Democracy Soup

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Jon Stewart stands up to Jim Cramer with our real anger of lack of financial oversight by CNBC

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Originally published on on Fri, 03/13/2009 – 10:39am

Former U.S. presidents, a future U.S. president, the president of Pakistan, Nobel Prize winners, acclaimed achievers in their fields – all have been on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” But only one person has ever been on 2 ½ segments on the program, and that was Jim Cramer on last night’s edition.

So what did Cramer do to warrant that much airtime? Or did he warrant that much airtime?

If somehow you thought that 2 ½ segments wasn’t enough of Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer, there was the unedited interview featured on the show’s Web site. Having listened to the whole thing, the best was what aired on Comedy Central, though Stewart’s swearing was left unedited and there was a nice slam on Joe Scarborough.

So what did Cramer offer that Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter couldn’t? Well, as Stewart pointed out in the interview, this wasn’t about Cramer.

Stewart can be especially hard on people when they aren’t there in the studio. But when the people being viscerated are there, Stewart can get soft. One notable exception was his scathing take on Chris Matthews’ philosophy, but that was more hypocrisy than anything else.

In the second half of the first segment, when Cramer was first out there, Stewart was nice to Cramer. Jim Cramer even gave a peace offering, saying what a big fan he is of the show. The fear was that Stewart would go soft from there on, despite the hilarious show open that made fun of the media talking and writing about the “Stewart/Cramer battle.”

Not to worry. When the show returned for the second segment, the gloves were off and Stewart came out with punches. I had hoped Stewart would air and comment on the video released earlier this week from a 2006 interview with Once I saw that video on the screen, I smiled at my TV.

The interview became a bit more about Cramer, but as Stewart noted (paraphrasing here) “I want the Jim Cramer on his show to protect me from the Jim Cramer on the video.”

Stewart is a Flying Wallenda when it comes to balancing anger and humor. Even at the end of the Matthews interview, he offered his hand and said, “Friends?” But there was one moment of pure anger where no joke could bring it back, and it was the type of emotion rarely seen on the program, with the possible exception of the first show after September 11, 2001.

“But it’s not a fucking game. And when I watch that, I get, I can’t tell you how angry that makes me. Because what it says to me is you all know. You all know what’s going on. You can draw a straight line from those shenanigans (the 2006 video) to the stuff that was being pulled at Bear and at AIG, and all this derivative market stuff that is this weird Wall Street side bet.”

The Howard Beale analogy is used quite often in Stewart’s material, that Stewart is the modern-day Beale. But when Beale did his rants in “Network,” one of the most awesome political or otherwise films of all time, the subject of the rant was never in the room.

Jon Stewart proved last night that when a subject was in the room, he could still carry the same emotion. Stewart’s anger is our anger, and last night, someone else (even if Cramer wasn’t the main target) was in the room while our angry was displayed on TV. As more of the sins of the Bush Administration come out, we need more of this anger at a target onscreen as part of our healing process.

You can see the entire unedited interview on and is also available in our Vodpod section on


Written by democracysoup

March 13, 2009 at 10:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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