Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Cramer vs. Stewart

A few weeks before investment bank Bear Stearns went under in March 2008 — the first major quake of the financial-system calamity — TV personality and former hedge-fund manager Jim Cramer touted the firm's stock on CNBC. A year later, that clip made it onto the comedic newscast The Daily Show in a montage of painfully bad calls made by Cramer and his financial-network colleagues. "F*** you," Daily Show host Jon Stewart said at the end of one segment, punctuating his disgust with a financial network that he said holds itself out as a knowing guide for investors but often veers in the direction of entertainment. Cramer took major umbrage; when asked on the Today show about the quality of his financial advice, Cramer grew shrill. "A comedian's attacking me!" he said. "Wow! He runs a variety show!" As the back-and-forth escalated and more CNBC clips made their way into a repeated skewering on The Daily Show, Cramer finally sat down for an interview with Stewart on March 12. "We're a big network and we've made mistakes," Cramer admitted. "We've got 17 hours of live TV a day to do."