Stewart vs. Cramer InstaBlogging

11:23 First commercial break in the big Jon Stewart — Jim Cramer interview. So far it’s Stewart in a rout. Cramer’s making a fool of himself; I actually feel a bit bad for him. It’s pure train wreck time. Hard to watch but impossible to turn away.

11:30 Colbert’s coming on so I’ll keep this short. Stewart signed off by saying he hoped it was as uncomfortable to watch as it was to do. Believe me, it was. But it needed to be done and God bless Stewart for doing it. I’ve been saying for some time that people like him, and Colbert and Maher are the only ones doing any serious journalism these days. Stewart’s jeremiad against CNBC is a good example.


  1. #1 russjam
    March 13, 2009

    Of course Stewart was on homeground. The whole thinfg has off as a class warfare thing where its wall street vs Main street. Carmer did those vidz on purpose to reveal the shenanigans yet he’s being roasted for it. C’mon!

  2. #2 Larry K
    March 13, 2009

    The blame game goes on. We accuse gov’t officials of lying when they actually were simply wrong. If Stewart was so smart, how come he didn’t come out with these insights a year ago? Sure Cramer was wrong, but he believed his friends. Thats how being a friend of Bernie Madoff got you in trouble. Should kids call Dad a lier because he lost the the college fund investing with his pal Bernie? Should Dad have known better? Sure, but people make mistakes.

    If you get all your financial information from CNBC you are an idiot.
    If you get all your news from the Comedy Central you are an idiot.

  3. #3 PercyJ
    March 13, 2009

    When the weatherman predicts sunny skies for the weekend, and it rains, that is a mistake. These folks claim to be professionals, so we sheep accept them as such. But there is a responsibility that comes with that title..
    I have to agree with the Larry K post…

  4. #4 eddie
    March 13, 2009

    russjam can’t even spell the guy’s name right. And on the substance, Cramer pushed stocks to idiots so his backers could fleece them. Yet another thing cramericans are denialist about.

    And, Larry K. Newsflash! Stewart isn’t a highly paid market ‘guru’. He’s a satirical news host. People don’t go to comedy central for their news. They go there for their quality investigative journalism. The sort you don’t get on CNBC.

  5. #5 The Science Pundit
    March 13, 2009

    eddie FTW

  6. #6 valhar2000
    March 13, 2009

    Carmer did those vidz on purpose to reveal the shenanigans[…]

    If that was his intention, he failed miserably. He gave the impression of beign a cheerleader for disastrous economic policies. Perhaps he overestimated the intelligence of his audience?

    If Stewart was so smart, how come he didn’t come out with these insights a year ago? Sure Cramer was wrong, but he believed his friends.

    Well, indeed, Stewart was not smart enough to predict the debacle a year ago, but he is smart enough to notice it now, and to notice that it doesn’t quite jibe with what Cramer has been saying all along. Cramer doesn’t seem to be smart enough to do even that, since Stewart has to keep reminding him that he did say things he denies having said.

  7. #7 SLC
    March 13, 2009

    As bad as Cramer is, he is a paragon by comparison with DOW 36000 cokehead Larry Kudlow. How any financial so called news channel can give somebody like Kudlow a microphone is beyond the pale. Here is a man who has been in drug rehab at least twice for cocaine addiction, which lead to his firing by the National Review.

  8. #8 gingerbeard
    March 13, 2009

    “Sure Cramer was wrong, but he believed his friends.”

    That’s some fine investigative journalism Lou.

    And if cannot see this, that Stewart was holding not just Cramer’s but the industries feet to the fire for not doing their job, you have missed the whole point. The “news reports”, simply are not about news, they are about entertainment, they follow a prescribed entertainment format including my personal favorite the feel good story at the end of the friday news.

    But they do not actually provide news, they do not investigate what is going on to provide a real insight to the consumer, they simply have becoem the spokes people for the area they cover.

    “We’ll my friends came on and lied to me, how could I have known?”-Cramer

    How about doing your job, and doing background investigation rather then taking at face value what a company spokesman tells you.

    When the best information is available from FARK and the Daily show, you know the News media, is all about being media and not about providing news.

  9. #9 John Farrell
    March 13, 2009

    Here is a man who has been in drug rehab at least twice for cocaine addiction, which lead to his firing by the National Review.

    Is that true?? Yikes.

  10. #10 Larry K (not Kudlow)
    March 13, 2009

    So much to say, so little time to say it.

    First of all. It’s totally disingenuous of Stewart to use his mantle as a satirist to do a sneak attack on Cramer.

    Cramer is a big boy and should have shown that he owns a pair of testicles and fought back instead of cowering and apologizing.

    Stewart is starting to enter that faze of his career where he is going to take himself WAY to seriously.

    Let’s bring out the footage after 911 where he was crying on his show. Where he was supporting the war in Iraq and make him answer to it. Didn’t he KNOW there were no weapons of mass destruction??? Wasn’t it his job to investigate?

    How about this. (Please notice the hip quotes from album titles of the hippest comedy group of the 60’s and identify in your posts).

    We all knew the bubble was going to burst. We all looked at the Dow when it was at 14,000 and thought to ourselves, “Hmmm, maybe we should just cash out now, nothing can be this good forever”. But. we are all greedy bastards and we thought, “Oh, crap., MAYBE IT’LL GO HIGHER AND I WON’T BE IN IT” So we stayed. Did we lie to ourselves? Shouldn’t we have done the research? Sure. But.

    “Everything You Know Is Wrong”
    “We’re All Bozo’s On This Bus”

    Oh, everything will be fine, really.

  11. #11 gingerbeard
    March 13, 2009

    Jon in no way did a sneak attack, if Cramer didn’t see this comming, then he wasn’t watching the previous 3 nights episodes. Cramer kept shooting back at Jon, so he got what he deserved.

    Was it the Daily show’s job to investigate??? umm no its a comedy show, it is CNBC’s job to investigate, after all the claim to be news programing. The fact that the daily show actually does more investigation into stories shows what the problem is.

    And as Jon said to Cramer, maybe you could go and do reporting and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces.

  12. #12 Paul Lundgren
    March 13, 2009


    I respectfully disagree with you on Bill Maher. He’s just another asshole windbag who would rather make a punchline than a point. His attacking of the pharmaceutical industry gets tiresome, as it seems to this observer that he’d rather dope-smoke away what ails you than concede that the drug companies do, indeed, know what they’re doing when it comes to medicine. And as an atheist myself, his “Religulous” was not well done. I’d rather see him go into an interview by saying, “I’m doing a movie challenging people on why they believe in God–are you up to the challenge?” and go from there rather than pick a bunch of rubes and ask awkward questions for the sake of a laugh.

  13. #13 BaldApe
    March 13, 2009

    Gingerbeard said:

    But they do not actually provide news,

    Aw come on. They repeat whats in all the press releases. Isn’t that journalism?

    On Bill Maher, I agree with Paul Lundgren. As funny as it is to hear Bill Maher rip in to conservatives and the religious, he doesn’t show signs of knowing what he’s talking about.

  14. #14 gingerbeard
    March 13, 2009

    “Aw come on. They repeat whats in all the press releases. Isn’t that journalism?”

    I think (you think) you are being sarcastic, but unfortunately you are being accurate.

    There in lies the problem.

  15. #15 Jason Rosenhouse
    March 13, 2009

    Paul Lundgren –

    Yeah, every time I say something nice about Maher someone shows up to inform me what a prick he is. He certainly goes South on many issues, such as health, but overall I think he does far more good than harm. Especially during the Bush administration he was one of the rare voices in the media to speak against him even before it was mainstream to do so. I’ve also seen him do a lot of good interviews on his show, and his panel discussions are usually better than what you see on the cable news channels. I also like his vocal criticisms of religion. So, on balance, he’s one of the good guys.

  16. #16 Nathan P.
    March 13, 2009

    gingerbeard is right on the mark. This interview was a great example of exactly what Jon Stewart does best and most passionately. He takes the “mainstream” media to task for failing to live up to their own supposed journalistic ideals. He consistently positions himself outside the media and then shouts back in: “I don’t have to live up to journalistic standards–but YOU do!”

    As many have pointed out, Stewart is more journalistic than most journalists in one crucial way: because the single most important message that underlies almost everything he does is “question authority.” Questioning authority is synonymous with critical thinking. It should be the central motivating ethos of every journalist (scientist/blogger/human)… but, sadly, it isn’t. Whether sarcastically or straightfacedly, Stewart is always making this point.

  17. #17 Paul Lundgren
    March 13, 2009


    I’ll concede that I agree with him on an awful lot of issues. I just disagree with his style a lot of the time, is all.

    Thanks for listening.

  18. #18 ErikJ
    March 13, 2009

    Let’s bring out the footage after 911 where he was crying on his show. Where he was supporting the war in Iraq and make him answer to it. Didn’t he KNOW there were no weapons of mass destruction??? Wasn’t it his job to investigate?

    I think the point of this whole debacle just shot so far over your head that it’s now in geosynchronous orbit. Stewarts show is purely a comedic enterprise, unlike CNBC, it does not make any assertions that it is absolutely accurate or trustworthy.
    It serves the purpose of the court jester, as it can point out hypocrisies and half-truths that no other news shows dare. The finance people on CNBC could have just let this go or admit to themselves that they did make a mistake or two.
    I guess my point is, why bother trying to call the court jester a fool? The audience and jester already know that. It just ends up making you look more the fool.

  19. #19 Larry K
    March 13, 2009

    Gee ErikJ. Did you actually SEE the show. Stewart was as serious as a heart attack. It was a Paddy Chayefsky “Network” moment. It was as if he was channeling Peter Finch yelling “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!”

    Watch out when comedians start to take themselves to seriously. They lose their credibility and all of as sudden they become part of that sad list:
    1. Steve Allen
    2. Dick Cavett
    3. Billy Crystal
    4. Dennis Miller
    and, let’s not forget.
    5. Al Franken

    The world doesn’t need more smart ass knowitalls, it needs Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Market’s up!

  20. #20 Lucas McCarty
    March 13, 2009

    …Jon Stewart was for the Iraq war? News to me. I was always of the impression that he was quite bitter about belonging to a silent majority that was accused of being traitors when they tried to make even the mildest criticism.

  21. #21 Larry K
    March 13, 2009

    Interesting point Lucas. Now, let me get this straight.

    Stewart was bitter, but silent because he was afraid of being accused of being a traitor for even the mildest criticism during a time when Republicans controlled Congress and the Presidency.

    But NOW, he’s brave and courageous and beats up on Wall Street during a time when Democrats control Congress and the Presidency.

    Do I see a book deal brewing? “Profiles in Courage II” perhaps?

  22. #22 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 13, 2009

    “Now, let me twist everything that’s said to create straw men.”

    Fixed that for ya, Larry-Boy.

  23. #23 BaldApe
    March 13, 2009

    For the record, I thought I was being sarcastic and accurate at the same time.

    Also, I read somewhere that people who watch the Daily Show tend to be better informed on the news than average. Either they are already pretty well informed, or their bullshit filters are fully up to the task of seeing the truth behind the comedic sketches.

  24. #24 Larry K
    March 14, 2009

    “Now, let me twist everything that’s said to create straw men”

    That must be the “So’s yer old man” of the 21st century.

    Straw men have rights too, ya know!

  25. #25 gm
    March 14, 2009

    I have more respect for Cramer after the Daily Show than I ever did before. In fact, I couldn’t stand the man. Still can’t. But he didn’t do what I expected him to do – bluster and scream through everything Stewart said. He actually seemed to see the point that real people’s lives have been adversely affected. Most unexpected. Still a loudmouth snake oil salesman but…
    Larry K, I’m somewhat bewildered by the list of comedians. Almost like you’re saying that if you’re an accountant you can’t have an opinion on, let’s see – opera, the planetary interaction, the price of oil, etc. They’re people too and probably more observant than the rest of us seeing that they need to get their material from what’s going on around them. I’m not saying they’re right, just that they’re no more irrelevant than anyone else.

  26. #26 Larry K
    March 14, 2009

    I ABSOLUTELY agree with you gm that everyone has their right to their opinion. And… I’m not so sure that even John Stewart is convinced that he’s an economics expert. But others seem to thing that he’s an investigative reporter. He’s not.

    Remember Rosie O’Donnell on the view? She became a 911 CSI. Remember when she stated that jet planes could not have caused the collapse of the twin towers so it must have been an “inside” job? And, for proof, she explained that it’s impossible for steel to melt? Now there’s someone who should be sentenced to 8 hours a day watching the Discovery Channel.

    Oh, one more thing. For all these people who think comedy central is the new CNN, gee, you guys seem to have no sense of humor at all.

    Lighten up, it’s only money.

  27. #27 gm
    March 14, 2009

    Larry K, love the Rosie O’Donnell comments. Maybe whoever screams loudest is the winner.
    No, I don’t think Jon Stewart is an expert on finances or politics although I’m liberally biased, so my point of view can’t be taken seriously either. But Cramer presents himself as an expert. Perhaps I dislike him because of all the shouting and carrying on, but he does have a certain amount of responsibility.
    I guess it all boils down to my dislike of people who call themselves journalists offering their opinions as facts. And not just in financial matters. We’re so inundated with information from all directions that it’s hard to separate truth from this-is-so-because-I-thought-it style of reporting. Not to mention the thousands of experts and analysts who give their own POV on everything, and usually in direct contrast to the previous expert on the very same subject. And to all this we’re supposed to apply critical thinking.

  28. #28 gm
    March 14, 2009

    I should add that I know who the comedians are, which is the reason I watch them. And, thankfully, I don’t have any money to invest so I didn’t sink any into Cramer’s recommendations, which in the end leaves me in the exact same financial situation as the people who did. As for CNN – the less said, the better.

  29. #29 Tyler DiPietro
    March 15, 2009

    A lot of people being critical of Stewart are completely missing the point. Stewart is a comedian with a basic cable show on a channel that also features a parody cop show and roasts of celebrities. We should not expect him to be more insightful than the media supposedly devoted to serious investigation and reporting. And yet, when Rick Santelli decided to go on a rant against “loser home owners” and their poor judgement, Stewart was the only one who bothered to point out CNBC’s repeated loser advise and failure to call out shenanigans that they were obviously well aware of.

    Stewart is not a serious journalist and he doesn’t claim to be. He only claims, rightly, that there is a problem when the “serious journalists” leave the court jester to do the legwork.

  30. #30 trrll
    March 15, 2009

    Stewart is not an investigative journalist (or indeed, a journalist at all) and has never made any serious claims to be. So on the rare occasions when he steps out of his comedic role to comment seriously, it is clear that he does so only because he perceives a failure on the part of those in the media who ought to be more qualified to comment than he is.

    And when he does do so, he displays remarkably good sense, and is generally right.

  31. #31 Troublesome Frog
    March 17, 2009

    Let’s bring out the footage after 911 where he was crying on his show. Where he was supporting the war in Iraq and make him answer to it. Didn’t he KNOW there were no weapons of mass destruction??? Wasn’t it his job to investigate?

    Here’s your mistake: You’re taking the fact that The Daily Show is often closer to the truth than the real news and assuming that this is the right way for things to be. It’s not.

  32. #32 JimV
    March 17, 2009

    If Cramer, Kudlow, and many others on CNBC whose names I don’t know, don’t deserve to be taken down several pegs for pretending to an expertise which events have shown them to be lacking in, then I don’t know who comedians are free to satirize – now that Bush 43 is gone.

    Of course, I may be swayed by the fact that I agree with Jon Stewart’s position so my ox is not being gored. If anything, I feel less bitter about Cramer and his ilk now that Jon Stewart has expressed what I feel, with appropriate sharpness but also with humor, and then shaken hands with Cramer at the end.

    Cramer is an entertainer too, but his entertainment has resulted in massive losses to people’s life savings – as has the advice of the other gurus at CNBC. The entertainment has not been worth the price. I think Cramer may realize that – I hope so.

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