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Friday
Mar132009

Jim Cramer Died For CNBC's Journalistic Sins

Jon Stewart went all prosecutorial and Jim Cramer cupped his balls while curled up in a fetal position. Twas not pretty.

This beatdown was not meant for the gregarious, goofy "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer as Jon Stewart tried to repeat when not smacking the man in the face with his own words. He quoted Carly Simon and to paraphrase, said this ass-whoopin' isn't about you.

And yet it was.

(TO SEE THE VIDEO OF THE INTERVIEW, CLICK HERE.)

I don't know why, but no one ever seems to learn that you don't start fights with the court jesters of society. Especially when they have large, televised forums. And I don't know why people still discount how a fake news show can turn frightfully real in the hands of a well-informed Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or even David Letterman. They are comedians. They don't have to play by the "rules." You will be eviscerated. Yet I watch people do this over and over again thinking they can beat the comic and walk out all "no whammies" at the end of the interview.

Do these people not watch the show? Do they not know that Jon Stewart once KILLED A PROGRAM?

(More after the jump.)

That said, I think Cramer stepped in shit when he even opened his mouth to question Stewart's mocking of CNBC and their rampant CEO leg humping that they pass off as objective journalism. He should have said nothing and laughed it off if Jon was, in fact, his hero and a guy he admires and aspires to be like. What the hell was all the smack talk about a comedian attacking you and going on all of the NBC-MSNBC-CNBC family to have your boo boos kissed?

This was really about Rick Santelli not taking his medicine and backing out of an interview (which will always, always make you the target of mockery ... ask John McCain). But Cramer could have ignored it because it really wasn't about him, per se, but the network as a whole. Yet he opened his mouth, causing the trumped up war of words leading to a smackdown that he obviously didn't want to have.

"How did we get here?" was the question. But the answer was obvious -- CNBC has no balls.

Cramer should not have been up there catching that beatdown. As wrong and ass-hat-like as Cramer can be, he's not the villain here. The villains were Bear Sterns and Bernie Madoff and the executives at CNBC who required nothing of many of their reporters other than that they make kissy faces with our capitalist overlords. This was CNBC President Mark Hoffman's beat down and he sent one of his personalities, his serfs, to go take the beating for him and get his network's credibility back.

But Cramer didn't fight Stewart and spent most of the interview capitulating, only disagreeing that CNBC was not "in bed" with the people on which they were reporting. (Despite some not-so-thinly vieled rumors about a certain female reporter and a certain CEO.) How did THAT help their credibility, with Cramer basically admitting to being a snake oil salesman labeling his wares as vitamin tonic?

While on CNN this morning folks were trying to find anything nice to say about the Thursday Night Massacre of CNBC's integrity, but the reality is the whole thing was a massive mistake and miscalculation on the network's part. They should have taken their lumps and laughed it off. He is a satirist. You can "pretend" that he's not really talking about you. That's what smart people do. They don't show up and wrestle with the bear to give the bear ever better ratings.

Which brings me to another sad, sad individual -- RNC chairman (but for how long) Michael Steele.

The other deadly satirist, Stephen Colbert, has called Steele out for a "rap battle" repeatedly. This, of course, is partly Steele's fault for saying he was going to bring the RNC to people in hip hop urban suburban settings (whatever that means). He opened himself up for this joke.

Steele has twice accepted the challenge in some fashion, yet has not appeared on the show. Colbert has now begun goading Steele to come on and face his mad skillz. With Steele's inability to even handle interviews with normal, rule-playing, dull, regular journalists, I cannot implore him enough to STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM STEPHEN COLBERT.

You cannot beat Stephen. Stephen, like Stewart, is not a journalist. He's not a politician. He has no rules. You will be showing up with gun to a fight with a rapidly shape-shifting vat of Silly Puddy that will merely absorb your bullets, then you, then cover you in goop and make you look like an idiot. And then the tape will be replayed -- everywhere -- to the point of exhaustion and your adversaries will have ever more ammunition for that whole "vote of no confidence" that may or may not be coming.

Learn from Cramer and CNBC's mistakes and stay far, far away. No matter how much it would entertain us all to see you attempt and massively fail at being hip with a guy who once carried on a comical fued with South Korean pop star Rain to the point that he actually filmed and danced his way through a parody video -- singing in Korean -- about taking a girl out for some Kimchi.

Just don't do it, Steele. He's a killer. All the good comics are.

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Reader Comments (17)

As much as I like Stewart, that interview made me really uncomfortable. He was going hard, and Cramer was almost cartoonishly penitent.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterG.D.

I am equally confused as to why people do this. I am afraid to go on The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and I haven't even done anything wrong.

Steele on Colbert would be pure carnage. Still don't feel sorry for Steele yet, so bring it on, I say.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarcelory

I somewhat agree with the above comment...I was 100% behind Stewart, but I felt a little bad for Cramer....he got his ass SMACKED!!! really bad!!

But I agree with this post in that it should have been the CNBC executive up their being smacked, who were in bed with the people who got this economy into a mess, and now are trying to back away like this whole mess was somehow unforeseen, and worse, try to blame homeowners who took mortgages that was deviously sold to them, and put idiots like Rick Santelli up there to be mad at the middle class, hard working people, and not say a word to the rich greedy CEOs getting billions of bailouts, and surprisingly, there was no outrage there!

IM SICK OF THE HYPOCRISY, and the rich getting richer, and screwing the little guys on the way! and the media says NOTHING! its quite sad!!

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLayo G

I dug through some old Time magazines (2003) and even then there were questions as to the risk of the policies that were being thrown about just before the Iraq War. Them chickens are all over the place!

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCDF

I find it ridiculous that we have to turn to a comedy show to get respectable journalism that does its job. But that being said it was beautiful watch. Steele if he wants to keep his job, and that is a big if, would do best to avoid the two. As Colbert is clearly taunting him.

Although I feel as if Colbert would be easier as it is more focused on comedy and spoofing the conservative media than the Daily Show.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Clarence

I wonder the same thing. There's not enough money in the world to make me go on one of those shows. If either one of them so much as mentioned my name I'd run screaming in terror. You cannot win a fight with a comic. They're trained professionals. Sharpshooters. This is what they do for a living. You see even a badass like Rahm Emanuelle didn't respond when Colbert sniped at him for not letting Democrats do that Better Know a District bit. If Rahmbo is scared of them, nobody else even has a chance.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoslyn Holcomb

Steele should stay away from The Colbert Report but if he was to go on the show he probably wouldn't be given a smackdown like the one Cramer took last night. Colbert is more about comedy and isn't inclined to getting to serious w/ his guests like Jon occasionally does.

But I really can appreciate what Jon Stewart did last night, as uncomfortable as it was to watch. I was also behind him 100%. Yes, Cramer probably didn't deserve the full brunt of Jon's wrath (Rick "Howard Beale" Santelli, Joe "Douchebag" Scarborough, Maria Bartiromo, Mark Hoffman, et al. deserve some of that too), but what Jon said needed to be said.

The press is supposed to be like our unofficial 4th branch of government that keeps us informed on the health of our democracy, so it does us as citizens much harm if they are in bed w/ them. Same goes for our financial news and corporations.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTBI

I have to agree with J. Clarence. I can't believe how asleep the media has been, and not just on this issue. It's as if they've all rolled over and decided to play dead. It's shameful.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

Yes, this is what happens when you have pundits and other such douchebags as the principal means of news delivery. By 2003-04 it was pretty set in both general and financial news. All bought off. Trouble is, when the shit hits the fan you'll also die by pundit (ie Stewart, who's no less a pundit than Lou Dobbs). Indeed, it would have to be a humorist who lays the smackdown, because the news pundits are too wrapped up in their own self-promoting agendas.

But this brings to the notion that, insidiously, CNBC sent Cramer--a Democrat--to the slaughter as sacrifice, which dovetails from your theory. Cramer could take the blows and then hang out with Stweart afterward for a beer. It would increase both his and Stewart's ratings. If Santelli had come, game over. It would have been war. Note Cramer's been on Bill Maher, too. It's like jacking up a cousin who f'd up, not a stranger who smacked your mama, which is Santelli and the rest of those pieces of shit. Accoridingly I'd bet Stewart and Cramer were trading winks whilst the ass whupping took place. Good entertaining tv but better for the American people if Stewart had demanded the presence of Santelli & crew.

What m-fs...

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris Chambers

I suspect that it was a tactical move to send someone who was not as objectionable as those who really deserved this ass-whupping. They were depending on Jon's intrinsic fairness to reel him back cos it could have been so much worse. The one thing that I am thinking that people like rude pundit are articulating is the balance of responsibility.

Yes we should hold our journalists to standards, like actually giving us real information NOT shiteous high jinks but if we are going to make our financial decisions based on Jim Cramer than we effing deserve what is coming to us. You know some of this information was hidden in plain sight. Like how over-leveraged Bear Stearns was, the ridiculously impossible positive returns that people were posting, in some cases we allowed ourselves to be bilked because we forgot that there really is no such thing as a free lunch. There is blame enough to go around many times for EVERYONE not just Jim Cramer.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJannyD

LMAO at "Stay the fuck away from Stephen Colbert!" Stephen Colbert is deadly smart and at least as sharp as Stewart. He slices and dices people before they even realize they've been cut.

Michael Steele should stay very very very far away from battles of any sort with Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdkan71

I was feeling sorry for Cramer, too, until I saw that FBI-like sting tape of him discussing his shady stock manipulations. Folks, despite his lovable clown routine, Cramer is a shyster who exploits his insider knowledge on Wall Street. Plus, I don't appreciate formerly leftist people turning into capitalist robber barons.

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdukedraven

Before I finish reading, I just wanted to say thanks for the "More after the jump"! On my blogreader, your stuff just cuts off suddenly, and (reading through threads and not necessarily noticing who's writing what) I often miss the bottom half without ever knowing it was there. This helps immensely.

Now to read "after the jump"! And I'm excited, as I really enjoyed this big "anchor war."

March 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

Given the fact that Cramer is guilty of crimes (if you believe the content of the video), I thought Jon Stewart was even handed about his performance. What I liked about it was that he made the effort not to let the focus get distracted from the actual subjects he was pissed about. It was a performance, and he did his homework, and I think that was kind of the point. Cramer could have done his homework at any point, also, and if he had, what would he have come up with? He obviously knows what he's talking about, and Jon pointed that out over and over. Jon Stewart (to me) seemed like he was angry about being the comedian who was left to do the journalist's job. That's what I got from it, anyway. I would not have wanted to be Jon Stewart in that situation, either, and I came away admiring his decency and restraint. But he is a professional, and very good at what he does. As for fucking with the jester, I would suggest reading Shakespeare first...

March 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug in Oakland

I'm sorry but how is it that the thought of Colbert challenging Steele to a "rap off" not rub you guys the wrong way? I was a frequent viewer of Colbert's show, considered myself a fan of his and Stewart. But I'm not looking forward to seeing Michael Steele and Colbert doin their best minstrelsy of what hip hop is supposed to be just for what's supposed to pass for good satire. Don't wanna see Colbert in his baggy pants with the hat-to-the-back posing that I'm sure he will do. And we're supposed to laugh because he's liberal and he's joking and "we're all on the same team" right?

Nowadays, I may put in some time with Stewart at hulutv but hasn't been worth it to me in a minute. These guys trot out there writers every now and again, and I can't find a black face anywhere. And why are there now TWO black correspondents on Stewart's show. It was funny the first time around. But seriously, the only time I'm gonna see black folks is in this segment? Seriously?

March 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershug

I watched the Daily show and thought it was great. Cramer knew what he was getting into. I felt slightly uncomfortable watching him, but did not fell sorry for him in any way shape or form. John Stewart only said what we all feel.....I just don't understand why we (and by we I really mean the MSM) call him out as giving Cramer an "ass whooping" when all he did was point out the TRUTH. It is sickening the pupetry that goes on before our eyes....sickening ,that it is now considerd a controversial move to hold people accountable to the truth ,and any further untruths by any means nessecssary(ie. showing actual filmed footage of the lie) .....

March 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpriysmom

Shug....no disrespect, but I think you may be taking Colbert a little too seriously. If Michael Steele came on and accepted the challenge, that would be the height of sadness, but hip hop stopped being the sacred music of young black folks about 15 years ago.

I think it would behoove a great number of Black people to lighten up about non-black people making fun of "blackness." As long as black people are precious about their blackness, other people have the power to make us feel bad about ourselves. That is the posture of a victim or someone with a chip on their shoulder.

Unfortunately for Steele, his buffoonery has attracted Colbert's attention and Stephen Colbert is an equal opportunity jester. If Steele weren't allegedly a serious person, then I think participating would be funny, and not much different from the ridiculous gag Colbert did with Rain.

Black comics have been making jokes about white people forever. I think it's refreshing when comics like Bill Maher and Colbert (and Robert Downey, Jr) take on black people in a way that's insightful, rings true and is relatable, like all good comedy should be.

March 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdkan71
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