Was Santelli's 'tea party' rant planned in advance?

Michael Rainey

Rick Santelli made headlines a few weeks ago when he criticized President Obama's new housing plan live on CNBC. Millions of people saw him call for a "tea party" to protest the plan's supposed bailout of "losers" in danger of defaulting on their mortgages. In the wake of his impassioned rant, Santelli became a hero of sorts to Wall Street traders and economic libertarians throughout the land.

Like the fictional Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network, Santelli appeared to be a man suddenly unhinged by righteous anger. Beale famously shouted, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" on live television, and Santelli did similarly, railing against President Obama's interference with the markets.