I watched the Daily Show with growing shock last night. Did you expect that? I expected a jolly and ultimately congenial discussion, after some banter. What Cramer walked into was an ambush of anger. He crumbled from the beginning. From then on, with the almost cruel broadcasting of his earlier glorifying of financial high-jinks, you almost had to look away. This was, in my view, a real cultural moment. It was a storming of the Bastille.
Now, I know Jim Cramer a little. The reason he crumbled last night, I think, is because deep down, he knows Stewart’s right. He isn’t that television clown all the way down. And deeper down, he knows it’s not all a game – not now they’ve run off with grandpa’s retirement money.
here’s the unedited Part III of the Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer showdown. By this stage in the interview, Cramer is a whipped puppy, and Stewart has long since dispensed with any comedic effect, morphing into a basic cable Howard Beale
Jim basically sat there, starry-eyed like a lost puppy, and was virtually silent throughout the three-segment show featuring him. He basically waved the white flag and said, “You got me.”
Stewart laid out a devastating indictment of the industry and CNBC’s facilitating, coverup role. As Cramer fumbled to defend himself and CNBC, Stewart showed clip after clip of Cramer describing stock price manipulation, insider scams, and how cool and easy it is to fool federal and state regulators.
And in the process, the “comedian” as Cramer tried to belittle Stewart with Joe Scarborough’s help, not only humiliated Cramer; he showed by contrasting example how shallow and inept most of the MSM has been in covering the financial scandal.
That of course, is the crux of the matter. Financial news networks are too often little more than cheerleaders for the money culture, taking what CEOs tell them as gospel, and doing pump-and-dump for the brokerage houses. I can’t recall that any of them have ever done actual investigative reporting or grilled a CEO the way Stewart grilled Cramer last night.