Wednesday Links: Cable Bluster, Night School, Footnotes First

What was CNN doing having sports journalist Stephen A. Smith on to debate Times business wunderkind Andrew Ross Sorkin on Wall Street compensation practices? I’m all for having new, outside voices in the arena (so to speak), and we’ve criticized Sorkin a couple of times for toeing the Wall Street line, but might CNN have brought the notoriously controversy-courting Smith on the air for other reasons? Like, as Sports Illustrated wrote about Smith: “The final triumph of bluster and confidence over content, of point of view over facts, of opinion over objectivity.” Don’t think viewers got much out of that brief exchange, but I guess that’s hardly new on cable news.

— An NYT story reports on the boom at two-year colleges. A couple of them have so much demand they now have classes that end at two in the morning.

— Listen up, young financial reporters. Bloomberg’s Jon Weil: “Here’s the best tip I ever got on how to read a company’s financial statements: Read the footnotes first, because that’s usually where the bodies are buried.”

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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 Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.