Could the Media Have Fueled Stock Market Crash?

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ABC, NBC and CBS cut into programming, CNBC and Fox Business aired hardly any commercials.

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 500 points Thursday, networks and cable channels interrupted regular programming to cover the worst single-day drop since October 2008.

ABC, NBC and CBS cut in shortly after the market closed, and, CNBC and Fox Business aired hardly any commercials and scheduled primetime specials, according to Yahoo!'s Cutline blog.

Could cable news and network's nonstop coverage have actually caused the stock market crash to accelerate?

"These investors are way too sophisticated," Charlie Gasparino, senior correspondent for the Fox Business network, told Yahoo's Cutline blog. "The markets are pretty smart, investors are pretty smart. They can see through the bull----."

The economics editor at Yahoo! Finance, Dan Gross, concurred: "A huge chunk of volume--and hence momentum--is now driven by machines, computers and algorithmic trading and the computers definitely aren't watching cable news."

"Market activity driven largely by professionals, who are watching their data screens and usually have CNBC on with the sound off," Gross added. "They're not listening to what the hosts are saying."

Analysts have credited the nosedive to the lengthy debt-ceiling debates, Europe's growing credit crisis and lack of job growth.

"I turned on CNBC at one point to find no fewer than [eight] faces in little squares, like a panicky Brady Bunch," Heidi N. Moore, who reports on Wall street for Marketplace radio, posted on her Tumblr. "Their theories to explain the drop--and oh boy, were they theories--were innovative. It was hard to follow, but at least two contributors were making a compelling case that German bunds and Swiss francs had conspired with the Japanese yen to create a whisper of QE3 in the U.S. I wondered how Colonel Mustard had escaped suspicion, what with his candlestick in the library."