Jon Stewart vs Jim Cramer Live! (finally)

Casey McKinney



I feel it’s a little late to be pointing fingers at Mad Money’s Jim Cramer.  Fanzine blogged that Cramer was likely our country’s Rasputin this past summer. And it wasn’t too long after that post that I guess some little Dutch boy must have gotten tired of holding all of America’s toxic mortage backed securities behind a brittle wall, took his thumb out of the dam, and started sucking it.

In any case, Jon Stewart has finally been getting on Cramer’s case this week, asking him why he goes on his own not so vastly known internet website (one which I can’t imagine he’d believe his Mad Money viewers would never see…hello? Google? Google being one of Jim’s once Four Horsemen {of the apocalypse?} stock picks]) and spells out just how hedge funds (like the one he once ran) manipulate the market via a mixture of some heavy collective cash and a few ehhh spurious? perhaps, rumors to the media (a practice which is typically illegal by the way). And “the media” doesn’t exclude shows like Mad Money and Fast Money,  but he didn’t mention those of course. And I won’t imply he’s purposely ever lying or fibbing or… tweaking info on his show. That would be dumb and slanderous of me. And again dumb, so I repeat I am not saying that.

So Stewart brought Cramer on the show after a week of WWF-style back and forth soliloquies on their respective home platforms, The Daily Show vs CNBC (which Cramer is ubiquitous on, aside from his romper room Mad Money show). Stewart argued that they are both snake oil salesmen to a degree, and comedians, but that at least he, Jon, admits it.

Jim Cramer continuously claims to stick up for the little guy on Mad Money, and even goes so far as to quote Vladimir Lenin often (and often while raising a portrait of the Marxist leader/philosopher beside his own profile on the show), but if you ever follow say the Google Finance message boards of stocks Cramer picks, the short sellers are delighted, just tickled pink for a few days to know what he’s picking to go long with so they can know just what to short (short selling is the opposite of betting the stock will go up). Many short sellers feed on all the little fishies out there so anxious to buy what Jim’s casting.

I have to say Mad Money is entertaining, in a twisted way. It’s like Pee Wee’s playhouse. It’s supposed to be one thing, but there’s more to it going on.  Lots of seemingly off the cuff references to not only Marx, but Beckett and Shakespeare and whatever else I guess Cramer’s nephew Cliff Mason (his sole writer) dreams up while typing away in his “pajamas” (as Cramer described to Stewart his nephew’s attire when writing….yawn, okay).

True, Jim Cramer lived out of his car for a while (I guess that’s true, it’s what he says) and had some early notoriety as being the first reporter on the scene when Ted Bundy was caught.  Hmmm… Speaking of which, serial killers that is, like I’ve always said, Bret Easton Ellis is one our generation’s most important satirists and if people had listened a little better to his American Psycho, maybe a few would have gotten the message and not trusted their futures and 401ks to the big brokers gambling with absurd non-linear derivative schemes, pushing beyond the legal – or sane anyway – limits for “Fast Money,” as that other CNBC show’s name implies.

The news has become a populist (whatever that word means anymore) popularity contest these days.  But for this round, this week, I gotta hand it to the real comedians, Stewart and compadre Stephen Colbert, for finally handing a shit sandwich back to CNBC. But so as not to completely rain on Jim, I guess Rick Santelli was the real rat of the week, as he threw some absurd, self-envisioned, elite class simulacra of a Boston Tea Party on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile exchange; and still, don’t get me wrong, it’s hard not to be captivated by the “money honeys” like Maria Bartiromo, a real Hawksian heroine if there ever was, who even had Joey Ramone captivated on his deathbed as he further immortalized her in song on his last album:

What’s happening on Squawk Box?/ What’s Happening with My Stocks?/ I want to know./ I watch you on the TV every single day/ Those eyes make everything okay, o-o-o-kay/….

Sheeez.  It really is all so alluring. As Jon said, many (and yeah I threw away most of my savings last year too) got swept away for a bit by the barker’s cry, forgetting at times that it’s actual work that is the only sure way to make money and secure for the future, work meaning not some scheme you hear off an infomercial (something so easy you can do in your bathtub), or by sitting back and throwing darts/sifting through the ticker names on Lightning Round, but the production of something useful and lasting.  We have so many things that need fixing in this country, jobs that need to be created to assist in the transition away from fossil fuel energy sources and….oh but that’s another rant.

Cramer, you could, could, be the good guy you proclaim to be, but it’s gonna take some real work on your part to change.  Just saying you have a charitable stock fund isn’t enough, because obviously, with the Dow about half what it was last year, no matter how diversified you are, unless you were all in short ETFs, that charity isn’t doing too hot now is it? -CM

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