Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stewart vs. Cramer -- What's It All About?

As a fan of Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" on Comedy Central, I marvel at the show's ability to reach into what must be a huge archive of video and find relevant clips that contradict what newsmakers are doing and saying today.

Context is important in the news, and part of context is whether people are consistent in what they say and do. Not foolishly consistent, of course. Situations change and adjustments have to be made.

So I enjoyed Stewart's recent compilation of clips that basically showed CNBC to be so clueless about covering the economy. CNBC's Jim Cramer reacted critically over one clip that showed him vouching for Bear Stearns shortly before its stock tanked. Things escalated, with Stewart airing another series of video clips showing Cramer first urging people to buy Bear Stearns stock, then not to take their money out of Bear Stearns, and so on.

Now Cramer is slated to appear on The Daily Show with Stewart. Talk about must-see television.

Stewart has hit on one of my big beefs with business news coverage -- it's entirely too much of a cheerleader for big business, never asking the tough questions for fear the CEOs will stop talking to the news stars, never providing big picture and broad view analysis, instead focusing on which stocks are up and which stocks are down.

So now it's left to a comedian, for crying out loud, to confront CNBC about how it covers business.

Stewart does fake news, but sometimes he does real journalism.

1 comment:

Communications guru said...

Jon Stewart is great. Obviously, this Cramer guys has no sense of humor, nor does Joe Scarbough. This Cramer guy does what Republicans have done for years: when caught in a lie, blame and attack the messenger.

But Jon Stewart has Dora and Boots on his side.