What an absolute thing of beauty tonight’s Daily Show was. Another “Crossfire” moment, I dare say. I cannot wait until the video is available… a transcript would be most excellent too.
In case you missed it, almost the entire half hour was devoted to a discussion between Stewart and Cramer about CNBC’s role in hyping the stock market bubble. When I say “discussion” it was actually more a case of Stewart lecturing and castigating an abjectly apologetic Cramer, whose cynical clowning was ruthlessly exposed with the help of this charming bit of video in which the host of Mad Money admits that he regularly manipulated the market when he ran his hedge fund. Calling it “a fun game” and “a lucrative game,” he suggested that all hedge fund managers act likewise. “No one else in the world would ever admit that, but I could care. I am not going to say it on TV,” he foolishly boasted.
Here’s a money quote (no pun intended) from the Mad Man of Wall Street: “What’s important when you are in that hedge-fund mode is to not do anything remotely truthful because the truth is so against your view, that it’s important to create a new truth, to develop a fiction.” Explains a lot, doesn’t it?
Update: Steve Johnson at the Chicago Tribune documents the scolding.
Stewart creamed him, if anything almost to a fault. He urged Cramer and his newschannel brethren to report rather than blindly trust what CEOs say (Cramer’s primary defense of CNBC’s lack of vigilance). But, really, Stewart didn’t report himself; he delivered a 22-minute opinion column, occasionally interrupted by Cramer shoulder shrugs, “okays,” and mea culpas plus, bringing in financial TV in general, wea culpas.
Unlike Santelli’s infamous rant, it was, as Johnson says, “good populism, well aimed and well delivered.”
Update2: Ta da! Here’s the clip (along with the usual caveat that it may be removed at any time due to copyright violation. Although, maybe Viacom will let it slide this time.)