Wow. Well, Comedy Central featured a bizarre sequence last night, the shellacking of CNBC by Jon Stewart, with Jim Cramer taking it full in the face. It was hard to watch. The audience could barely figure out when to cheer.

For the entire 12 minute sequence, Stewart never let up, like he was going to hold Cramer personally responsible for the skewed forecasting CNBC has made their stock and trade (puns intended).

OK. I get it. These talking heads from a corporate news channel are toeing the party line. Viewer beware: the facts aren’t on the table and the guests are probably lying to you, too. And yes, they do have an agenda. Some of them are even getting rich off your gullibility.

It’s despicable, sure, but is it so shocking to us, after every corporate news source lined up to kiss Bush’s butt over Iraq and WMD? They had things to gain, so they did as told (that is, don’t ask any pesky whatchacallit… questions), and won themselves lucrative coverage contracts and first dibs on emerging mid-East TV markets.

It’s still happening. Take health care reform. How many proponents of single payer health care have you seen in the debate on TV? None, you say? Heck, Obama almost didn’t let John Conyers in on his health care reform sessions because Conyers was sponsoring a bill (H.R. 676) for single payer health care. Fact is, the country’s not gonna get what it needs for a long time because a few very rich and very powerful jerks are making sure only the “proper” voices get heard.

Is it Jim Cramer’s fault that he does as he’s told? We should be thankful that at least he admits they’re gaming the system (which he does repeatedly in the clips Stewart forced him to watch). They’re money men. They don’t create wealth, they create money. Part of the shell game is fooling the dupe. Unfortunately, that’s you and your 401k.


6 Responses to “Ouch!”

  1. The one point you missed was excoriating the whole broadcast business. Content, regardless of its point of view or its importance, only exists and can only exist to fill the gap between commercials. Even supposedly public broadcasting is running ads, begging for money, and is publicly funded. And yes you could pump more money into it but you addressed the pitfall of that in your piece.

  2. cripsyduck Says:

    That’s a big one there, Scooby. I think anti-trust regulations to keep big business out of the news game is a good idea. Diversified ownership is a good idea. Used to be a wall between editorial and advertising. You lost money doing news, but it could remain impartial. Somehow that model’s gotta come back and be made profitable.

    Imagine the coup for Cramer if he had started calling fraud fraud? He’d be on top of the world right now.

  3. It may be less pertant with the advent of cable but it was the only profit stream for the broadcast station and the networks proir to cable. Newsdivisions have a history of not making money. There is a famous agruement between CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves and Dan Rather on this issue. http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/06/13/publiceye/entry2923036.shtml
    And thats been the arguement. Granted you, to a degree, had people who honestly wanted nothing more than to get the story but as with any successful enterprize there comes the pressure to sell even more product. That pressure leads to maybe a little creative editing and on it goes till you get what we got. I think, as we’ve deliberated, its a question of how much of human behavour can you, not whiether it should or shouldn’t is not the question, control befor you stiffle sociate. Prohabition of any sort, we’ve seen it again and again, is doomed to fail. Ya know, we all wanna be good, but what fuckin’ fun is that. More shrugging I know but you know what I mean.

  4. cripsyduck Says:

    I recently heard a caller to a lefty talk show lay it out. She was a long-time journalist for some major papers (I think she mentioned the Baltimore Sun).

    While many journalists are left-leaning, she said, the editorial boards at all these papers are overwhelmingly conservative. A journalist ccould sometimes sneak a populist story by them, but they were unwilling to spend company resources on anything that might make waves with the corporate establishment.

    Used to be you couldn’t be a major energy dealer and sell newspapers too, but that all went out the window in the 80s. NBC’s never gonna criticize nuclear power, for example, since that’s their bread and butter, where the real dough’s being made.

    It might step on some rich toes, but we’re gonna have to fix this if we want real news generated with a clear eye and as little bias as possible.

  5. That would great! I’d love to read two articals and be able to get accurate info from both points of view. I remember when Richmond had two completly different daily papers with oppossite editoral veiws. One started to lose subscribers and was bought by the other.

    I like the new small, based on university research units in safe use for over 50 years but mondernized with contained rods and other safty features, nuke power units being marketed to communities of 10,000 or less. If you get the residental usage of the main gride that would do alot. I also like wave and hydro power. I think solar and turbines work better a personal choices like hybrids or electric cars. If we spend fed money one one option we should spend it on all options equally. Oil will never go way because of all the plastics and composites needed for everything. I would suggest, although I have no proof, that at the advent of plasic, it was thought of in terms of protecting the environment due to the products, like wood and steel, it replaced in some products. Just a hypothisis.

  6. Oil will go away, because it’s finite and no “need” matters one whit to that fact.

    Stewart went after Cramer personally because Cramer’s persona is specifically that of a guy protecting “us” from the big players, and because of the personal hypocrisy of Cramer’s being recorded giving immoral advice directly in opposition to his editorial voice.

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