In a discussion with Andrew Ross Sorkin and Becky Quick about the rupee, Kernen faked an Indian accent and asked, “Are they good at 7-Eleven?” Sometimes the mask slips—even on national television.
Compounding Kernen’s poor judgment is the fact he actually paused and thought for 10 seconds, saying “No, I can’t make any jokes about that” before going ahead and making his lame 7-Eleven joke.
But the coup de grâce is that Kernen’s boss—CNBC’s editor in chief—is Nik Deogun, who hails from… Kolkata.
For once, somebody making fun of Indian immigrants has to answer to an Indian immigrant. Kernen should call him “sir.”
Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.
Tags: CNBC, gaffes, Joe Kernen, Nik Deogun, racism