Jon Stewart vs. CNBC’s Jim Cramer

The cable and network news has been focused on the oddity of The Daily Show this whole week. Usually, cable news programs might show a clip or two from TDS throughout the week, just for fun. But this week Jon Stewart did something that “real” journalists were loathe to do: criticize their own bad work and information.

It all started on Monday when Jon Stewart showed a classic mash-ups of CNBC anchors, journalists and hosts giving horrible advice to investors, often on the eve of one of the great financial/banking/investment meltdowns over the past year. Concluding the mash-up, Jon Stewart looked into the camera and added his editorial: “F-ck you.”

Most CNBC people in the mash-up kept quiet. But Mad Money host Jim Cramer did not, complaining that his segments in the mash-up were “taken out of context”. The next day, Jon Stewart showed even more clips of Mad Money, this time “in context”, which made it even worse. Cramer again responded, mocking Stewart as “a comedian.” Jon’s response? “You don’t have to make ‘comedian’ sound like a venereal disease.” Then he gave Cramer his own personal two-word salute again: “F-ck you.”

It was all a build-up for last night’s
appearance by Jim Cramer on The Daily Show. CNN has the best run-down of what happened next:

After a week of pointed verbal barbs, host Jon Stewart sat face-to-face with financial analyst Jim Cramer on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and continued the assault Thursday. Stewart blamed Cramer and cable network CNBC for being irresponsible cheerleaders in the lead-up to the stock market meltdown.

Stewart, whose acerbic brand of satire centers largely on the political news of the day, has held Cramer’s frenetic, nearly cartoonish, stock-advice show, “Mad Money,” and other CNBC programming up as examples of an anything-goes attitude that contributed to the financial collapse.

“I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it’s not a [expletive] game,” Stewart said during the recorded interview, segments of which aired on Thursday night. “When I watch that, I can’t tell you how angry that makes me.”

Stewart’s blistering criticism of Cramer this week has included a censored, two-word phrase he spoke into the camera after airing video of Cramer enthusiastically urging viewers to buy stock in Bear Stearns. The global investment bank and brokerage firm collapsed soon after the comments aired and was eventually sold with stock prices less than one-fifth what they were when Cramer pushed them.

Cramer has fired back. In a string of interviews with NBC news outlets affiliated with CNBC. Cramer disputed some of Stewart’s claims and noted times he’s made more cautious comments about the economy.

In one interview, he sarcastically feigned distress at being attacked by a comedian and, on an appearance on Thursday’s “The Martha Stewart Show,” pounded a wad of dough with a rolling pin, pretending it was Stewart’s face.

“Mr. Cramer, don’t you destroy enough dough on your own show … ?” Stewart said early in The Daily Show. After declaring he’s a “big fan of the show,” Cramer appeared contrite during the interview.

“I think that everyone could come in under criticism because we all should have seen it more,” Jim Cramer said. “I don’t think anyone should be spared in this environment.”
Cramer pushed back very little in an interview far more serious than most that Stewart conducts.

He complained when Stewart suggested CNBC’s reporters are “in bed” with Wall Street financiers and said he’s worked with government officials to try to crack down on abuses in the industry.

“Absolutely, there’s shenanigans, and we should call them out,” Cramer said. “Everyone should. I should do a better job at it.”

Stewart did call it “unfortunate” that Cramer has become the prime whipping boy in a larger complaint — “the gap between what CNBC advertises itself as and what it is.”

“We’re both snake-oil salesmen to a certain extent,” Stewart said. “But we do label it ‘snake oil’ here.”

[From CNN]

I want to marry Jon Stewart. I don’t even care that he’s already married, I’d happily be his second, secret wife. I love when he gets righteously angry. Stewart has always seemed like one of the most under-rated interviewers in the media today – his pieces make the other news programs all the time, and even when he hates the person he’s talking to, he’s always respectful and he always listens.

Jon Stewart’s work this week mocking CNBC hasn’t gone unnoticed. He has changed the conversations the news shows were doing on the financial crisis – and he’s made them turn inward and question their own shoddy work.

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42 Responses to “Jon Stewart vs. CNBC’s Jim Cramer”

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  1. photo jojo says:

    It was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant and CNN, Fox and MSNBC should be crapping in their pants. They just got the crap kicked out of their elitist journalistic butts by a comedian.

  2. GeekLuva80 says:

    And I, his third wife!

    But I’d make sure he likes me the best! ;)

  3. Trillion says:

    This isn’t the first time in human history when it’s the comedians who are responsible for exposing b.s. I love TDS for doing what I wish “news” shows would do: Showing pundits, “experts”, press secretaries, and politicians saying what they say directly and letting their own talking do them in. It’s brilliant. Did anyone catch Ari Fleisher on Chris Matthews? I don’t like either of them, but the level of pure b.s. Fleisher assumed he could (still) get away with was actually shocking. (Saddam attacked the U.S., Bush nailed bin Laden, Bush has “kept us safe” etc.) Matthews is about 8 years late on this, of course, but it is great to see someone actually called out. Cramer deserves it 100%.

  4. lunachick says:

    My husband and I were clapping and cheering – Stewart was AWESOME!!! Thank you Jon for calling out the financial media’s BS and hypocrisy, and standing up for the rest of us.

  5. KateNonymous says:

    And what was really sad? Cramer just didn’t get it. He may know a lot about how to clean up as a manager of hedge funds, but he’s clearly unqualified to be any kind of journalist.

  6. becca says:

    Oh Stewart. How I love thee. :)

    When a comedy show does better research and reporting than the likes of the main news media outlets, what does that say about those news teams?

    It says quite a lot.

  7. Call Me Al says:

    Jon Stewart is so intelligent. Keep us posted on all that he does because I don’t always get to keep up with the show.

  8. CB Rawks says:

    You guys have to line up behind me, because I’m already his secret wife. :)

  9. mamafogle says:

    Ha ha, my husband thinks it’s Sawyer from Lost that he needs to worry about. But in reality, it’s Jon Stewart who wins this female’s imagined affections…


  10. Kaiser says:

    CB Rawks, Becca, GeekLuva – Step off bitches! Jon is mine.

    I lurve him. *Sigh*

  11. Ophelia says:

    Oh crap. If I had just commented earlier I wouldn’t be stuck being his secret sixth wife. Or is it seventh?

  12. Bob says:

    I think it’s a tie as to which oif them is the bigger idiot. If it weren’t for greedy wall street crooks, Cramer wouldn’t have an audience. If it weren’t for drunken frat boys, Stewart wouldn’t have an audience I think they should marry each other and make babies.

  13. lunachick says:

    Bob, the 8 or so posts above you are all women who are in love with Jon Stewart…I think he has a broader audience than drunk frat boys…

  14. daisy424 says:

    Back off ladies, Jon is my pool boy and he’s occupied at the moment.

    Kaiser, aren’t you cheating with lust in your mind on another Jon??

    Hmmmm, J. Stewart or J. Hamm, decisions, decisions…….

  15. Trillion says:

    Really Bob, how embarrassed you must be right now…

  16. KateNonymous says:

    I’m not sure Bob knows many frat guys, either. Stewart and his humor don’t fit that bill at all.

  17. Codzilla says:

    Frat boys like movies starring Carmen Electra. The brilliant satire Jon Stewart dishes out would be way over their heads. Epic fail, Bob.

  18. lrm says:

    yea,people like to *think* that Stewart only caters to stoners…remember that whole pre-election stuff? I’m sure they’d be scared sh*t to acknowledge the reality. His audience is far more adept and intelligent than the rumored ‘out of it stoners at midnight’. [No,I'm not taking aim at marijuana,people,so let's not get off track.]
    I’ll be wifey #8 or just one of the harem,I guess.
    My husband prob. wouldn’t mind being his golf caddy or helping out around the office—Stewart ROCKS!!!!

  19. c says:

    Oh yeah, awesome smackdown…I actually felt somewhat uncomfortable for cramer and turn the channel for a bit…then I got over it. Agreed, that the today show does better journalism than 98% of so called news shows out there says a great deal. Congrats to the show for calling BS on these crooks and shysters and snake oil salesmen. That’s all they are.

  20. JennaMeow says:

    Stewart used to be funny, but now he just takes himself waaaay too seriously. I think he thinks he’s a legitimate addition to the world of journalism. He’s such a pompous ass.

  21. Gigohead says:

    I loved it! Cramer got his ass kicked by an “Entertainer” as he called him on the Today Show.

    Cramer hawked faulty stocks to people that cause many to lose their shirts. Shame on him and I hope there will be changes moving forward.

  22. Feebee says:

    See, what gets people into trouble is they think that comedians are stupid. They don’t realise how hard it is to be good and how smart you have to be to be as brilliant as the likes of Stewart, Steve Martin, Tina Fey etc. It’s punks like Dane Cook that people think are comedians.

    As for JennaMeow’s comment… any news organisation could do worse than take on Stewart in an official capacity (this would never happen). The so called world of journalism you refer to is littered with ‘idiots’ like Jim Cramer who do not have journalism training – just some professional experience and a big mouth. See where that got CNBC.

  23. c says:

    for perspective: some commenters over at defamer are making some good points about the whole interview

  24. Jill says:

    hey, bob, i am not a frat boy. not even a sorority girl.

    i couldn’t believe jim cramer couldn’t acquit himself better in that interview, he got absolutely *owned*. all he did was backpeddle and apologize, i had expected at least a little give and take. jon stewart is awesome. i don’t really see him as arrogant– if he is, he is at least on the side of everyday people.

  25. Kimberly says:

    I always loved and adored Jon Stewart but my love for him just multiplied .

    I just love him , he’s the best .

    So how many wives and counting he has so far ? Count me in , lol .

  26. spooge says:

    What the heck is with the copyright violation notices on all the videos these days? Is it just not available outside the U.S. or something?

  27. becca says:

    Jenna Meow: He doesn’t think he’s a serious journalist. Honestly, the show is called FAKE NEWS for a reason.

    What he DOES realize, is that his COMEDY NEWS TEAM does better research than REAL NEWSANCHORS AND REPORTERS, and it’s quite sad. He acknowleged this during his smack down with Cramer and asked if the CNBC news team could go back to doing their real jobs so he can go back to doing his: A COMEDIC FAKE NEWS SHOW.

    So, watch and listen carefully before you throw insults please.

    Oh, and I don’t want to marry Jon Stewart. He’s old enough to be my Dad. I’m thinking he can be my psuedo godfather/teacher/uncle/something. I say pseudo godfather because we’re both Jewish, lol.

    I’m marrying Ben Barnes. :D So Jon’s yours girls. ;)

  28. DinaStrange says:


    if u need a qualified and experience manager for that budding Stewart’s harem, i am available.

    my past experiences include managing Bin Laden’s wives.

  29. Throughout most great works of literature, you can always look to “the fool” to get an accurate synopsis of the story.

    Just sayin’.

  30. Trillion says:

    Feebee, I’m with you all the way. There’s clever and then there’s Dane Cook.

  31. faye says:

    stewart is not fucking funny. hes only popular cause he makes idiots feel smart.

  32. Mark says:

    Thank God for the Daily Show and Colbert Report. Otherwise television would a soulless, humorless wasteland.

  33. becca says:

    Faye: You obviously don’t get the show. And look at everyone here. Are you calling us all idiots?

  34. jace says:

    Jon Stewart is brilliant. I would also marry him, as would several of my friends.

  35. tasteT says:

    Jon told him!!! thank god!!

    I am sooo sick of his loud, loser a$$!!
    screaming and clowning, HIS show is pure comedy.

    GO JON!

  36. Trillion says:

    Faye, Bob, please read the comments before commenting yourselves to avoid further embarrassment.

  37. RaraAvis says:

    The most compelling part of the entire interview was JS’s obvious discomfort. He knew it wasn’t his usual style, but his passion for the subject visibly forced him to hammer Cramer anyway. TDS is the best thing on TV. And I’d be happy to take whatever part of Jon is left after y’all are done with him.

  38. Joolzz says:

    jaundiceMac – Exactly!!!

  39. Codzilla says:

    Faye, if you’re going to insult us, at least learn basic punctuation, first.

  40. kaligula says:

    this interview catapults jon stewart to the level of a full-blown american hero. i couldn’t believe it when i watched it. every sentence i was like, no, he can’t get more raw than that… but then he did! he left no stone unturned! it’s the boldest, most effective and intelligent stands for the people since anderson cooper told off that new orleans politician or since michael moore made kmart apologize for selling the bullets that killed all those kids at columbine.

  41. Betty says:

    Jon is not an under-rated interviewer, really. You can’t be under-rated in that regard when you claim your show is “fake”, regard yourself a comedian, and STILL land interviews with major political and academic figures.

    Clearly he is good at what he does, but until he truly and publicly acknowledges the kind of influence he and his show have, people will keep on thinking of him as a comedian. On the one hand, I think he’s selling himself short. On the other, to admit that he has serious influence over a lot of people would disrupt the formula for his show’s success.

    Once his show blew up, he had a choice to make: to keep riding the wave of success of his show, or to acknowledge that he’s actually a respected, influential interviewer. For better or worse, he went with the latter.