Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Stewart to Cramer: "Bring It!"
I adore Jon Stewart's show. I make no bones about it. He is, hands down, the best media watchdog we have right now. And I thoroughly enjoyed the video drubbing he gave CNBC, pulling back the scrim of authority to reveal the little man pulling the levers and pushing the buttons - and getting it wrong.
Jim Cramer was not amused. Now much as I am repelled by the circus act that is Cramer's show, I don't totally dislike the guy. I had to give him some props after his Chicken Little rant was resurrected on another Comedy Central "variety show" - The Colbert Report.
But his overall track record is taking a beating and to try to pick a fight when Stewart has the video evidence to prove it seems foolhardy.
Unless CNBC and Cramer, seeing an opportunity to cash in on the huge popularity of The Daily Show, figure the best marketing tool is to jump right in there, kicking, screaming and biting, and fight back.
It's a possibility.
The fact is, however, that it may increase both the network and Cramer's visibility, but not in a way they'll enjoy. Jon Stewart is a smart guy. He's a devastating interviewer - quick to see a hole in an argument and unafraid to shred it further to get to the facts. Cramer's no dummy, but he's defending the indefensible.
CNBC and Cramer, like other so-called 'news networks', present opinion as fact. Opinion, unlike fact, can be wrong.
But damn, it'll be good ratings. Thursday night.