The Jon Stewart catharsis


John Stewart
Jon Stewart

Is comedian Jon Stewart of the Daily Show now the most important and influential journalist on the continent? His grilling of CNBC’s Jim Cramer revealed more about the financial disaster than any other real news outlet to date. He actually got Cramer to call ex-Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, a liar.  

If you watched The Daily Show yesterday (March 12) you saw a comedy show turn very serious as Stewart aired old video of Cramer bragging about how easy it is to manipulate the markets.  Stewart then proceeds to blame Cramer and CNBC for failing as journalists.  

Arguably CNBC isn’t the only news outlet struggling to make sense of things for us all.  Perhaps Stewart’s blunt revelations and Cramer’s confessions will lead to greater and better investigative work by real journalists at a time when it’s most needed.  I know we’re overwhelmed with bad news but if Paulson and the CEOs mentioned by Cramer are hiding facts about the current financial crisis, then the public needs to know.  

On another note, and wearing my PR hat,  I would not have agreed to Cramer appearing on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart is very, very smart, articulate and righteous.   He also has home-court advantage.  All the preparation in the world wouldn’t have helped Cramer.  Perhaps he was hoping to take the high road and admit his guilt with hopes of quickly putting past mistakes behind him – which isn’t a bad idea usually.

However in this case, I would have advised Cramer to at all costs avoid engaging Stewart in a live setting.  He looked exceptionally bad.


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