Stewart Destroys Cramer

If you missed Jon Stewart's interview with Jim Cramer on yesterday's Daily Show, it's absolutely must-watch television. I give Cramer a lot of credit for going on the show at all but his reduction to a whining, defensive child at Jon Stewart's hands can be a bit painful to witness. Memo to media: watch Jon Stewart for a lesson in how to hold your own accountable AND as a warning of what could happen to you if you act irresponsibly.

Unfortunately, the Comedy Central videos won't embed but watch the interview over at the Indecision Forever blog.

Update [2009-3-13 11:57:18 by Todd Beeton]:Here's part of the interview posted on YouTube but again, watch the whole thing in all its cringe-inducing populist glory:

Update [2009-3-13 23:0:43 by Charles Lemos]: Here's the video from Comedy Central. I have never believed in the wisdom of finance as "entertainment" and that's Mr. Cramer is a financial entertainer. He bemoans that Lehman CEO Richard Fuld "lied" to him about the health of the bank. As a former equity analyst who had a pretty good batting average stock picking wise, I'll say this, financial reporting isn't a game and Mr. Cramer treated it as one. A show called Beat the Street is little different than Let's Make a Deal except for the fact that the repercussions are more far-reaching. In my coverage universe, I could tell when a CEO or CFO was trying to pull one over on me. Balance sheets and cash flow statements tell a story. It pays to pay attention to them.

Tags: daily show, jim cramer, Jon Stewart (all tags)



The most ardent I have seen Stewart

since "I won't be your monkey" destroyed CNN's Crossfire crew.

I too admire Kramer for going on there, I think a few of them think "oh, he is just a comedian" and understimate John Stewart.

He's a comedian in the way Lenny Bruce or George Carlin was a comedian....You underestimate their intelligence at your own peril.

Between Stewart doing Kramer and Colbert baking Glenn Beck the other week, it's time again to thank our lucky stars we have those two talented entertainers doing God's work in the vast wasteland that is TV.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-13 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

Who won? Stewart and Cramer. They both got something out of it. Stewart showed that he's the intellectual heavy-weight, cross him at your own peril. Cramer, to his credit, showed up and took his lumps, probably putting an end to the media's fascination with "let's watch Cramer as he watches Daily Show clips" split screens.

The "I wouldn't say this on television" stuff was absolutely brutal though.

"We were lied to, we couldn't know better"
Roll 212!
'Well, it's illegal to lie, but no one can check'
Roll 216!
'And this is the sort of lie you want to tell'

For someone who makes money by telling people how to make money, that's a huge hit to credibility. Now, in the back of everyone's mind, that raises the question as to whether or not Cramer is any better than the spam e-mails with penny stocks that "are going to explode onto the market and should be trading at $4 at the end of the day!" Is he just sending out messages to benefit his own portfolio? Is he buying/selling short?

It's an allegation that's difficult to live down, especially when you get caught on tape telling people how to do it.

by TCQuad 2009-03-13 08:23AM | 0 recs

Any sane individual, knowing what awaited Cramer, has to give the guy credit for guts. I suspect this will put a damper on the Media's desire - in general - to drag Stewart into the news cycle.

by Neef 2009-03-13 09:09AM | 0 recs
Most of the talking heads on TV

Be they Matt Lauer, Wolf Blitzer or Larry Kudlow should very much consider the risk of taking on Stewart.

For one thing, Stewarts hands are NOT tied, he can say what he thinks, there are no taboo totems he can't shoot down.

He and Colbert are the powerhouse money makers at CC, so he's a big dog they are not going to cage.

He doesn't have to be "politically correct" or give a fake "fair and balanced" take on things like the rest of the media machine does.

He can't really be strong-armed with "You don't kotow to us, we won't show up on your show" tactics that keeps the rest of the lap-dogs at bay...

As longs as he can get clips from the lap-dogs of the media OR direct from the culprits themselves, he is fully armed with all he needs to slay the dragons.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-13 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

I just have to ask myself who sent Cramer out there to do the mea culpa alone.  The original spot on Stewart's show implicated the entire CNBC organization.  Why just Cramer?  

by W 2009-03-13 08:32AM | 0 recs
You may be right

They sort of put Cramer out there as "an Entertainer" but the heavyweights, the Kudlows et all are "the real deal, economic powerhouses..."

You don't see THEM showing up on The Daily Show to fight it out with Stewart.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-13 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

After last Thursday's indictment of all of CNBC, the whole network stayed mum on what Stewart said except for Cramer. Come Monday, Stewart went after Cramer since Cramer was the only one to speak up. And so on, and so on.

However, when watching the interview, it's an attack on all of CNBC, Cramer is just the face for the network. A shame really, since I kinda liked him, comparatively of course.

by Trowaman 2009-03-13 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

When does Rushbo appear to defend himself?

by Bob H 2009-03-13 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

PEOPLE.  You are picking the the WRONG TARGET for your anger.  Jim Cramer is a Democrat who gets up there every day and actually talks about what is going on in the moment, the issues, risks and opportunities as he sees them, based on a lifetime of experience in investing.  His commentary happens AT THE MARGIN. - he gives advice at the end of the business day based on what happened that day.  He's brilliant but expecting him to know everything and catch every problem and tell us all about it in 30 minutes is idiotic.  

Why on earth is this story even huge?  Jim Cramer is not an angel and has never pretended to be.  He has a large biden-like mouth, but he's not a snake oil salesman and Stewart is setting him up.  Stewart is trying to make him the fall guy for this entire crisis, and it's just WRONG.  Cramer is actually out there trying to help.  This is the most unfortunate story of the last 2 months.

I truly don't understand how this was an evisceration.  I admit, I'm a financial analyst with a degree in economics, but dudes.  Change your target.  Cramer is just one more voice giving advice to us, and we are all adults who should think before we follow any advice.  

Believe it or not, Cramer is one of the good guys - his problem is that he's extremely high profile.  Yes, he does view investing as one big game, because it is.  It's a very high stakes poker game, just like politics.  That is not something to be condemned for.  

by chubbar 2009-03-13 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

I agree with you.

This is the second choice round as CNBC vetoed Santelli's appearance on the Daily Show.  

My opinion is that CNBC Execs pulled a Pump and Dump.

We fell for it.

by NvDem 2009-03-13 12:20PM | 0 recs
Come on now

Cramer stepped in front of the train on this one. Stewart initially went after Santelli (and CNBC in general). Why did Cramer decide to assume the role of CNBC Defender? You certainly don't see Kudlow, or Bartiromo getting into it.

Cramer (like Mike Steele) learned a valuable lesson this week: sometimes an ounce of STFU is worth a pound of public humiliation.

by Neef 2009-03-13 01:46PM | 0 recs
My Problem is...

... why, or who put him up to stepping in front of that train?

I agree, Cramer did step in front of a train, it hit him and banged him up fairly well.  

The ones we need to see Jon Stewart eviscerate are the Kool-aid Servers / opinion leaders such as Santelli, Kudlow, or Bartiromo.  

A large part of the reason that a lot of common investors have a clue of what is going on is that Cramer did not STFU, but stuck out his neck and has carefully explained these things to his audience.  He's not an angel, never claimed to be, but he's willing to explain the game.  

Meanwhile, Rush is laughing at us.

by NvDem 2009-03-13 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: My Problem is...

Maria Caruso-Cabrera sounds like an angry person-  very anti-Obama administration, as is Charles Gasparino.

On the other hand, those I'm liking include Dylan Ratigan (even-handed approach), Carmen Wong Ulrich and Suze Orman, who both speak common sense financially to average Americans, as well as CNBC's recent expose' specials "American Greed."

by susie 2009-03-13 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

Sorry, but his schilling for the banks when they were cooking their books and clearly extending bad credit for short term gain at the expense of long term health.  Maybe he never thought it would get as far as it got, but he and people like him are largely responsible for the bubble which got us here today.  I don't know if you've watched the interview, but there are some clips of a pretty damning interview of Kramer in which he admitted creating buzzes which benefited him personally.  Probably not illegal, but certainly a breach of responsibility to his viewers. Democrat or not, he's part of the problem.

He knows it too.  His demeanor was completely apologetic.  He knows he did wrong, particularly in failing to take with skepticism claims CEOs were making about their companies.  And he admitted that the double market of short term players vs. long term investors has screwed things up for everybody.  

It's is a very revealing interview.  Cramer promised to do better.  I hope he keeps his word.

by Drummond 2009-03-13 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Viacom International Inc.


by Obamaphile 2009-03-13 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

You just have to go to TDS site.  The full, unedited version is there.

by Drummond 2009-03-13 04:01PM | 0 recs
I'm a bit disapointed in our side on this one.

Cramer is one of the few Liberals at CNBC.  Probably the only one that would possibly agree with Stewart's observations.

He's spent years calling out (ranting) about lax enforcement, turning a blind eye, telling the public exactly how some of these schemes work and de-mystifying them to a large part of the investing public.  

This is a pump and dump engineered by CNBC.  This contest was hyped by CNBC, NBC, MSNBC, and Comedy Network.  This is the contest that happened because CNBC vetoed Santelli from appearing on the Daily Show.

By pumping up Cramer and letting Stewart dump on him, we gleefully pile on Cramer in true Lord of the Flies fashion.  Meanwhile, Santelli, Kudlow, Hanes and all of the other commentators who are hoping that Obama will fail, get off scott free.

CNBC wins!  (In true Wall Street Fashion, with a pump and dump scheme, and we went for it hook, line, and sinker.)

I really want Stewart to appear on Mad Money and call out the other ones who didn't have the guts to appear on his show.

Better yet, let them both appear at the same time with Olbermann, and let them riff off of each other about what is wrong with the system on Wall Street, how it has harmed America and what needs to be done to fix it!

by NvDem 2009-03-13 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm a bit disapointed in our side on this one.

I don't know if he's a liberal, but he's part of the problem.  He helped to pump up confidence in the banks, helping to create a bubble as bad credit was being gobbbled up to make the banks' assets look good and pump up the value of their shares and bonds.  He tried to do so with each bank even at the last minute, before they went under.  He ruined many retirement plans, because he refused to dig for the information that some economists had been screaming about for the past year or two.  

Stewart is right.  CNBC should be about muckraking and digging up the truth about the bad apples.  Instead they're merely a cheerleading squad.  Cramer may not be the worst of them, but he's pretty bad, and from his demeanor last night I think he knows it.

Let's see what he does with the guilt.

by Drummond 2009-03-13 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

I'm glad to here other liberals feel the same as me, many of my progressive friends are all anti-cramer right now and I just totally disagree.  

by chubbar 2009-03-13 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

I was pretty surprised -- I remember when Stewart interviewed Lynn Cheney. It was a superb job; he managed to make his points while not seeming to attack her the way he did Cramer (and in the end, when she basically said it didn't matter about terrorist attacks in Spain and England so long as they weren't in the US, Stewart's strategy proved its brilliance).

So I was expecting similar treatment for Cramer. I have to say: it was a little uncomfortable to watch. But I don't get the Cramer apologists: yeah, he might be somewhat more liberal than the rest of the CNBC bunch, but he's a dishonest man.

As an example, if you honestly think that when Fuld lied to Cramer, Cramer had no idea what was going on -- that he didn't know Fuld was fomenting, just like Cramer knows the game is played -- then you are a little naive.

That's the point: Cramer knows how the pump and dump game is played, and he has no problem playing whatever role in the game he is currently assigned to. That was Stewart's main problem with him, and I have to say I agree.

by fsm 2009-03-13 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

Unfortunately haven't seen the Fuld interview, but that's part of the appeal of Cramer.  He does understand it's a dirty game and has partaken in the game and knows all too well the dirty rules etc.  It's understood he knows some scumbags who are cheating, but if he wants to keep his insider status so he can keep reporting back to the little people, he can't yell foul play every minute.  So he's stuck between two worlds and this will always be a blessing and a curse.  You're right: he knows the pump and dump, and he'll go along for the most part, and at the end of the day, he's going for ratings.  But along the way, he DOES report to the average guy the situation as he sees it, in language that is bullshit free.  For every call he's gotten wrong, there's some great ones he's made.  Who else on tv does this for financial news?  I'm not saying it couldn't be better.  I suspect Cramer may be somewhat of a transitional figure, whereby future commentators do what he does, but better.  thing is, it's gotta be someone with brass balls (or, er...labia), because it's putting your neck on the line with every stock call.  

by chubbar 2009-03-13 03:11PM | 0 recs
How are they putting their necks on the line?

thing is, it's gotta be someone with brass balls (or, er...labia), because it's putting your neck on the line with every stock call.  

How's that again?  What EXACTLY are the consequences for these TV financial gurus?

Did Cramers show get cancelled when he basically watched the meltdown and missed the boat, cheerleading when by his own admission, he should have been more Paul Revere then saying this was only a slight down turn?

BTW, How old are you? Cause this might make a bit of a difference HOW you see the current situation and the criminals that caused it....

Let me tell you, Stewart was speaking DEAD NUTS ON for me, and every other person within 10 years of (supposed) retirement age, when he said "You people are taking our 401K money and gambling with it.  When you bring down the market, you bring down us....

Yes, Cramer is not probably the worst of the bunch.

But Kudlow and the rest of the Ayn Rand Commandos are NEVER going within 100 miles of Stewart, cause he will chew em up and spit em out.

Cramer is an enabler, period.

Now, if he takes up the challenge Stewart called him to, to be "the watch dog, instead of the fox in the hen-house" then I will have some respect for him.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-13 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: How are they putting their necks on the line?

Credibility.  In particular with Cramer.  You may or may not know that every call he makes is scrutinized quite a bit - there's been a lot of articles written on it, how's he's corrupt (or isn't), etc.  There's a continual chorus of people calling him a charlatan every time he says buy a stock that then goes down.  but with due respect, I believe that looking to a figure such as cramer to be a watchdog is asking too much.  he gives investment advice, period.   if you're watching his show for retirement advice, then that's your first mistake, and I'll admit cnbc doesn't do much to alleviate this - the first rule of investing is know your time horizon and much of his calls are momentum calls, but he freely interchanges those with long term calls, so in my view it's really a show for day traders.  anyhoo.  

enabler?  by that I assume you mean enabling the crooks you mentioned.  he has issued MANY warnings to people on his show to go to cash, etc.  I just don't see it.  yes, he's all over the map - sometimes he'll say it's safe again - but that's because he's giving advice at the margin.  if the new news looks good, he might advise you to put more money back in.  and if you listen closely to him, he usually uses qualifiers.  

there are only a few people in the world who called this meltdown.  

your anger is misplaced.  

401ks are by nature gambling.  they were never intended to be a sole source of retirement income, which is another issue entirely.  I truly feel for the people near retirement, like my mom, who got burned by financial advisors etc who had them in the industry rec'd 40% equities five years from retirement, which is idiotic imho.  but cramer's not your guy.  I hope this crisis causes a rethink on how we fund our retirements.  defined pensions: probably too expensive,  401ks - too risky.  ideas? anyone?

by chubbar 2009-03-13 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Stewart Destroys Cramer

Is MSNBC really censoring the story? c-dont-talk-cramer/?ref=fp3

by Drummond 2009-03-13 04:17PM | 0 recs
The Game

We often called it that. Certainly companies want to put their best face forward and maybe I am old-schooled but I was taught that part of the role of being an equity analyst was akin to being a regulator. It was my job to keep companies honest.

One reason I can't stand Eliot Spitzer is that he destroyed equity analysis with his crusade against Henry Blodget and Jack Grubman. Fine, Grubman traded an ATT call for an admittance for his daughters to an elite private school. He should have been banned. And Blodget represented the "new breed" of analyst. He was a journalist. I often wondered if he had worked at USA Today or the National Enquirer. He was more cheerleader than analyst. I was paid to be skeptical not to be a cheerleader.

It is amusing to see one of my former competitors, Deborah Weinswig, embroil herself in the EFCA battle downgrading Wal-Mart. I wondered why not Whole Foods using that logic. Whole Foods is as anti-union as Wal-Mart thought WFMI does treat its employees infinitely better. There's a reason the company is considered one of the best places to work. Firedoglake has a pretty good summary of the Weinswig saga. Not to disparage a former competitor but Deborah worked at Bear Stearns before coming to Citibank. Bear Stearns, the home of cowboy capitalism. And which bank was the first to fold? I wonder why.

by Charles Lemos 2009-03-13 07:19PM | 0 recs


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