Jon Stewart ripped CNBC a new one on Thursday’s show when CNBC’s Rick Santelli cancelled an appearance to explain his “aggressive and impassioned” opposition to the Obama administration’s mortgage rescue plan.
Stewart starts with Santelli’s rant. Then, he follows up with a greatest hits parade of clips of wrong predictions, bad conclusions and stupid interviews on CNBC.
There’s Jim Cramer’s now infamous assertion that “Bear Stearns is fine” on March 11, 2008. Bear Stearns failed six days later, followed by Cramer’s assertion that one has to accept that stocks are “just going to go higher.” That came on Oct. 31, 2007, the day the Nasdaq Composite peaked and the Dow finished at 13,930. Then there’s Larry Kudlow assertion on April 16, 2008 that the “worst of this subprime business” was over. The Dow finished at 12,743. This is followed by Cramer’s June 1, 2008 declaration that the market had bottomed and it was time to “buy, buy buy!” The Dow as at 12,307. The Dow closed yesterday at 6,626.
“If I’d only followed CNBC’s advice,” Stewart deadpanned, “I’d have a million dollars today… Provided I’d started with a hundred million dollars!”
The segment ended with Carl Quintanilla’s interview with Allen Stanford of the Stanford Group, which has been accused by the government of defrauding investors of at least $8 billion. The interview ended with Quintanilla asking if “it’s fun being a billionaire.” Stanford says “Yes.”
“Between the two of them,” Stewart said, “I can’t make up mind which one of those guys I’d rather see in jail.”
Is it possible that Jon Stewart is smarter than Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke?
Earlier this week, on The Daily Show, Stewart suggested in an offhand way, that simply giving the $2 trillion dollars in “stimulus” money (or bail-out money… whatever), directly to the American people for the sole use of paying down their consumer debt. Start everyone with a clean slate, or in other words, to use his expression, “hit the reset button” on the economy.
The logic has some merit to it. After all, the banks would get their money and consumers, free of their towering mountains of personal debt, would then head right back out and start spending; thereby doing precisely what the government wants them to do in order to reinvigorate the economy.
Now I know there are lots of reasons to argue against such a scheme (possible creation of systemic “moral hazard” for instance) but Stewart’s “fine idea” isn’t without historical precedent. According to Aristotle, the ancient Greek leader Solon instituted a set of laws called the Seisachtheia whereby all outstanding debts of the Athenian people were immediately forgiven and lands returned to their traditional owners.
Speaking to a college audience in Boston, Mass. last Friday, Jon Stewart used his stand-up routine to respond to Sarah Palin’s comments about “pro-America” parts of the country.
Seeing as the audio is pretty crappy, here’s a transcript of is remarks:
“He (McCain) made an interesting vice presidential choice.
I like the woods… I just don’t know if I would pull my vice president out of the woods randomly.
She came out again today. She was talking to a small town, she said that small towns, that’s the part of the country she really likes going to because that’s the pro-America part of the country.
You know, I just want to say to her, just very quickly… Fuck you.
I’ve never seen someone with a greater disparity between how cute they sound when they’re saying something and how terrible what they’re saying is.
Don’t ya know, Obama, by golly, he just is a terrorist? What? Oh, you know, he just, gosh, kills babies, you know.
I’m so over the idea that only small-town America is the heart and soul. Small- town America is fine, but it’s the same as cities. Cities are just a lot of towns piled on top of each other in one place.
They have this whole thing that somehow we can write off entire swaths of the country, that we are somehow… I get it. You know, New York City wasn’t good enough for fuckin’ Osama bin Laden, it better be good enough for you.
I can’t take it anymore. After eight years of this divisiveness, we’re back to this idea that only small-town America is the real America.
I get it. I’m from New York. We have a lot of gay people. But homosexuals don’t have sodomy on Russian flags.”
Here’s Joe Biden’s response to the same thing from last week:
A few commenters have astutely noted with some bemusement how hopelessly lame the “mainstream media” has proven itself to be of late (well, of late… oh, like say, the last eight years, but more specifically the past several weeks), so perhaps it’s appropriate to wheel out this lovely old chestnut from Bill Moyers Journal wherein he explored with Jon Stewart the paradoxical question of why the supposedly “fake” news has more veracity and courageous integrity these days than seems to be exhibited for the most part than the vacuous bilge churned out with almost relentless stupidity by the irredeemably compromised scribes that inhabit the fourth estate.
Let’s hope that our own resident court jester, Rick Mercer, returns quickly from his summer hiatus to skewer our pols (left, right and centre) with his rapier wit and incisive commentary, mitigating in some small way the pompously inane clowning of more “serious” so-called journalists that otherwise dominate the broadcast airwaves.