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With much anticipation came much enjoyment, the Stewart/Cramer interview lives up to its hype

March 13, 2009

Last night, CNBC commentator Jim Cramer made a guest appearance on The Daily Show, thus concluding the much-talked about feud with the host Jon Stewart.  

Jon Stewart packed some strong punches, leaving Cramer periodically speechless and fumbling to defend himself.

Starting off the interview, Stewart explains that the entire feud was not directed towards Cramer in particular, but rather on CNBC itself. Stewart continues to explain that the cause of this entire fiasco was due to some comments made by CNBC financial reporter Rick Santelli, particularly of his rant on the “loser mortgage holders.”

“It’s the gap between what CNBC advertises itself as, and what it is,” Stewart continues on, and presents a clip of a promo for Cramer’s program, Mad Money, on CNBC. The heading of the said clip contains in big bond letters, “In Cramer We Trust,” which particularly irritates Stewart.

Cramer defends himself, claiming that certain people make good calls and bad calls, and he himself tries his hardest to make as many good calls as he can. Stewart, however, argues that “the difference is not good call bad call, but the difference is real market and unreal market.”

Stewart follows his argument with another video clip, this time through an interview of Cramer back in 2006, where he was reciting on his experiences as a hedge fund manager. In the said video, Cramer claim to have been committed to short selling, by which he denies it in the interview with Stewart.

In response to Cramer’s denials, Stewart then played a second video clip. In such tape, Cramer encourages other hedge fund managers to commit short selling, claiming it is legal and is a quick way to make money.

“I want the Jim Cramer in CNBC,” said Stewart jokingly, “to protect me from that Jim Cramer.”

Stewart then goes on to question CNBC, demanding why the network could not catch such acts, even when they are so completely aware of its existence.

“Its feels like we are capitalizing your adventure,” Stewart goes on to argue, “By our pensions and our hard earn…and that it is a game that you know, that you know is going on, but you go on television as a financial network and pretend it isn’t happening!” The remark was followed by a round of applause by the audience, leaving Cramer clearly uncomfortable.

Cramer claims that the network could do a better job, and call out the shenanigans of the various businesses. He then goes on to argue that he does this every night, and tries to call out of these short selling activities as best as he could.

“It is this idea that the financial news industry,” Stewart continues his argument, “is not just guilty of cynical mission but also a cynical cognition that they are actually in bed with this idea.”  

Cramer, while defending his network, argues that it isn’t fair to make such a judgment, and that CNBC tries its best to report the news as they could. He then goes on to say that the industrial CEOs has always lied right in front of their faces, and that CNBC could not have known that at the moment.

In another argument, Stewart rolled a third tape, showing Cramer explaining the manipulation of stocks, and claiming the FCC doesn’t understand the concept of such a thing. Before Cramer could make a counter agreement, Stewart quickly rolled a fourth tape. In the said tape, Cramer explains the use of false rumor to manipulate the market, which serves more advantages to the business.

“I understand that you want to make finance entertaining,” said Stewart in a serious tone, “but it’s not a f#^king game!” The remark was again followed by the applause of the audience. Stewart explains his anger towards this situation, and remarks that the financial news networks all knew about this, but pretend they didn’t. In an attempt to explain himself, however, Cramer simply insisted that he was powerless in a situation like this.

“It feels like they have to reconcile,” Stewart continues to argue, “is their audience the wall street traders that are doing this for constant profit on a day to day the short term? These guys with these companies were on a Sherman’s march through their companies, financed by our 401ks, and all the incentives of their companies were for short term profits, and they burnt the f#%king house down with our money, and walked away rich as hell.”

In a desperate attempt to explain himself, Cramer suggested that he had tried numerous times to convict these CEOs. Stewart, however, simply argues that the situation isn’t about him, but rather on the entire financial network.

Stewart then attacks the idea of investment, where he criticizes the belief of becoming rich without actually working. “Our wealth is work,” said Stewart, “we are workers!”

Despite the criticisms on Wall Street, Stewart also defended those hard working people, who tried to do the right thing, but are getting screwed over by this thing as well.

In response to Cramer’s claims on the lying CEOs, however, Stewart sarcastically teased the argument. “I’m under the assumption,” Stewart remarks, “and maybe this is a purely ridiculous, but I’m under the assumption that you don’t just take their words at face value, that you actually then go around and try to figure it out.”

Jon Stewart insists that it was unfortunate for Cramer to have become the face of this entire situation, and acknowledged the position that Cramer holds.

In the end of the interview, the two men agreed that changes should be made, and they shook hands sealing the deal.

My Thoughts:

Just to note, that was an incredibly hard article to write, as I had difficulties locating the original uncut interview. As most of you would know, Comedy Central videos can’t be played in Canada. I wouldn’t call this a complete transcript of the uncut interview, but it does contain many of the key quotes from Stewart.

Nevertheless, in regards to this interview, I was extremely impressed by Jon Stewart’s performance. Ever since I started watching The Daily Show, Stewart had always appealed to me as the funny man and the clown. But to see him, being serious when needed to, and to argue so intelligently, is absolutely remarkable.

As for Cramer, I do feel for his pain. However, through the videos, it just saddens me to see the financial experts that knew so much of about this situation, but then end up pretending like they are completely clueless. Jon Stewart was completely right, this isn’t a f#$king game, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be treated like one.

I believe that CNBC could do better, but for some reason refuse to do what they could. The parts on the lying CEOs could be true, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse for failing at what you are suppose to do. As I have said before, I am not a financial expert, so I don’t completely understand the market. Therefore we need to the financial networks like CNBC to guide us, but all are receiving is manipulative bullshit.

If regular people like us couldn’t even have the financial guidance of the financial networks, then what good are they to us?

Anyway, my article has gone on long enough, and I thank everyone for reading all 1216 words of it. If you want to comment on this feud, or the entire financial situation, post comments below.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Divine Nova permalink*
    March 13, 2009 11:24 PM

    … kids, now THIS is what we call “BURN!”.

    Jon Stewart made an absolutely brilliant argument here. His points were all logical, valid, well-organised, and well explained in layman terms. Cramer on the other hand was more like a fish out of the water, and getting literally deep-fried by Stewart at that.

    Well, I am glad to see that the guys have settled their little feud somewhat, and it won’t be surprising if the financial news networks will be under the spotlight for a while after this. Perhaps after the current financial crisis blows over, there will be a much stronger, transparent and less ‘biased’ system in place in the financial news networks.

  2. Noman permalink
    March 14, 2009 12:09 AM

    Nocturnal Melody, I totally agree with your thoughts… it’s like you hacked my thoughts. Keep up with your blog. Peace

  3. Ayan_SB permalink
    March 15, 2009 8:02 AM

    Google Comedy Network, the Canadian version of Comedy Central, and you can watch full Daily Show episodes and much more, hope that helps.

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