Five years ago, the American political landscape changed due in large part to one fed-up CNBC journalist.
Rick Santelli, who covers the bond markets at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, had seen enough as Washington policymakers began funneling what would be trillions of dollars to bail out various sectors that had been hit during the financial crisis.
Pushed to the brink, Santelli, speaking on the "Squawk Box " show, exploded into a rant resembling the famous "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" diatribe from the character Howard Beale in the 1976 movie "Network."
As he closed the segment, he turned to traders on the floor and asked them if they would like to bail out their neighbors who had spent too much money on their homes. A chorus of "no" ensued. Earlier in the segment, he suggested he and some others in Chicago planned that summer to throw a "tea party" to show their anger.
Closing, he turned to the camera and asked, "President Obama, are you listening?"
Explosive events would follow: Santelli's urging took hold, with millions of U.S. voters forming multiple tea party affiliations across the country that helped elect numerous candidates and change the conversation of American politics.
Much has changed since then. Santelli believes most of it, at least in terms of public awareness and activism, has been good.
—By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him on Twitter .