Friday, March 13, 2009

Sell Jim Cramer, Buy Jon Stewart

Unlike Madoff, when Cramer pleaded guilty last night on the Daily Show, he also implicated everyone else on CNBC as fellow accomplices.
If stock-hypster Jim Cramer subscribes to the Village Voice he'll be choking on his morning coffee:
There was something unusual about Jim Cramer's appearance last night on "The Daily Show." We've never seen a Jon Stewart guest so obviously expecting to get his ass kicked, and never seen Stewart kick anyone's ass so thoroughly.

In fact, Cramer was so sweaty, nervous and contrite, and Stewart dished so much shit to him -- showing 2006 clips of the CNBC financial shouting head telling people how to manipulate the market and, basically, telling Cramer that he was a co-conspirator -- "disingenuous at best and criminal at worst" -- in a giant fraud that had been played on investors -- that you might think it was something out of The Wrestler, a rigged match in which the supervillain allows himself to be defeated by the crowd favorite.
That take on last night's ballyhooed Cramer vs. Stewart match-up is pretty much universal:

Entertainment Weekly:
Instead of being his usual feisty self, financial advisor Jim Cramer could not apologize fast enough to Stewart for what he repeatedly called his "shenanigans" as host of CNBC's Mad Money.
Crooks and Liars:
Jon Stewart made Jim Cramer look like a wounded puppy tonight as the CNBC host joined The Daily Show after a full week of back-and-forth. * * * 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."

James Fallows:
I found this -- the Stewart/Cramer slaughter -- incredible. * * * I thought Stewart, without excessive showboating, did the journalistic sensibility proud.
“Devastating” is just not the right word. It’s hard to remember the last time a teevee interview left us in such a state of stunned silence.
What happened to Jim Cramer? * * *[H]e looked like he was going to wet himself in his Daily Show grudge match tonight. * * * Cramer fled any real direct confrontation in his lengthy interview and instead went contrite — absurdly contrite. His voice went high and cracked, his thoughts fragmented as they left his mouth.
The thing about Cramer's "contrite" appearance is that -- unlike Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff -- when Cramer pleaded guilty last night on the Daily Show, he also implicated everyone else on CNBC as fellow accomplices. As business reporter Andrew Willis confessed this morning:
Mr. Stewart is issuing a call to arms, against a system that went radically wrong. As someone who works in the business media, the talk show host's critiques are, to put it mildly, food for thought.

Dept. of Further Amplification
3-13 am

Stewart's interview
was too long to be cablecast in its entirety, but the entire thing has now been posted on the Daily Show site.

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