Today Deb Brown, Partner and Managing Director Strategic Development, has written the following special guest post.
That’s one of the now infamous sound bites from CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer as
Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” hammered him Thursday night. This show created a lot of buzz, which I’m sure has been a home-run for “The Daily Show’s” ratings, and many reporters called Stewart the clear “winner.” However, there’s one topic that I haven’t seen covered in the articles I’ve come across (although, admittedly, so much has been written on the topic that I might have missed it).
The topic I find the most interesting is how a show that’s on a comedy channel turned one of the supposedly most respected financial news networks in the country upside down. Now, I happen to be a fan of Jon Stewart’s and I think he’s very smart, but what does this say about CNBC and the experts we allegedly trust?
We know when we’re watching Jon Stewart that he is what he is– a comedian. And, to make sure we know, he’s on Comedy Central. But, how are viewers supposed to feel and act when Cramer is basically apologizing for CNBC’s mistakes (and there seemed to be quite a few mentioned Thursday night) while Stewart underscores “the gap between what CNBC advertises itself as and what it is.”
What does this say about not only Cramer’s reputation, but CNBC’s reputation as a whole? What does this say about journalism when Cramer hides behind the fact that he didn’t know someone was lying because he was a CEO or he was Cramer’s friend? The showdown may have ended at 11:30pm last Thursday night, but can it take Cramer’s show down with it? Or the cable network? It will be interesting to see if this just completely blows over or if this is the start of a serious reputation issue for CNBC. At last count, more than a thousand articles, blogs or TV segments wrote or aired segments about Cramer cowering under Stewart’s passionate attacks that “it’s not a (bleeping) game.”
But, come on… Stewart is a comedian. What kind of lasting damage could he possibly do?