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March 14, 2009

Murrow of the Modern Age Avoids Mentioning Stewart/Cramer Showdown Because Management Told Him To Lay Off Sister Network's Star; Says Me? No, Sayeth the Kossites and Kommenters

"You really do find it incumbent on you to take your own network to the same degree of task... [or] it doesn't say much for [your] manhood." -- Keith Obermann.

I didn't mention it myself, partly because I sometimes get embarrassed and self-censor how many links I crib from Hot Air, but mostly because I find Stewart's shctick tedious.

Pay attention to where he admits -- in what is supposed to be taken as great candor -- that his show is "not fair" and that fairness is not his job.

The trouble is that he of course believes it is, and wants to the public to believe it is. Does he believe that this interview with Cramer is unfair and filled with cheap-shots? If he doesn't, and if the public isn't supposed to take it as a fair dressing-down, what on earth is it on TV show? It's not funny, so that can't be the attraction.

His tone is one of heroic and self-righteous outrage, not jocular, breezy comedy. So would this be one of his "not fair" moments? If it's "not fair," and he intends it to be so and so acknowledges it, what's with the Cocksucker Crusader attitude?

Forgive me for being a bit confused about whether I'm supposed to take him as a comic or serious journalist at this moment.

This is a variation of Allah's favorite complaint, actually formulated by Treacher, I believe -- Stewart's "clown nose on, clown nose off act" -- wherein he attempts to have it both ways at once by posing as a heroic seeker of truth and then, when his sloppiness, unfairness, and lack of substance are pointed out to him, declaims "I'm just a comedian with a silly TV show!"

Notice that as Stewart's hyperpartisan fanboys in the media praise him for his intrepid doggedness, Stewart notably does not correct them to say, "No, that was an unfair bit of impromptu dinner-theater by a TV clown." The "just a comedian' or "not our job to be fair" statements only arise when Stewart is criticized for his shallow demagoguery -- and never when he is praised for his shallow demagoguery.

And yes, whatever Cramer's sins are, he's had them for years. It's interesting -- by which I mean uninteresting -- that Stewart only suddenly notices Cramer's sins when the financial pundit challenges Obama.

If Stewart was motivated by speaking Truth to Power to the financial insiders who he claims caused this problem, why did he not take on Cramer before? Cramer was just as much an insider when he was supporting Barack Obama for President, wasn't he?

Incidentally, earlier in this dust-up Stewart presented an edited clip which purported to show that Cramer was claiming Bear-Sterns was a solid investment days before it went tits-up. This is a lie. I know it's a lie because I mentioned this here when it happened, claiming the same thing. I was immediately informed by commenters that Cramer hadn't been talking about investments in Bear-Sterns being safe, but merely deposits there, which are federally insured (up to $100,000 at that time, now $250,000) and that therefore there was no reason to run on the bank and withdraw such money.

When commenters told me this, I checked the tape. Guess what? They were right. It sticks in my mind because I, unlike Stewart, tend to remember when I got things wrong and had to issue a correction.

This was all known a year ago (when it happened) but Jon Stewart, Seeker of Truth, is still peddling the lie that Cramer told people to hold onto their Bear-Sterns stock.

Clown nose on, clown nose off. Hey, if he's unfair (and actually deliberately slanderous) from time to time, it's not his job to be fair, right? Just a comic on tv. Clown nose on.

But oh, by the way, keep those Hoseannas coming, boys. He is, as one media suckophant says, the "conscience" of the media. Clown nose off.

Incidentally: Yes, Olbermann will address this now, as he can take the Kossack and Kommenter postings and present them to his bosses, telling them his own star is being diminished by this ban, and of course therefore it's in MSNBC's interests that he cut loose and give Cramer his obligatory Worst Person in the World.

He now has to. And will. But that doesn't change the fact he rolled over for management when asked to. Now, I don't really care if someone rolls over for management. I think it's pretty normal. But Keith postures as a Champion of Integrity, and he is, you know, not.

I do sort of wonder how much management's edict had to do with this. After all, there are questions of ego too. Keith poses as the Murrow of the Modern Age; it cannot be easy for him to see a self-declared TV clown-boy so annointed.

Cramer's Real Sin: I think a piece on Slate noted that Cramer's whole show -- promoting, to day-trader types, specific stock buys and sells -- is a scam, because Cramer knows, as most serious investors know, that the dart-board technique is often better than all these tips and speculations and minor research.

And that his show, if it were perfectly honest, should just say the same thing day after day: Put your money into a broad-based money market account and leave it there and stop thinking that you have any special insight into how a stock might perform this week. And oh, by the way, by the time you, the average investor, has heard of a big tip, everyone else has already heard of it so you're effectively buying after all the information of the tip has been baked into the cake and is now reflected in its price. The hope you have -- that you information early and therefore have an advantage -- is a delusion which hurts your portfolio.

Of course, no one would watch such a show, so he doesn't say that.

And, again, Cramer's been doing this for years but apparently it wasn't such a big sin when Cramer was boosting Barack Obama for President.

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posted by Ace at 02:37 PM

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