I’m not the television watcher I used to be, especially in the late evening hours, but the ballyhooed mano-a-mano with Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart, plus the full onset on college basketball tournaments, had me tuning in well past my bedtime Thursday/early Friday.
Although I’m paying for it now, it was well worth it. After watching Stewart’s cool-handed evisceration of Cramer and CBNC’s modus operandi on “The Daily Show,” there were two more thrilling hours of Syracuse’s six-overtime epic win over Connecticut in the Big East Tournament.
I can’t decide which event was more amazing. I’ll save the hoops for another blog, but the links to the unedited Stewart interview with “Mad Money” host Cramer, which went beyond the 30-minute slot for “The Daily Show,” are here, here and here.
During the week I received some interesting comments from readers on my Monday Kvetch of the Week post on this topic, so I won’t recount all that here. But read the conversation; it’s a good one.
The third segment from the Cramer-Stewart interview underscores the point I was making then, that Stewart is asking the tough questions that the financial press has largely failed to ask. (Matt Waite posted on Twitter this morning a link to a 2006 Forbes piece taking issue with Cramer’s stock-picking acumen. And Chris Roush mentions two books devoted to the same subject.)
Stewart’s also expressing how incensed many of us feel as our 401(k) and pension plan funds evaporate, while being forced, as taxpayers, to bail out the misdeeds, if not crimes, of the Wall Street titans and institutions at the center of this crisis.
For a while I thought I was watching a thoroughly good grilling on “60 Minutes” as Cramer took his lumps — and they were substantial. Perhaps I erred this week in calling Stewart’s initial outburst a “triumph.” In the follow-up, he doled out a truly savage beating that reflects the mix of outrage and sobering reality of the times:
“I understand you want to make financial news interesting but it’s not a f***ing game.”
“You knew what the banks were doing and were touting it for months and months. The entire network was.”
“That this was a once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disengenuous at best and criminal at worst.”
“They burned the f***ing house down with our money and walked away rich as hell and you guys knew what was going on. What is the responsibility of the people who cover Wall Street?”
“Maybe we can start getting back to the fundamentals and reporting as well and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces.”
And next week I want to get back to the whole journalism career reinvention thing. There’s so much ocurring on that front, in general and for me.
Here’s a good roundup of reaction to Thursday’s big event from The Guardian, with a special focus on the fake news/real news gap that Stewart has been exposing nearly as well as Cramer and CNBC.