Friday, March 13, 2009

Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer

This is old news.
It only happened less than twenty-four hours ago, but a snip made the NBC Evening News tonight.
This may be one of themost important twelve minutes that has been on television this year. The content speaks for itself. I have a feeling that the networks will spin it down as much as possible and pray for the news cycle to be interrupted by something more dramatic.
That may happen. Or they may make up something.
But in the meantime I want to embed this clip in my blog to be able to say I did my little bit to get maximum exposure to what Jon Stewart said to Jim Cramer.

This is from the New York Times. The only part I don't like is the last line.

Part of his frustration may stem from the fact that while Mr. Stewart clearly won the debate, Mr. Cramer and CNBC stood to profit from the encounter. In today’s television news market, the cable network and its stars are like the financiers they cover — media short-sellers trading shamelessly on publicity, good or bad, so long as it drives up ratings. There isn’t enough regulation on Wall Street, and there’s hardly any accountability on cable news: it’s a 24-hour star system where opinions — and showmanship — matter more than facts.

Like a Congressional witness who knows better than to contradict Senators in public, Mr. Cramer spent much of the interview (and it went long) ruefully conceding that he could have done better, and that he sure will try from now on, but really his heart was in the right place. “There are shenanigans and we should call them out, I should do a better job at that,” Mr. Cramer said, adding that he was lobbying Washington (“I have people in Congress,” is how he put it ) to tighten regulation and enforcement. “I’m trying,” he said.

Mr. Cramer tried to be friendly and looked a little taken aback by Mr. Stewart’s prosecutorial tone — he may have been expecting a more jocular give-and-take. But mostly, he sat back and milked every last drop from a tempest-in-a-cablebox that NBC and its sister channels have been fanning ever since the “Daily Show” host began hammering CNBC for its complacent Wall Street coverage, singling out embarrassing market calls by Mr. Cramer in particular.

The “Daily Show” has shown clip after clip from last year that show Mr. Cramer assuring his “Mad Money” viewers that Bear Stearns was not in trouble — shortly before the heavily leveraged investment firm imploded. He has apologized to his viewers several times since then. (“I have always thought they were honest,” he said on Thursday. “That was my mistake.”)

On Tuesday, the “Today” show invited Mr. Cramer to reply to Mr. Stewart’s charges — and watch the “Daily Show” clips of his show all over again. He also appeared on “Morning Joe,” on MSNBC, and on Thursday morning, he made pie crusts with Martha Stewart, whose syndicated show is distributed by NBC, and jokingly thwacked the table with her rolling pin at the mention of Mr. Stewart’s name. Mr. Stewart used that clip in his introduction, saying with a smirk, “Mr. Cramer, don’t you destroy enough dough on your own show?”

Once he had Mr. Cramer at his desk, Mr. Stewart showed fresh, and even more embarrassing clips from a 2006 interview with the Web site he founded,, in which he too candidly explained how hedge fund market manipulation really works.

And the “Daily Show” host pointedly questioned the hyped-up theatricality and dubious claims of CNBC shows like “Mad Money” and “Fast Money.” When Mr. Cramer explained, “There is market for it and you give it to them,” Mr. Stewart stared at him in disbelief, exclaiming. “There’s a market for cocaine and hookers!”

Mr. Stewart kept getting the last word, but Mr. Cramer may yet have the last laugh.


Anonymous said...

History will marvel at how much trust the middle class was willing to place in corporations…that ended up raping them and the country. Stupid idealogical arguments like “we are becoming socialist” just serve the corporatist. Cramer is a phony…there is very little objective reporting left in this country because corporations have been running wild.

Anonymous said...

It is ironic that Jon Stewart and a comedy show instead of the regulators or news media had to bring all of this public. Also in Cramers defense he is far less guilty than most of the other financial media for their efforts together with Wall Street, the politicians & incompetent regulators for what has happened.

While I enjoy watching Cramer every night, one must remember the show is primarily entertainment. The financial networks exist to promote their advertisers financial and investment products. Who would expect them to warn about the credit bubble or coming Washington national debt collapse which will destroy much of the remaining private wealth in America today or what this will do to the dollar, the stock market, bonds, gold or the real estate market?

China is now worried about their dangerous over investment in US Treasury obligations. Washington ’s long-term choice is either repudiation or monetization. For monetization to be effective, the depreciation in the dollar would have to be substantial and this in turn would dramatically raise prices of imports for American consumers which would mean a tremendous drop in foreign imports. Debt monetization would cause more disruption to exporting nations than selective repudiation of Treasury debt.

The Campaign to Cancel the Washington National Debt By 12/22/2013 Constitutional Amendment is starting now in the U.S. See:


Ron with 30 plus years in the investment business and banking industry.

Hoots said...

Appreciate the comments.

It's a sad commentary that the job of pointing to a naked emperor falls to entertainers. It's not new, however. The court jester's role was along the same lines. I'm not a fan of Stewart or Cramer but I feel bad for Cramer. As far as I can tell, his derangement was no worse than that of the big shots.

Most people don't appreciate how far into the future our debt obligations reach. And China has good reason to tremble.

Am I the only one who thinks that a hundred years hence Bernie Madoff may symbolize today's financial mess as much as those receiving excessive bonuses? They all wear white collars, you know.