Friday, March 13, 2009

Is Jon Stewart More Important Than Obama?

The feud between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer -- the representative jive-talking caucasian for financial news programming -- built up to a head this week (such that spoofing the hype was the lead joke on last night's The Daily Show). The beef kerfuffle stems primarily from everyone riding Jon Stewart's prostate nowadays (he's calling out finance people like the rest of the world, but his writers are funnier), and after seeing this clip I'm a little afraid that homedude is more powerful than Obama right now. This was billed as an "interview", but it was more like Alpha-Jon peeing and then lying all over Cramer in a show of dominance. If Jim Cramer's wife has a child in nine months, the father will be Jon Stewart. You won't even need a DNA test. Just this video:

Sooo, yeah. We know Stewart is fighting the good fight (I think?), but isn't there something too Big Bully-ish about this. Don't you feel a little bad for the pick-pocket when he gets scooped by Superman? It's like, let the little man get his hustle on, y'know? Preacher Jon has been doing this getting in people's asses with more frequency, what with the globe in shambles and all his dopey enemies to blame, but he usually sustains the jokey-satire-facade; TDS always remains a humor show. But around the 7:00 mark when he gets into the "it's not a f-beeping- game", yikes, it gets painful, and feels unnecessarily over the top.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Stewart and/or The Daily Show get a starring role in a future South Park episode soon, the white male Jewish Oprah might could use a little deflating.

(Also: Chocolate News was cancelled. Thinking about the gap between this exchange and it's relevancy vs. what it would have been if Cramer went on Chocolate News... it's sort of amazing.)

David Alan Grier is Respected, But Can He Be Relevant? [Ebony]
Satire: Do Black Folk Get It? [Ebony]


  1. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Wow, that was a beatdown. I'm amazed at how docile Jim Cramer was, especially in contrast to his show personality.

  2. Dave McCrea3/13/2009

    i don't think Kramer is Satan or anything, but given the seriousness of all this, if Stewart can use him as a whipping boy, then that's fine with me!

  3. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Stewart as Superman? Cramer just a pickpocket? More like those fish that attach themselves to sharks. How can you not applaud the one journalist who, with great intelligence and insight, has the balls to smack down one of these miscreants, these running dogs of greed, these players of monopoly games with the savings of hard-working people WHO ACTUALLY PRODUCE VALUE? And I'm not sure about all your racial/ethnic references, but it's not about Jewish, it's about Harvard Business School assholes of every stripe. It's about mythologizing an idiot like Reagan. Oh - am I over the top? Sorry, first time visitor. I don't know where the Assimilated Negro is coming from, but the brother seems to be leaning the wrong way to me.

  4. Thanos3/13/2009

    Envy and Bitterness are not virtues to build your blog around. The White Jewish Oprah? Delfating? Is he more important than Obama? What is that? Are you serious? Why would Jim Cramer go on Chocolate News?

    Jon Stewart has done this before, he did it on the TV show Crossfire (which was cancelled shortly thereafter), and he did it to Bill Bennett. JS has earned the right to do what he did to Cramer and he did it for the good, and he did it for all of us.

    Stop the catty bitterness, and just tell JS. Good Job, and thanks. He did what no one else in any media has done. He exposed the hypocrisy in the media.

    I thank you for the opportunity to post.

  5. Rance Spergl3/13/2009

    You wrote:
    "Let the little man get his hustle on..." "...unnecessarily serious..."

    Oh yeah, god forbid someone speaks truth to power, interrupting your entertainment. Learn the true meaning of comedy and tragedy and understand that one-liners and low-thought punchlines aren't the epitome of higher thought.

    And the pick-pocket? Well bringing Superman down is overkill but your analogy is disingenuous unless you really think that much of Stewart and that little of Cramer. But do I want to wander the agora worrying about getting my pocket picked?

    Work an honest hustle and everyone's happy. Allow the petty crap and the next thing you know you're paying protection.

    Wishy washy, low moral stuff.

  6. Anonymous3/13/2009

    a little hustler? how many little hustlers do you know that have a charitable trust worth approximately 2.2 million dollars? please do you homework.

  7. Anonymous3/13/2009

    They both deal in entertainment, so I get the spirit of your argument T.A.N., but those clips of Cramer that Stewart uses are damning evidence. The guy is essentially caught teaching people how to lie.

  8. We need more of what Stewart is doing. Bad.

  9. Is Stewart more important than Obama? Yes, duh. But it's close.

  10. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Tell me again, why do I give a fuck?

  11. Dailyfare3/13/2009

    You seem to be patting Cramer on the back for his "hustle", but his particular hustle has cost a lot of people their hard earned money. Maybe you have bank to waste like that, but most people don't.

    As for Stewart, it's too bad actual journalists don't do what he has done with this issue. For this topic alone, Stewart deserves a Peabody.

    As for Stewart being more important than Obama - whaa?

  12. TAN -- A is for ANGRY!
    Fanning the flames devisiveness is not in the interests of getting us out of this pathetic landscape. If you are not part of the solution...

  13. "Don't you feel a little bad for the pick-pocket when he gets scooped by Superman?" Actually NO. And what is going on right now is well beyond some poor man on the street picking pockets.. people have lost their life savings, their jobs, houses, lives over the lies the corporate media have fed to us. I'm really not sure I read your posting right, really not sure how what Cramer and moreover the corporate media business shows is so easily brushed aside.

    "let the little man get his hustle on.." Indeed.. from behind bars.

  14. Anonymous3/13/2009

    we can all blame cramer. but we all knew. average citizens, local govenments, bankers, the fed... we knew the houses we were buying and selling weren't worth it. I remember reading about predatory lending practices and the dangers they could pose along with variable mortgages in 2000. Was jon holding anyone over the barrel then? If he was, maybe it wouldn't have made news but it should have.
    No one did anything about it so to come around now and push cramer or anyone into the grave we all dug is a tad ridiculous.

  15. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Crammer has been hyping stock so that hedge funds can take people retirement money. People lives have actually been ruined over the intentional misdirection that Crammer and the rest of the business press have been doing to help their hedge fund buddies out. The world world is going into a depression because of hustlers like this and you feel sorry for this guy??? He should be in jail.

  16. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Kramer deserved the smackdown from Stewart. CNBC and all the "financial" News Network are guilty of collaborating with Wall Street in defrauding the American investors! How can you say that Stewart is being a bully?? Are you on of those Wall Street bloodsuckers? or friends with them??

  17. Chuck Norris3/13/2009

    Hey Assimilated Negro - Why put everything in terms of race and ethnicity? Are you sad that Jon Stewart is doing a good job and he isn't black? (Unlike Obama and Oprah)? And what does Oprah do for anyone besides giving away free cars and building a media empire?

    Jon Stewart was amazing, doing the jobs of Congress and the newspapers at the same time, what does his ethnicity have to do with anything?


  19. I guess it'd be interesting to see what Stewart would do with someone like Bernie Madoff, or one of the other real financial criminals.

  20. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Like so many pundits, you seem more interested in the meta-matters of this than in the substance.

  21. Do you actually believe that Cramer is the victim here and Stewart is the bully? Seriously?

    We should "let the little man [Cramer is a little man?] get his hustle on"? So lying (at least) and criminal fraud (at worst) are not something we should try to stop?

    And I don't have the time or energy to correct all the grammatical errors in this piece, but I must say, it's a rather imposing (and depressing) collection.

    Don't know exactly what it is you've been assimilating, T.A.N., but it appears to be having a negative impact on your higher brain functions.

  22. Kieth O.3/13/2009

    "Sooo, yeah. We know Stewart is fighting the good fight (I think?), but isn't there something too Big Bully-ish about this."

    LOL! Certainly you're kidding. This is NOT bullying. I suppose that Bernard Madoff was bullyed by the court yesterday?

  23. Anonymous3/13/2009

    It appears that the blogger is not so "assimilated" after all.

    Taking down the "good guy" because you rather enviously think he's getting too big for his britches and you feel sorry for the "pickpocket" who has helped destroy millions of Americans' lives is pretty screwed up, bro'.

  24. RAZE ONE3/13/2009


  25. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Excuse me, for a sec.
    Im trying to calculate, how many pickpockets it takes, to move 3 Trillion dollars!
    Jon Stewart, went for the jugular last night,(as any lay person with that opportunity, would have.)and did a masterful job. I think it was, just funny enough, to keep us from crying.
    You should be asking the question, I've heard, Jon Stewart ask,
    "How is this falling to him,(a Comedian, with a fake news show) to ask, real questions?"
    The Fourth Estate, is asleep, at the switch!

  26. Anonymous3/13/2009

    "We know Stewart is fighting the good fight (I think?), but isn't there something too Big Bully-ish about this."


    Rick Santelli referred to working people who fell for the sub-prime mortgage fiasco as "losers" ...whilst getting cheered on by the whole CNBC crowd.

    Now I'm supposed to sympathize with their millionaire poster boy? You must be joking.

    (And Chocolate News wasn't funny)

  27. Two quick things. First, a recent poll gave Stewart 22 fave, 11 unfave, and 67 "don't know." I don't think he's nearly as powerful as Oprah, except in the small demographic he reaches on a regular basis.

    Second, comparing Cramer to a pickpocket is unfair. Cramer didn't steal any money personally. Cramer is more like the police officer who complains about the victims not doing enough to protect themselves, while back at the office, a hastily-written pickpocket protection pamphlet is heading to the printers.

  28. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Congratulations on supporting all those petty criminals, you should be proud of yourself, but if you are going to be such a pathetic excuse for moral relativism, why are you getting on Jon Stewart and also bringing up the fact he is Jewish? who gives a shit? Maybe if you weren't so assimilated we would actually have more people calling things as they are and not living in the grey zone you seem to love.

  29. No offense, but I think this is kind of a weak sauce argument.

    Jon Stewart did an incredible job interviewing Jim Cramer and forcing him to answer for much of the b/s that he and other members of the MSM have been feeding us for years. I think that the remaining "journalists" among us should be made to study that tape "A Clock Work Orange" style until they understand what the public needs them to do.

    Also, as a fully un-assimilated "negro" I think I would be remiss if I didn't ask: WTF is the Stewart is a "white jewish Oprah" comment supposed to mean? From where I stand, that odd characterization is seriously troubled.


  30. Hey man, I usually really enjoy your blog, but you're way off base here! Stewart wasnt picking on the little guy, he was calling out another corporate 24-hour "news" drone that does nothing but keep Americans distracted and uninformed. News media in this country is dangerously over-sensationalized and low on substance. More people should be calling stuff like this out. I give credit to Jon for doing it.

    As for "is he more important than Obama?" What? I don't get it. Does he claim to be? Where is this coming from?

  31. Matt Lye3/14/2009

    Having written "the Assimil... the what?" at the New York Times article quoting your blog, I felt I should write in to say "oh, huh." as a followup, if only so that the internets in their archival wisdom would know that I veni'd and vidi'd.

    I was of course expecting "Carlton Shrugged."

    Your blog is more interesting that an "oh, huh" response would imply, by far. That's just my reaction to the screen name, which I think is very clever in that remains uncool even after and slightly also because anyone decides that it is cool because they're on the knowing side of what it means.

    Yeah, yeah, it's like a fountainhead for discursive exploration of the meaning of race or something. (Did anyone fail to see that one coming?)

    WTF is with the 'white jewish Oprah' slam? I mean, Oprah's a wonderful person, but nobody tells her when she starts getting buggy. And she introduced Dr. Phil to the world, for which I do not thank her. In what way is Jon Stewart like Oprah? Please edify the troubled waters.

    The technical word you were probably looking for is 'Ashkenazi', by the way. He'd be the ashkenazi Oprah.

  32. Dirty, Matt Lye: I'll use your questions to be representative for the swarm above as well.

    1. Oprah & Obama: I concede both references as a mite reckless; but the point in both cases is to allude to Stewart's growing position as demagogue. There's a group/sect/cult of folks who think Oprah, Obama, now Stewart can do no wrong, because they are "for good." That's the thinking with the references.

    2. Not enough people [here] are talking about the interview itself. "the "it's not a f'ing game" moment is now an internet meme in some places. it struck a chord. which is cool. but the snake-charming shell game aspect of the financial markets didn't just come into existence with Jim Cramer. If you're not smart or perceptive enough to discern between Cramer's schtick and the diligence that goes into exploring/valuating companies, well you probably shouldn't be investing in the stock market anyways then. This means Stewart's *moment* is not so much about truth-telling, so much as punching the face of one of the not-so-cool-anymore kids.

    in a manner not so offensive to Stewart fans, Troy Patterson at Slate gets into some of the questions that trouble me on the Stewart side.

    I like the looks of that new word though, it will all be good if I get some new vocab out of this. GOing to check out "ashkenazi" now.

  33. When he concludes with "...and I'll go back to making fart noises" how much more room for deflating is there?

    Stewart isn't perfect but that show was a necessary counterpoint to Rick Santelli's blame-the-homeowner faux populism.

  34. but the snake-charming shell game aspect of the financial markets didn't just come into existence with Jim Cramer.

    Stewart made this very point and, in fact, said that didn't want Cramer to be the face of this, but hey, that's what they gave him. The president of CNBC isn't going to show up, and Cramer is plenty guilty anyway.

  35. I thought Stewart's performance was, as the Brits say, Fucking Brilliant! Bravo! One of the most incisive 20 min of TV I've seen.
    I'm really glad that Rick Santelli canceled -- and now we see why.
    The sad part... why didn't CNBC do better reporting on the investment banking racket? Why didn't they say that if you're leveraged 40-to-1 you're more a Ponzi scheme than a legitimate business? I think it's partly because their audience is not looking for a high-minded critique of finance capitalism -- they're looking for a little piece of the action.

  36. T.A.N.:

    Again, Ive got to disagree with you here, and I think you have may have missed Stewarts most important point.

    As someone already said, Stewart himself went out of his way to say that this is not about Jim Kramer, but CNBC and the 24-hour news networks as a whole.

    A few years ago, when Stewart went on Crossfire, he brought to light that the so-called "debate shows" that are on the 24-hour news networks are actually sensationalized garbage; disingenuous, uninformative, and contrived. And he emphasized that the country could really benefit if these networks had honest debates that educated people and created a productive discourse (such as the debates you see on the BBC, for example).

    This time, he was calling out the sensationalized, contrived, ratings-driven corporate "financial news" channel that does nothing but confuse people and provide a platform for CEO's. Again, watch business news in other countries. It's very different, with reporters asking hard-hitting questions and providing sound financial analysis (not ridiculous over-the-top "predictions")

    I think your point about Jon Stewart being the bully is entirely opposite. The 24-news networks are the bullies, driving their drivel down our throats, keeping the country uninformed and distracted with their nonsense, and making tons of money off of it. There has not been enough protest about what has become of the American news media, particularly the 24 hour news channels. Jon is one of the few voices who has done so.

    Kramer just happened to volunteer to be the "face" of it for this particular encounter. As I said, Jon openly stated this. This was not Jon bullying Cramer, this was Jon trying to stand up to the 24 hour news networks. In that sense, he is definitely David, and they are Goliath.

    And to add a tangent, I wish there was more outrage about the damage the mainstream American news media is doing to this country by not presenting us with real news, by overhyping garbage stories, by distracting us with idiotic banter and redundant "wow" technologies. There is a reason Americans are so ignorant compared to citizens of most other developed countries.

  37. Anonymous3/15/2009

    dirty just broke it down. amen aint about the individual personalities.


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