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Jim Cramer is firing back at Jon Stewart

The CNBC pundit and 'The Daily Show' host are engaging in full-blown media war.

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Jon Stewart didn't take kindly to CNBC pundit Jim Cramer dismissing his Comedy Central program as a mere "variety show."

"You make me sound like I'm some kind of buffoon, just flapping my arms with crazy buttons and wacky sound effects," the host of "The Daily Show" said Tuesday night. He then cut to a clip of Cramer on his CNBC show "Mad Money," punching buttons that make wacky sound effects.

Ouch.

It was the latest thrust in what has become a full-blown media feud between the comedian and the stock analyst, spawned by the ongoing economic crisis. Earlier Tuesday, Cramer accused Stewart of cherry-picking stock calls he made during a bull market to wrongly suggest that he misled the public about the health of the economy. Stewart jabbed back on his show, dubbing their war of words "Cramer vs. Not Cramer: Basic Cable Personality Clash Skirmish '09!"

Stewart's retort won't be the final words on the subject: Cramer has agreed to go on "The Daily Show" Thursday to confront his rival in person.

The sardonic comedian and kinetic former hedge fund manager may make for an odd match-up. But the tussle between the two television personalities reflects a larger debate raging about whether the media did an adequate job covering the lead-up to the recession.

CNBC, the most prominent business news network, has come in for a large share of criticism that the media failed to alert the public to Wall Street's precarious footing.

One of the most outspoken critics has been Stewart, who savaged the cable channel last week with an eight-minute segment that strung together some of the most bullish remarks made by the network's anchors and pundits in the last two years.

"If I'd only followed CNBC's advice, I'd have a million dollars today -- provided I'd started with a hundred million dollars," Stewart quipped.

Cramer played a recurring role in Stewart's mash-up.

"Bear Stearns is fine!" he shouted in his trademark bellow in one clip, less than a week before the investment house went under. "Bear Stearns is not in trouble."

CNBC has remained mum about Stewart's gibes. (On Tuesday, a spokesman declined to comment on criticism of the network's coverage.) But Cramer, one of the channel's best-known personalities, is fighting back.

In a column posted Monday on MainStreet.com, he complained that Stewart took his words out of context. He wasn't urging people to buy Bear Stearns stock, Cramer noted, but was simply reassuring viewers that money in Bear Stearns accounts was safe.

"The absurdity astounds me," Cramer wrote of Stewart's critique.

Stewart responded on Monday's episode of "The Daily Show," offering up a partial mea culpa.

"Jim Cramer, I apologize," he said. "You weren't suggesting to buy Bear Stearns.

"That was something that you did five days earlier," he added gleefully, before airing yet another clip from March 2008, in which Cramer roared, "I believe in the Bear franchise. You know what? At 69 bucks, I'm not giving up on the thing!"

Cramer fired back Tuesday during successive appearances on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and NBC’s “Today.”

"Oh, oh, a comedian is attacking me!" he said mockingly on "Today."

"Did I make a mistake?" Cramer added. "First of all, any time you recommend a stock and it goes down, you've made a mistake. Here's a shocker: Almost every stock is down! Any stock you recommended is bad. You know, Warren Buffett, I could run tapes from him, he would look like a complete fool."

The "Mad Money" host noted that Stewart has not spotlighted Cramer's appearance on "Today" in October, when he caused a stir by saying people should sell and get out of the market.

"That was 35% ago," Cramer said. "That was a call that should have wrecked my career. And it would have, if the market had gone up. But I stuck my neck out and did it and saved a lot of people money."

The CNBC host largely found support for his position among his colleagues on "Morning Joe," although co-host Mika Brzezinski pressed him about Stewart's point.

"Look, Cramer, we all have been trying our best to cover the story, but didn't CNBC play a role in sort of being off?" she asked.

"I've made mistakes," Cramer admitted, adding: "I'm an easy target. I'm loud."

-- Matea Gold

matea.gold@latimes.com

(Photo courtesy ComedyCentral.com)

 
Comments () | Archives (92)

Well, I was wondering what Jon Stewart would do with his show after "He Who Cannot Be Mocked or Criticized" became president. Now that Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House, I see that he is going to go after fellow TV personalities with whom he disagrees politically. And I for one am glad. I mean, nothing impacts my life more than the rantings of a little-watched financial cable TV financial analyst. Keep speaking truth to power there, Jon.

I wonder if the righteous Jon Stewart, who bashes who he wishes and kidgloves or does not comment on others, while criticizing Jim Cramer for saying Bear Stearns is not in trouble has had any comment on Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd for blocking reform to Freddie Mac/Fanniemae as proposed by the Bush Administration when they said they are fine. there is no need for reform. But then, when have you seen a comedian on TV lately who has resembled "fair"?

Jim Cramer is a buffoon. Plain and simple. He rants and raves around his set like an addled imbecile. Which of course is an insult to addled imbeciles.

Stewart/Colbert/Cramer Nation,

THE ORIGINAL FIGHT NIGHT!

Here is a Promo Poster/Image I made for Thursday's showdown! Hopefully Cramer or Stewart will see this and use it on Wednesday to promote the show!

http://gloombergnews.com/?p=470

Here's hoping Jon Stewart adds Cramer to his trophy case, alongside the grotesque and silly Tucker Carlson. "In Cramer We Trust"?? What Was CNBC thinking?

To Mark Viehweg: If Jim Cramer is a buffoon, he is a buffoon who has made millions, has his own show, who advises powerful people with their finances, and has the power to move the market. What have you done today Mark?

In any case, I remember seeing Jim Cramer's meltdown when he warned us all on the problems of the market. He seriously was criticized after that rant. He's been very pessimistic about the market since that rant and even though has made a few mistakes, he was generally right. It turns out he knew what was coming.

What did Jon Stewart know? He was too busy kissing the arse of Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd who blocked Freddie and Fannie reforms. That's the real shame here.

Obviously the past few posters do not watch the show. He DOES crack jokes about this administration.

JB--do you WATCH The Daily Show? Obama and his administration get mocked--but since they aren't complete imbeciles all the time, so they don't get mocked all that often. Is there pleanty of blame to go around? Of course. Free-marketers who didn't want any supervision. Politicians that agrred with them. Politicians and regulators who disagreed but let them have their way anyway. Journalists who didn't call BS. Analysts and professionals who rode the merry-go-round. Clients who trusted them. Regular folks who just turned a blind eye the problems, because it didn't seem to involve them.

CNBC got blasted because Rick Santelli had the unmitigated gall and the shameless hypocrisy to rant that people who made bad mortgage choices deserve no mercy. OOOOKayyyy says Jon Stewart. No mercy for those who made bad choices. Got it. How come we've had mercy for huge companies that made bad choices? No comment? I thought we weren't having mercy on losers, and people who made bad choices?

Speaking of bad choices...Aren't you folks over at CNBC the LAST PEOPLE ON EARTH who should be ranting about no mercy for folks who made BAD choices. Let's have a little look at YOUR track record...

Off to the races it went...and it was funny. Bill Fleckenstein doesn't refer to CNBC as Bubbleonians because they have such a sterling reputation in investing circles :) The only folks who don't realize that CNBC is a joke are the folks at CNBC themselves. Jon Stewart just pointed out to his audience what most investors already now. CNBC Analysts are just a bunch of biased boosters.

If the Obama administration ever gets as foolish, you can bet TDS will send them up in a second. Hypocrisy is a funny thing to mock--and the more blatant and earnest the hypocrisy, the funnier it is.

The thing about Jon Stewart is he bashes everyone. He has bashed Obama, Biden, Clinton, Cantor, Boehner. He's truly bipartisan...in mockery. And CNBC was soooooooo consistently bullish. And, of course, Cramer bought into it and has given the whole thing great airplay, along with the NBC team. The bit with Morning Joe was especially funny.

Nothing makes me as warm and fuzzy as this Stewart vs Cramer war. It's so perfect because Stewart is right and Cramer cannot not respond. Everytime he opens his mouth his foot goes deeper. Keep up the good work Jon.

And a personal note to my man David above who blames: "Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd for blocking reform to Freddie Mac/Fannie mae as proposed by the Bush Administration when they said they are fine."

This is revisionist history that's pooling in the republican party. Barney and Chris were not in charge. They were in the minority party at the time. It was in fact the "Contract with America" republicans that were lobbied by wall street to "loosen the rules" that ultimately allowed wall street to gamble with your money. Put that in your partisan pipe and smoke it. Remember Newt Gingrich was a check bouncer.

JIm Cramer,
You give me headache! with your followers echoing bullya when they call you. stop shouting and analyze with no buttons and foolish sounds. your recommended bear sterns at $69 is no longer in business that was a great mistake on your part, bullya!!!. Your buddy Jim of bear sterns is just back from a bridge tournament!. Shouldn't he be in jail with Bernie Madoff.

Jim Cramer is an idiot. I don't have to sit here and blab on and on with examples, I'm just going to say that straight up. And JB, this statement "nothing impacts my life more than the rantings of a little-watched financial cable TV financial analyst. Keep speaking truth to power there, Jon," basically tells me that "little-watched cable TV financial analysts" must impact your life greatly for you to come to this website and post a comment that partially attacks Mr. Stewart. So before you speak your truth, maybe you should realize what you're saying.

This is comedy.. I was waiting when someone who will take a shot at Cramer. Look, Cramer is an expert but he does make dumb picks. I remember, he picked Best Buy and Starbucks way before the downturn. Cramer anticipated Starbucks will go up with new stores in China. Where is Starbucks today? I watch Cramer but I take his picks with a grain salt. Same goes with all the shows on cnbc like Fast Money. If you want to be a smart investor, do your own homework and not just watch and believe these guys or anyone for that matter. Study the technicals and be in tune with the news. News is crucial which obviously can trump every thing else on a volatile stock market.

Oh please, that is what comedians do and Jon Stewart is one of the smartest and funniest. All of the bickering is par for the course, all the geniuses made a huge mess of things and so they all - republicans and democrats - should get a grip. People are angry and want to blame and if Jim Cramer, who I liked, cannot stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen. Me thinks he doth protest a bit too much...

Kramer is a boorish, oafish clown aho apparently doesn't know much about proper money management. He even lauded Macy's. It would be interesting to see statistics on how many people have lost money based on his apparent "dartboard" advice. Stewart's show was spot on with those clips about Kramer and the gentleman from the Mercantile Exchange who ranted about foreclosures the other week -- MSNBC's pundits have been dead wrong. Buy Bear Stearns! LOL. And with such a huge television audience, the damage they are permitted to inflict on trusting investors is immense. These kinds of shows are so dangerous because they lecture to novices who would be better served by dealing with professionals one on one.

Next time, maybe MSNBC and the others should just set up Bernie Madoff with his own morning financial advice show?

Cramer actually said: "First of all, any time you recommend a stock and it goes down, you've made a mistake. Here's a shocker: Almost every stock is down" ???????? Like recommending a stock that drops is equal to recommending a stock at 69 that goes under 6 months later? This guy is an idiot, and hopefully the dullards who followed his advice have some money left. Not sure who's more stupid, Cramer or the idiots that would buy stock on a TV character's recommendation.

The principal difference between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer is that Stewart intends to be funny.

The media did not report on the bubble enough when it counted, and thus allowed or even abetted its growth. Now they over-report any bad economic news, worsening the lack of confidence that is responsible for most of the current stagnation in the economy. Our wealth at the height of the bubble was an illusion based on pyramid scheme-like investing and on debt. Trying to get back there is as futile as trying to blow up a popped balloon. Let the economy find its way back to a realistic level. It will be painful and take patience, but so does recovering from a cold; bleeding the patient does not help. If the primary problem is that banks are skittish about lending money, how does massive government deficit spending, which draws money away from the credit market, help? If real estate values were vastly over-inflated in a speculative bubble, as we know they were, why is anyone talking about propping up real estate values? The Obama administration's motto should be, "Get real!" not "This a good chance for us to spend a ton of money we don't have without anyone objecting."

They deserve each other.......

Stewart's going to win this one. CNBC is nothing more than a plaything of stock market analysts, and by "analyst" I mean salesman. Cramer is an nothing more than an entertainer, and not a very good one at that. Go Jon!

 
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