The famous video interview between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer, on The Daily Show (in 3 parts):
Immediately after the Daily Show interview, I posted this to my Twitter: “Cramer v. Stewart: guess Cramer is the scapegoat for fact that “news” is now entertainment. CNBC wasn’t created to keep WallSt in line.” (Apologies for the fail grammar and punctuation. It’s Twitter.)
This wasn’t an interview. It was Jon Stewart reading Cramer the riot act, which is great if you want to see Cramer being read the riot act (and I know many of you do – I’m gonna leave ripping Cramer a new one up to Jason if he wants to do it, ‘cuz he’d do a better job than I would). Cramer really was passive, like to the point where you wonder if someone told him just to go out there and take shit, and Stewart was happy to festoon him with all of the network’s perceived fail.
Stewart seems to be under the impression that CNBC should be functioning as some kind of Wall Street watchdog – completely missing the point that activist journalism, investigative journalism, reporting for the sake of the truth, all of those good things as we knew them, are all unfortunately dead. Bill G and I had this convo during the show, and I agree with most of what he said:
It doesn’t matter – as long as he gets ratings. But Stewart thinks that Jim should be some sort of reporter or investigative journalist. What is he, crazy? Those people no longer exist! They died out in the 80s! It doesn’t pay for the network to pay attention to high minded journalism. It does pay to cater to Joe Average, who doesn’t know anything about finance and just wants somebody to tell him what to buy or sell. That’s Mad Money.
As for Fast Money – those guys are for short term traders. It’s pretty obvious. Regular people with long term investments who wouldn’t know a put from a call will get nothing out of Fast Money and shouldn’t watch it. Kudlow? That’s a political show! No information there. CNBC during the daytime is just a market reporter/commentator. No substance there either – just babes reporting numbers. CNBC after 9pm involves annoying women telling idiots how to get out of debt, and the rest of the time is filled by informercials.
Investigative journalism doesn’t get ratings unless it has something to do with missing white children, or holier-than-thou politicians meeting escorts at hotels (Cramer weighed in on Spitzer, but mercifully, I don’t recall him ever addressing Caylee Anthony), and networks are ratings engines.
So my final words to Jon Stewart: don’t hate the player, hate the game. Stewart got very, very close to the real problem when he pointed out that the Daily Show sold snake oil, and asked why Cramer wouldn’t admit that he sold snake oil, too; everyone sells snake oil, because it’s what there’s a market for, and bitching at one guy for not printing SNAKE OIL SALESMAN on his business cards is not going to scare him out of the snake oil business, because going into a different business isn’t viable.
Also, for what it’s worth, Jon wasn’t the only Stewart that Jim Cramer hung with yesterday. He spent the morning with Martha:
Martha [Stewart] suggested that he take the banana cream pie they would make later on the show. Cramer, who has been known to throw a few pies at the television screen, was holding out on whether to use it as a weapon on [Jon] Stewart.
“I can turn it into a gift if he’s kind to me,” Cramer said.
Had he actually brought the pie, I don’t think it would have been delivered as a gift.