With further apologies to Tom Tomorrow, we are now giving over our entire blog to rolling coverage of the Stewart vs Cramer debacle; an event I’m increasingly thinking could become a bit like the OJ car chase for media in the crunch. Last night, facing the meltdown of his limited credibility, Cramer went on the Daily Show. Salon, who have the clips (click on the picture on the left to see them) pick up the story:
Cramer was constantly deferential and apologetic, at times even catching himself when he tried to offer an excuse for past behavior. And ultimately, he promised to change his ways, which include, as Gawker noted, a history of alleged attempts to manipulate the market using his position as a financial analyst both in print and on television and his connections within the media.
The clips are fascinating. Stewart won, but then, he always does. He is after all on home turf. Salon said that they thought Cramer came off especially badly. I disagree. As they note, his deference plays well. Stewart even hits a few bad notes—like when he accuses a relatively reasonable sounding Cramer of talking to him like he “is a 5 year old.” Equally, Cramer would—in my view—have more than a little right to actually defend the original cause of the spat, and push back just a touch more than he actually did.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a massive Jon Stewart fan: he is, along with Chris Morris, probably his generation’s finest satirist. And, on this issue as in most others, Stewart is more right than wrong. But….. for a show that is normally so morally nuanced, there is more than a little of the Huey Long about the Daily Show’s stalwart defence of “battling” home owners. Many home owners have been hosed by the crisis; that much is obvious, especially in the case of people who were actually mis-sold properties, rather than simply being “mis-sold” the expectation that the market would keep going up. But not all of them were victims—some were greedy, and were unwise to take out mortgages they self-evidently could not afford. (Full disclosure: I very nearly did the same thing, so I’m…