This is synchronicity. I had just finished posting my previous blog about Bernie Madoff and the biggest fraud of the downturn (although that’s debatable, really). Then, I watched the recording I had made of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show from earlier this week. Two things struck me.
Firstly, how the whole financial system is sick. The SEC failed. The directors and Board members of companies failed. The central banks failed. Governments failed. Financial media failed. Investors were gullible, greedy and foolish. And now honest, hard working people like myself have to struggle for survival and fear for our homes and our children’s futures! And a lot of them in the system are still thieving and lying! During the last Great Depression, the bankers were hailed as heroes and seen as the pillars of society. How times have changed. And the future will not be anything like the past.
But the second thing that struck me was that I had witnessed a moment in history. I have put the clips below, so you can witness it too.
My wife does not like me watching The Daily Show, by Jon Stewart. The man swears too much for my wife’s tastes (and for mine, too, but I look past it because I think he’s mainly genius). About half of his show is sheer genius. The other half is trash. Sometimes it’s tough to have to wade through the rubbish to get to the gems. But his analysis of politics and economics, and the satirical approach he takes work for me.
Some background. Earlier this week, Jon ripped into CNBC for their reporting of the financial crisis. See my post on that edition of his show. It was a thing of beauty, and typical of his show. Take some clippings from a few weeks, months or years ago; splice them together with what someone says today; point out the hypocrisy; have a laugh. It’s his formula. He milks it for laughs. It helps me keep up with some of the news, and is quite clever. But then CNBC responded, especially the anchor man of the show Mad Money, Cramer. The “war” intensified throughout the week, until they went head to head on The Daily Show.
I don’t know what Cramer was expecting, but he got mauled, mugged and manhandled. And he had no response. He was humbled. This is the future of the news. Satirists and comedians being the vehicle to hold network news to account. This week’s episodes of The Daily Show will soon become curriculum in media studies classes. Mark my words, the world has changed.
Now, for your viewing pleasure, the (unedited) three part interview between Stewart and Cramer. I selected the unedited (not aired) versions. They are less funny and pointed. Some people have said that Jon Stewart edited them badly to put Cramer in a worse light. The edited versions do that – but not by much. You decide. Jon Stewart gets mad as hell as the interview goes on. I agree with him. I don’t like his language, but I support the sentiments behind it: