Obviously we all watched, glanced at, reviewed, or read about JPM CEO Jamie Dimon’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday. Many observers said that Mr. Dimon came out winning. Essentially, he won simply because he didn’t lose, but more importantly, he appeared honest, prepared, contrite and real. Let’s face it; this is no easy task when the entire financial community and Washington are watching.
Following the testimony, CNBC colleagues asked Jim Cramer how Mr. Dimon fared. His response was to call him a loser 14 times, twice say he is stupid and then he professed that Mr. Dimon himself agreed with this assessment. I am no body language expert, but the others on stage looked a bit uncomfortable. You can watch it here via Dealbreaker’s site.
What should communications professionals do if a reporter or commentator goes off the rails against a client or executive? It’s always best to maintain a healthy relationship with the press. But, of course, it’s not always possible. In this case, it is a careful balance of first, not adding fuel to an unpredictable fire and second, keeping the offensive behavior in check.
This type of situation warrants a phone call, off-the-record conversation and a request for an apology. I would not expect a public apology, but the bad behavior should be flagged as unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. Here, the leverage is the relationship. CNBC has had the privilege of many exclusive Dimon interviews, JPM doesn’t have to continue to do that.
CNBC viewers watch the programming for sound financial advice, market moving news, thoughtful opinions and light banter, not unwarranted character assassinations. This rant shows a lack of respect and a lack of class. CNBC is better than that.