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    Cramer v. Stewart: Wow!

    I have railed against CNBC host Jim Cramer for some time. I enjoy him greatly as an entertainer, and when he focuses on the inner workings of the stock market, I think he does a pretty decent job of educating regular investors as well.

    If that was all his Mad Money show professed to be - a vehicle to entertain and educate investors - then I would have no problem with his on-air performance and crazy antics. Unfortunately, the show also touts its ability to make investors money - mad money, as it were - and it is in that role that both he and the show fail regularly.

    When it comes to actual stock and market predictions, I think Cramer has done more harm than good. He has made a ton of bad calls over the past couple of years on his show. And he has also changed his opinions constantly, going from bearish to bullish to back again within the framework of a few shows.

    That's not entirely his fault - there's no way someone who produces a show every day can come up with good, long-term stock picks or correctly guess which way the market is going to move the following day. It's just not possible. Hell, even the best investors in the world - and Cramer was a great one when he was a hedge fund manager (although to generate those returns he clearly engaged in some of the shenanigans that he now rails against in his new role as 'man of the people') - get many of their picks wrong.

    However, for me, the most troubling part has been that Cramer largely stopped owning up to his mistakes, something he did with refreshing frequency in the past when he was merely a columnist for his online financial news website

    So I have to admit I was pleased to watch the Daily Show earlier this month finally take Cramer - and the entire CNBC network, really - to task for some of those poor calls, particularly his claim that Bear Stearns would be fine a few days before it had to be rescued by JP Morgan at $2 a share (the final price ended up being $10).

    Cramer happened to take offense to the clip, saying he was taken out of context, after which Stewart and Co. put together a new clip that demonstrated even more clearly that Cramer was wrong.  it was great stuff, and a feud was born.

    To his credit, Cramer agreed to go the Daily Show yesterday, and almost the entire episode was devoted to the mano-a-mano interview between Stewart and Cramer. If this had been a fight, they would have stopped it after two rounds. Cramer was annihilated by a deadly serious Stewart.

    It was an ass-whoopin' and I even feel a bit sorry for Cramer, who has always seemed like a decent fellow. Some of Stewart's attacks - complaining about Cramer's wild on-air antics, for instance - struck me as a bit unfair. We're talking about a TV show, after all, not a college textbook.

    But most of Stewart's complaints were right on the - ahem - money.

    Watch the video and see for yourself (I've embedded Part I of the unedited version). Go to the for the other two parts, which are probably even more fascinating.

    Check out my most recent video blog: Grading Obama's Presidency?? I also recommend Genghis' excellent youtube poem: The House That George Built. And don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feed.


    To all those who say that Jon Stewart should stick to comedy (and not bore us with serious issues) I suggest the following: the Daily Show is all about satire, which is only sometimes funny.

    Satire means treating the shortcomings of those in power to ridicule, parody and sarcasm, all presented in a humorous fashion, in order to bring about improvement.  In other words: call the powerful out on their bull***t.

    This is something we should do early and often.  Our Founding Fathers call on us, nay demand that we use our precious freedom of speech to crush tyranny in any and all its forms.  This is the job set aside for the free press (i.e. the News Networks.)  A job News Networks all too often fail to do.

    People like Jon Stewart hold this self-evident truth in their bones, and We the People need to follow his example.  Say it loud and say it proud: “Mr. CEO, do what’s right or we’ll through your ass in jail!”

    Who watches the Watchers? Answer:  Jon Stewart.

    Power to the people.  Rock on.

    i totally agree. stewart is performing a much-needed service.

    and by the way, before last night, Stewart in fact used a lot of humor in his skewering of CNBC and even some self-deprecation. like in this friggin hilarious clip.


    Absolutely correct. Humor and satire are necessary for society, and self-deprecation speaks volumes about the comedian.

    The only little problem I have with each and every comedian on TV:

    They will never ever make fun of their own political believes. As an example, they will never make fun of Obama for real. Little joke maybe, but real satire - never.

    Reminds me a Russian anecdote.

    - They have freedom of speech in America. Anybody can make fun of their President.

    - So what? We also have freedom of speech in Russia. We also can make fun of American President.


    I just watched a clip of the Stewart/Cramer rounds.  Interesting.  Limbaugh and Cramer both say they are entertainers.  Hmmmm? I know someone who's husband swore by Cramer and her husband tried to get her to invest her inheritance with him on Cramers advise.  Fortunately, I guess, she got her own advisor. 

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