do a campaign email the next day to thousands of people with a link to Calbuzz, but within moments democracy has taken root and a posted comment is not quite “on message” (just as your many friends are clicking through from your campaign email).

    What do you do?

    Apparently, you hit hard and you hit it fast. Let me just point out that in a span between 11:16 and 1:13 we have five response posts defending Jerry — all of which say almost exactly the same thing (defend the lawsuit and attack the poster), all of which come from people who have NEVER posted on CalBuzz before, all of which ignore the fact that I actually stated my support for the lawsuit in my first post, some of which harshly attack me personally and my politics (though a quick glance at my 18 posts on a variety of topics proves I am no conservative), and none of which deals with the whole point of my post which was that CNBC was right to question whether Brown was using this lawsuit as a campaign prop.

    Any opportunity to effectively refute that point was squandered when the Brown campaign itself sent out an email today to supporters, donors, and opinion leaders linking to this page. I’m not saying that’s wrong, illegal, or unethical — I’m just saying it’s true, and Jerry should too.

    Steve, I mean Jerry, you can’t have it both ways — outrage at any hint that you are politically motivated on Tuesday, and emailing press clips in a campaign email on Wednesday.

    (And I’ll bet the farm you won’t see any more Brown campaign emails linking to blogs with public discussion boards…)

    • avatar syncro says:

      Ave7, you’re a big crybaby. And you are not very good at what you are trying to do. Because no one has joined your side and everyone has called you for being a douchebag.

      You’re right that I have never posted before. No one has ever inspired me to post before like you did with your blatant flimflammery and misplaced arrogance.

      You guys squandered everything through hubris, greed and arrogance, not to mention rank incompetence and near total meltdown of the economy. Big FAIL in every respect. The only upside is now Brown and Obama and Pelosi run the country and can put an end to your evil incompetence…and that’s exactly what Jerry is dong. Good bye.

    • avatar Ave7 says:

      The Rovian “you’re with us or you’re with the enemy” polarized arguments on these posts are amazing. I like Jerry Brown (though I don’t agree with him on everything), hate Wall Street greed (which is destroying the American middle class), and support the lawsuit (which I’ve said three times).

      I simply pointed out that Brown/Glazer proved CNBC’s point that his personal involvement was campaign politics.

      But nothing says “effective, intelligent and persuasive refutation” like calling your opponent a douchebag so kudos there my friend.

  11. avatar Silent Sleuth says:

    Exchange of the week:
    “That whistle-blower — is that a private law firm that you guys have hired to do this for you?”
    “Are you guys pimping for the defendant in this case? I can’t believe it.”

    I don’t know why Ave7 is so worked up. Does he work for CNBC?
    After everything that those corrupt financial geniuses on Wall St. and their paid cronies at CNBC have put this country through, a lot of us appreciate Brown’s straight talk. Who cares whether he runs for governor? He’s the CA attorney general NOW.

  12. avatar Daniel Curtin says:

    Give ’em hell, Jerry. Somebody needs to.

    • avatar bedws says:

      I believe Jerry will do the right except wjen it comes to friends. a certain Senator’s husband has been ripping off
      Union and Pension Funds for years. Bet we won’t see anything about thay.

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