Jon Stewart on business news reporting

Written by  //  March 20, 2009  //  Business, Media  //  Comments Off on Jon Stewart on business news reporting

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A new blog by Ben Schott on the words and phrases that encapsulate the times in which we live.
Cramer vs. Not Cramer
The Stewart–Cramer feud over “Mad Money” and CNBC’s coverage of the economic collapse culminated in a “Daily Show” interview billed as “Cramer vs. Not Cramer: Basic Cable Personality Clash Skirmish ’09!”
13 March

Jon Stewart’s Debate Lesson with Jim Cramer
(Vanity Fair) CNBC’s Jim Cramer was on The Daily Show last night to defend himself after a week of pundit combat with Jon Stewart. And, just like in the Battle of the Bulge, Stewart and the Allied forces at The Daily Show prevailed, leaving Cramer conciliatory, ashamed, and shaking his head in honest defeat at the end of the 12-minute interview (and that’s just what they aired!).
Cramer was so apologetic during the interview that it felt more like a lesson you would teach your high school debate team on what not to do. In fact, Cramer looked more like a nervous sophomore sweating bullets than someone who has his own national television show.
Stewart pounds Cramer
(AP) NEW YORK — Jon Stewart hammered Jim Cramer and his network, CNBC, in their anticipated face-off on The Daily Show, repeatedly chastising the Mad Money host for putting entertainment above journalism.
It was perhaps the hardest lashing Stewart has given to a TV commentator since 2004 when he called Tucker Carlson and his then co-host Paul Begala “partisan hacks” on CNN’s Crossfire, the since cancelled political commentary program.
12 March
In this corner, Stewart. In the other, corporate insanity
(Globe & Mail) CNBC is currently at the centre of an amusing media spat. On The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy 11 p.m., CTV, midnight), Stewart has taken aim at CNBC, mocking it ferociously. CNBC, and its in-house hatchet man, one Jim Cramer, have fought back. Tonight, Cramer is on The Daily Show and some kind of mammoth showdown is anticipated.
All of this is an interesting manoeuvre for Stewart’s show. Mostly, he’s right. CNBC and its army of ranting reporters and pundits is emblematic of the blind, greed-driven market frenzy of the last decade.
What’s truly strange, however, is that it has taken until now for somebody to notice that, while most television coverage is built around a moral framework, business television has no sense of good or evil. That’s what makes it starkly abnormal and, these days, vaguely repulsive. First came the vilification of corporate America. It took a long time for the vilification of corporate America’s cheerleaders to begin.
And then, there is this somewhat related (at least for those who aren’t crazy about CNBC, Fox News or their ilk) story, but this time it is MSNBC with charts to ‘prove’ their point.
Bob Cesca: The “Obama Bear Market” and Other Tales of Cable News Insanity
(HuffPost) This week, two reoccurring stories have landed MSNBC squarely in that FOX News orc hive of cable news reportorial awfulness: the “Is Obama Doing Too Much?” story and the “Obama Bear Market” story.
11 March
Jon Stewart’s Slap at CNBC Rockets Web Traffic

Already recorded 1.3 million views to date, making it Comedy Central’s most streamed clip this year


( Jon Stewart’s evisceration of CNBC has become a boon to Comedy Central Digital, resulting in the highest traffic and video stream numbers this year for its collection of Web sites.
The clip, see it here, during which Stewart responds to CNBC’s reporter Rick Santelli’s recent rant about the housing bailout by pointing out a series of instances when CNBC reports guessed wrong on the markets, has become another viral hit for the Daily Show host.
Back in 2004, a memorable appearance by Stewart on CNN’s Crossfire became a much-forwarded clip in the days before YouTube.
Stewart’s rant, dubbed “CNBC Gives Financial Advice,” has already recorded 1.3 million views to date, making it Comedy Central’s most streamed clip this year.
According to Comedy Central officials, its sites total unique visitors jumped by 27 percent during the week of Mar. 2 versus their 2009 average. Results were even better for, which saw its weekly unique user figure surge by 65 versus the rest of the year, and which similar saw audience growth in the range of 64 percent versus its weekly average.
10 March
(The Progressive) Rick Santelli and his colleagues at CNBC get the hilarious knock on the head they deserve from Jon Stewart. In a classic Daily Show Segment, Stewart sends up the absurdity of Wall Street complaints about a tiny portion of bailout money going to homeowners, and then juxtaposes CNBC analysts’ predictions with business press clips a few days later: “Bear Stearns is fine” “You can’t compare Lehman Brothers to Bear Stearns,” “No need to raise capital at Merrill Lynch.” These pearls of wisdom all came moments before the banks in question tanked.
Stewart quips: “If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice I’d have $1 million, if only I’d started with $100 million.”
He concludes with a series of kiss-ass CNBC interviews with CEOs and billionaire operator Sir Allen Stanford, the Texas financier accused of “massive fraud” by the SEC, who recently tried unsuccessfully to flee the United States, and when asked by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, “Is it fun being a billionaire?” Stanford chuckles, and Quintanella chuckles along with him. “Yes, it is fun being a billionaire,” Stanford replies.
“Fuck you,” says John Stewart. “You know, between the two of them, I can’t decide which one of those guys I’d rather see in jail.”
6 March
Jon Stewart takes another swipe at CNBC on ‘Letterman’
Jon Stewart continued his path of destruction through the reputation of CNBC last night during his Late Show appearance, and actually added two unnamed financial networks to his hit list as well. The whole thing started when CNBC’s Rick Santelli backed out of a scheduled appearance on the Daily Show Wednesday. Santelli, you’ll recall, is the CNBC reporter who became an online celebrity after an on-air rant where he castigated the Obama Administration’s housing plan for bailing out “losers” who couldn’t manage their mortgages. (Lesson: Anyone evenly vaguely associated with Wall Street should watch who they’re calling a “loser.” What’s the Dow at today? 300?)
5 March
Jon Stewart Eviscerates CNBC, Santelli On Daily Show (VIDEO)
Stewart aped Santelli’s newsgrabbing shouty-faced blubber from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, coyly admitting, “I have to say, I find cheap populism very arousing.” And then, for eight minutes, Stewart at his arch best (with the help of the crackerjack Daily Show research team) went on an absolute tear and burned CNBC right down to the doorframes. “If only I’d followed CNBC’s advice, I’d have a million dollars, provided I’d started with a hundred million dollars.” Brutal, but utterly hilarious.
What Battered Newsrooms Can Learn From Stewart’s CNBC Takedown
… the story shows how access to the nation’s most powerful CEOs — supposedly the big advantage of a journalistic enterprise like CNBC — isn’t worth a warm bucket of spit when it results in slo-pitch softball questions, for fear of offending the rich and powerful. And so we see Ford’s CEO grilled about Kid Rock’s performance at the auto show, Ponzi scammer (later revealed) Alan Stanford quizzed on whether it’s fun to be a billionaire, and Maria “Money Honey” Bartiromo gushing at how corporate chiefs were still telling her that their companies were doing great, even as the massive iceberg was casting its shadow over the hull of the American economy.
Jon Stewart’s act of journalism — reported, of course, by his ace team of writers — worked because there were no interviews at all. It all hung instead on meticulous research, dredging up lethal quips of CNBC’s stock pumping hosts to hang them with their own undeniable words — Jim Cramer’s “buy buy buy” when the Dow was roughly double what it is today, his touting of Bear Stearns’ and Bank of America’s doomed stocks. The kind of research that’s so hard for most newspapers to do anymore, with downsized staffs and ever-looming deadlines, but which can so often belies the spin from our “accessible” sources.
4 March
The Daily Show

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