CNBC Host Compares "Human" and "Economic" Toll of Earthquake

The Story

Viewers didn't appreciate Lawrence Kudlow's analysis of the Japanese earthquake: "The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that." The host of The Kudlow Report on CNBC went on to say, "The human toll is a tragedy; we all know that." After criticism about Kudlow's comparison, he issued an apology on Twitter.

Discussion Starters

  • After watching the video, above, do you find Kudlow's comment offensive? Why or why not?
  • Consider that Kudlow's comment was made as part of an economic report. Does that change your opinion? Why or why not?

Assignment Ideas

  • In his tweet, Kudlow said that he "flubbed the line." Rewrite what he said on the show. How could Kudlow have conveyed his point about the economic impact of the earthquake differently?

Kudlow 3-11

  • In small groups, discuss Kudlow's response.  How would you evaluate his apology via tweet?  What works well about the statement, and what would you change?
  • Individually, rewrite Kudlow's tweet. In a memo to your instructor, explain your changes.