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Jim Cramer on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show

March 13, 2009

It seems that the best way to get people to visit your blog is to write about things that are currently buzzing in our media and culture.  No, this post is not about Syracuse University’s amazing 6 OT win over UConn last night.  Instead, I’m going to urge everyone to watch Jon Stewart’s interview with MSNBC financial guru Jim Cramer.

As Howard Kurtz from The Washington Postnotes, Stewart casts aside his over-the-top comical mode and asks serious questions of Cramer, who functions in this interview as a stand-in for our entire corporatized news media.  Stewart demonstrates how Cramer, a former hedge fund manager, understands the “shenanigans” that allowed investment returns to roll in at 30 percent per year for most of the 2000s.  The crucial question Stewart asks is, do shows like Cramer’s Mad Money have an ethical responsibility to be critical, investigative journalists?  Regardless of what the answer to this question is, Stewart’s interview makes it clear to me that our favorite phrase to use when talking about “our current economic crisis,” “we never saw this coming,” is a complete fiction.  I don’t care what Kurtz thinks.

The interview is an example what happens when satire exfoliates to become serious social critique.  Many people who know me also know that I edit a satirical newspaper, The Colonel. Our stories have often been accused of blurring the line between fact and fiction, so much so that the stories are not funny.  I think what Stewart’s interview shows us is that satire does not have to be funny to be effective.  Rather, it’s the context of Stewart as a comedian and political commentator that makes his critique forceful.

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4 Comments
  1. Jo Puschek permalink

    …. Cramer voted for Obama & I think that vote was counted.

  2. Greg, Omaha, Nebraska permalink

    I find it ironic that a B-movie actor is now being hailed as a revolutionary political pundit. Jon Stewart is no different than Cramer or anyone from CNN. And he especially is not a layman.

    He is a millionaire entertainer, using the news to convey opinion that often is absorbed into fact. And people will obliviously follow the Daily Show’s opinion just as blindy as someone watching Mad Money.

    Cramer’s time on the show was a public relations nightmare. He absorbed the stinging barbs directed at CNBC and accepted fault on behalf of things that had nothing to do with him. I have no problem with the Daily Show roasting him on behalf of his actions, but to make him the talking head of a major organization for Stewart to lash out on was certainly unfair and unprofessional.

    I’m not defending Cramer or CNBC, but this interview proves to me that the Daily Show is becoming no different than the news and corporations it mocks.

    In the end, it is up to the VIEWER, no matter what show they are watching, to be held responsible for their actions. Stop blaming the media for your ignorance. Seek the answers yourself.

  3. Mike S. permalink

    What is completely missing form any of this is the reason Jim Cramer is being lambasted: his critique of Obama’s anti-growth economic policies and budget proposals. Jim Cramer is right and he should have defended his statement against this onlaught of “get in line” liberalism.

  4. Steve permalink

    I scalping legal in lexington?

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