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Jon Stewart Vs. Jim Cramer: The Battle of Brawl Street

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I don’t know how many people have been keeping up with the ongoing “feud” between Jon Stewart, CNBC, and Jim Cramer, but it’s pretty funny. Not the underlying economic problems our country is facing, but the back and forth media battle between these guys.

Jon Stewart Vs. Jim Cramer: The Battle of Brawl Street

I don’t think Stewart set out to crucify Cramer, but as the media ran with the story, he did what any good comedian would do – run right along with it. After all, ratings are ratings, right?

Quoting from the Comedy Central commercial leading up to this spot… “It’s been twittblogged on the interscape and people have talked about how much people have talked about it…” Without further ado:

Stewart slams CNBC (8:29):

This clip started it all! Stewart slammed the “financial experts” at CNBC, including Mad Money’s Jim Cramer. Cramer’s response in the media set up the next video where Stewart slams Cramer.

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In Cramer We Trust (5:04):

Watch Jim Cramer mercilessly skewered by Jon Stewart. Classic. After this, the only possible next action is to bring these two entertainers together.

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Cramer and Stewart interview 1 (5:47):

Jon Stewart invites Jim Cramer to his show so Cramer can defend his honor and they can discuss things man to man. The segment opens with a friendly discourse, but you get the feeling that Stewart is setting something up.

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Cramer and Stewart interview 2 (11:24):

Stewart really lights into Cramer here as he exposes Cramer for market manipulation… among other things. The full video of Cramer discussing market manipulation is directly below this one. Part 3 of the Stewart/Cramer interview follows the market manipulation video.

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Cramer in trouble with the SEC (6:45): You can watch the full Jim Cramer interview where Cramer discusses market manipulation. This interview got Cramer into trouble with the SEC.

Cramer and Stewart interview 3 (2:19):

Stewart and Cramer both call for harsh actions against criminals on Wall Street and the general problems that caused the financial crisis.

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My thoughts on all this

For pure comedic value, it’s fun. For anything else, it’s not worth it. No investor will ever be right 100% of the time. For every time that Cramer was wrong, there were other times he was right and made a lot of money for himself, his charitable trust, and other people. Cramer himself will be the first to admit that he makes mistakes, and even refers to himself as an entertainer in the interview.

Stewart is an intelligent man, no doubt. But not a financial professional and there is no way he could have foreseen this economic crisis. Stewart is a comedian and can rip into the financial industry from behind that wall of security… just as I can with my blog. ;)

What are your thoughts?


Published or updated December 29, 2011.
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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pinyo

Thank you for putting everything together in once place. I love this set of videos.

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2 Craig

I missed the beginning of the interview but I have never seen Jon Stewart so serious. It was an excellent interview that Stewart really gave hard questions and didn’t sugar coat things. On Cramer’s end, I give him a lot of credit for basically getting butchered the whole time, he did a good job with his responses.

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3 Crisis Cartoon

Hey,
Thanks for lightening the mood of this economic disaster we are in.
:)

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4 Karen

I think this is one of the rare but brilliant times when Jon Stewart and the Daily Show writers put their comedy hats away and do actual reporting. I agree that no financial professional is right all the time, but I think Stewart’s problem with CNBC is the way they portray themselves to viewers. They claim to be a financial “news” network, but instead of offering relevant information to the public during the stock meltdown, they offered a place for CEOs to blatantly lie to the public. As he said in the interview, it’s not just about Jim Cramer’s bad advice. It’s about the entire network and their incompetence during the financial crisis.

I don’t think Jon Stewart was attempting to speak as a financial professional here, but as a laymen who was angry about being lied to by the people who claimed to have his back. In my opinion, this interview is one of the greatest pieces of journalism we’ve seen in a while. Most journalists aren’t willing to ask tough questions and back up claims with real evidence like this.

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5 Manshu

I’ve been impressed by the guts of Cramer who went to the show knowing fully well what awaits him. He basically owned up to his mistakes and that was quite impressive too.

I enjoyed the wit of Stewart, but, really his show is just too biased for him to take any sort of high moral ground.

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6 FV

“Stewart is an intelligent man, no doubt. But not a financial professional and there is no way he could have foreseen this economic crisis.”

Of course Jon Stewart is not a financial professional – and he never claimed that. Also, it’s not his job to foresee crises in economy; that should have been the job of those “journalists” at CNBC… instead they were in bed with the big shots on Wall Street… in the end, screwing all of us, the small investors.
I mean, don’t you get sick to your stomach when you hear one of those CNBC “reporters” asking the smirking guy running a huge Ponzi scheme “How does it feel to be a billionaire” ? Well, don’t you?

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7 Chris

This wasn’t about “Moral high ground,” this was about criticizing all comers who in the end make fools of the public and of themselves. Stewart’s obviously angry, and Cramer was the face for a network he took apart. Look back on the “Crossfire” situation, and see just how effective he can be, even on someone else’s platform.

If you watch the extended versions on Stewart’s Web site, you’ll see they edited out why this was so personal for Stewart. His mother put a lot of her retirement into Bear Stearns once upon a time, and now it’s gone. She put it there because folks like “Jimmy Cramer” played her like a fiddle.

Did you notice how Cramer failed to weasel his way out of the selling short sequence where Stewart nailed him with video clips from his own pet Web site? He essentially insulted Stewart’s intelligence by trying to portray himself as a failed muckraker and just one of the folks who was just as offended, when he’d been playing the game just as well as anyone.

Initially, I’d have given Cramer all the credit in the world for taking his lumps in a public forum. That said, when he tried to weasel out of taking his full due in a public manner, I stopped giving him credit. I give Stewart all the credit in the world for coming in prepared to make his case as thoroughly as he did.

I hope all of my journalism students were watching and taking notes. That was awesome.

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8 Ryan

Thanks for all the excellent comments, everyone!

Karen: I think the folks at Comedy Central were extremely well prepared and made some excellent points about he financial crisis. They asked some very difficult questions. I applaud Cramer for coming on this show, knowing full well he could get crucified. I think he handled the situation very well, with the exception of trying to pull one over on Stewart and talk his way out of the market manipulation video (which is why I posted that video in it’s entirety). On Stewart’s part, I think he also handled it well and did not sugarcoat what has happened and how the media has responded.

Manshu: As I mentioned above, I thought Cramer did well to come on the show knowing he could get crucified. Stewart showed singular video clips of Cramer, but didn’t make this interview about Cramer – he made it about CNBC’s handling of the financial crisis and the politics and financial industry that allowed the financial crisis to happen in the first place.

FV: Does it make me sick to my stomach? No. But it pisses me off. Stewart’s reaction at the end of video 1 basically my reaction.

Chris: I watched the unedited versions, but didn’t post them here because of language (some people view this blog from work, so I try to keep this work-friendly). Stewart’s approach was no hold’s barred, and I appreciate him for that. Not many people have the balls to do that.

In the same regard, I appreciate Cramer for coming on and handling the situation as he did – with the exception of trying to weasel out of the market manipulation comments Stewart made. The entire video Stewart referenced is about market manipulation, which is why I posted the video here in its entirety. Other than that, I thought Cramer handled his role as well as he could.

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9 Ryan

Bill: Very powerful tools, indeed!

Sorry you can’t see the clips – I’ve heard they are blocked in Canada… They may be on YouTube already, but when I checked, I couldn’t find them (at least when the post went live, I haven’t looked since).

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10 Bill McCollam

Arghhh! I can’t see the clips from Canada. Sigh… I’ll need to look them up myself. Anyway thanks for posting and your comments. Comedy and parody can be very powerful tools.

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11 Matt MacBradaigh

Thanks for putting all the videos in one place first off.

Second, while I agree with you that, yes, Cramer is a guy who sometimes gets it right and sometimes wrong as a financial guru, the real damning thing is the video that got him in trouble with SEC. And in the interview with Stewart, after they played that video, his go-to response to begin with was “if the regulators saw that…” blah, blah, blah. So really, Stewart nails him in calling him out on this — in that, the duplicity of market professionals, like Cramer, to on one side of their mouth say “I’m trustworthy”, and on the other (the “insider” side) be talking about how to essentially screw people over in running their hedge funds, etc.

I do think the media overblew it a bit…but (and it’s a significant but), can you expect otherwise in economic times as these? And I further think the indignation on Stewart’s part is completely justified (“I can’t tell you how mad this makes me…”) because the underlying point is that many people on the inside knew exactly what they were doing, and were indifferent at best, to conspirators-for-personal-gain at worst, who saw what they were doing, knew where it was heading, and either contributed to the mess we’re in now, or did nothing. As Stewart said “Sins of Ommission” *and* “Sins of Commission”. And Cramer was right in there advocating to insiders financial impropriety (to maybe illegal actions) with the justification that “there is a market for it”.

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12 Ryan

Matt: All good points. Guilt doesn’t stem just from the actions you take, but also the actions you don’t take. I’m sure there were plenty of people in the financial world who knew what was going on and allowed it to happen with the justification that it wasn’t they who were breaking the law, but nameless others.

Stewart had every right to be angry, as does the American public and anyone else who was affected by this economic crisis (which is affecting people around the world).

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13 Writer's Coin

Great stuff, thanks for compiling it all here!

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14 Kristy @ Master Your Card

I haven’t watched all of the clips fully yet, but from what I have seen, I thought Stewart did an excellent job with this. I’m a fan of his anyway, and yes, it was a bit biased; however, he did have some facts to back it up. Kramer has never been a favorite of mine because every time I’ve watched his show he comes across as this glitzy car salesman type and that’s just not for me. I was glad Stewart took him down a peg or two. That being said, he handled himself very well during the interview with Stewart and I commend him on that.

In my opinion, CNBC has lost some of the luster of being a “serious” news source and turned more to the entertainment aspect. Trouble is, a lot of people didn’t catch the turn until it was too late. I watch CNBC because I find some of it funny, but I don’t take it too seriously.

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15 Ryan

Kristy: The clips are all good. I only published the edited versions due to language, but if that doesn’t bother you, check out the full length versions – there is a little extra content.

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