Jim Cramer on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show
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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