More Jon Stewart Interviews

Jon Stewart's interview with CNBC host Jim Cramer reminded me why he's the best press/media critic out there now.

In case you missed it, he asked Cramer whether more investigative reporting, and less cheerleading, from the business press would have prevented the meltdown. Something along the lines of "you knew these guys were playing risky games with the 401(k) and pensions of ordinary Americans, yet you didn't call them on it". This is the last part of the Cramer interview:

Another notable takedown was of Jonah Goldberg, author of "Liberal Fascism". Jon elicits that Goldberg's beef is that people throw around the fascist word too much, setting him up beautifully for the sucker-punch "So you object to people throwing around the word 'fascist', so you write a book titled what exactly?"

And of course, the question he asked Cramer was similar to the question he asked Wolf Blitzer, on why the political press didn't ask hard questions in the lead up to the Iraq war:

Why is a comedy show host the only one who sees the deep unseriousness of American media?

p.s. See also James Fallows and Andrew Sullivan.


  1. Stewart was correct to call out Cramer about his knowledge of the risky games the banks were playing....but Stewart refuses to call out Rep. Barney Frank or Sen. Chris Dodd. They are just as responsible for not doing anything (Franks being head of the House Financial Services Committee and Dodd the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee), yet Stewart won't call them out because they are Democrats and he runs a Liberal show.

    Cramer is just a TV personality....when Stewart calls out the big boys is when I'll be inpressed.

  2. "But they did it too!" is an excuse often heard on the playground, but it doesn't quite measure up to the level of adult discussion found in Lak's writing.

    I'll be impressed when the above commenter actually signs his or her name, instead of hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.

    For what it's worth, has a reasonably balanced look at "Who caused the financial crisis?":

    Here's an excerpt:

    It's true that key Democrats opposed the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, which would have established a single, independent regulatory body with jurisdiction over Fannie and Freddie – a move that the Government Accountability Office had recommended in a 2004 report. Current House Banking Committee chairman Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts opposed legislation to reorganize oversight in 2000 (when Clinton was still president), 2003 and 2004, saying of the 2000 legislation that concern about Fannie and Freddie was "overblown." Just last summer, Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd called a Bush proposal for an independent agency to regulate the two entities "ill-advised."

    But saying that Democrats killed the 2005 bill "while Mr. Obama was notably silent" oversimplifies things considerably. The bill made it out of committee in the Senate but was never brought up for consideration. At that time, Republicans had a majority in the Senate and controlled the agenda. Democrats never got the chance to vote against it or to mount a filibuster to block it.

  3. All I'm saying is that if you're going to call out a guy who runs a TV show involving finance, why not call out people a bit more involved with Congress?

    I'm not blaming the Democrats in general, only these two because they knew about it ahead of time. They didn't cause it, but they didn't make the American people aware of it either...aren't they supposed to look out for their constituents?

  4. For what it's worth ... Jon Stewart makes it clear several times in the interview that his real beef is with financial journalists in general and CNBC in particular and not Cramer personally.