I couldn't watch Jon Stewart skewer the fiancial booster Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money show last Friday night (NZ time). It was incredible TV and no surprise that other media have picked up on how powerful the episode has become. It supposedly was watched by Obama—and certainly by the blogosphere.http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-12-2009/jim-cramer-extended-interview-pt--1
What's so interesting is that Stewart, a comedian, is doing what we in the media should have: pointing out incompetence, deceipt and failure at the highest levels. He does it so well that he barely needs to say anything: just roll the tapes. As the Guardian puts it:
"Stewart forensically dissected [CNBC's] past mistakes, in which it made exuberantly bullish statements about the market and various investment banks shortly before they collapsed. Stewart added: "If I only followed CNBC's advice. I'd have a million dollars today—provided I'd started with $100m." Such is his influence, in the next days ratings for Mad Money went down 10 percent in the 25-to-54 demographic."
Stewarts' arch humour and hard working researchers combine to make him far more credible than the real news acnchors. The New York Times asked if he was the most trusted man in America.
The closest we have is Jeremy Wells' Eating Media Lunch and the Unofficial History of NZ. But that's unlikely to appear again now that TVNZ is shutting down operations.
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