Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Skinned Alive

I'm no devotee of CNBC, and I've never seen an entire Mad Money show. Jim Cramer, on the other hand, has been appearing on talk news shows, like Morning Joe, occasionally since the advent of the financial crisis we're in, so I recognize him when I see him and know at least something of his stock-in-trade. Before last night, however, I knew nothing of his failings.

Now I do. The undressing he took from Jon Stewart was almost beyond belief. The essence of Stewart's criticism was that Cramer and his ilk--financial journalists--have not been journalists at all through all this storm and tempest, but hacks, shills for the Wall Street Madoffs who, oozing greed, have sent all of us, even the world, into a madcap spiral.

It was an amazing half hour. The only televised event so dramatic in the last year was the on-air rescue of stranded folks from a flooded street in the D. C. area, people who were almost washed away. I didn't know if I was actually going to witness a drowning, on national TV.

On last night's Daily Show, I didn't honestly know whether Jim Cramer was going to break out in tears before or after Stewart skinned him alive. It was that devastating.

I wish Jon Stewart wouldn't cuss as much as he does, and, often enough, his humor is just a notch above sophomoric--are there sophomores in junior high? The show can be tasteless as it tries its level-best to shock us all, night after night.

But last night--and often--John Stewart is capable of the most stimulating interviews and discussions on television and the most trenchant criticism. Last night, he tarred and feathered Jim Cramer, turned the mad man into a abject penitent. Seriously. And Stewart was right--and right to do it.

Quite amazing, really.


RickNiekLikeBikes said...

That Madoff might create a recession is like saying that my house-lights (Or Al Gore's for that matter) cause global warming. It's a bit mystical to say that Greed was the contributing factor resulting in recession. You draw such a familiar but ill-found line vilifying those who make money, and glorifying those who don't. Jon Stewart makes a boat-load of money and he owns a sweet crib--no one has exposed him as one of the super-duper generous.

Why people make achievement and success seem so evil is beyond me. I'm good with achievement and I'm also good with generosity. What are we saying when we point such an angry, no-holes-barred finger at achievers?

Those who play sides really enjoy it when the other side gets mauled. I'm disturbed by that.

Roberta said...

There's nothing wrong with achievement or money, but the incredible greed of people who have "madoff" with billions of dollars of other people's money has had a lot to do with the current financial problems we are experiencing. Whether it's the greed of the sub-prime mortgage people or the Madoffs of this world, we are paying the price now. Money isn't the root of all evil, but the LOVE of money sure is.

Lar said...

Stewart's rich, for sure, but the absolute best comment he made was something to the tune of "we regular folks feel like you're playing a gigantic game and we're capitalizing it. You're playing a game with our retirement, and we don't think it's funny." That is absolute spot on criticism and much deserved. Everyone is telling us to park our money in the they can get rich quick. And for Stewart to say "It's not a f%@#king game" is appropriate and spot on use of a cuss word. Sometimes only a word that powerfully foul is the proper response.

I, for one, thought it was brilliant.

Anonymous said...

"we regular folks" ... ??? !!!
REALLY?! Stewart is one of us?!
Since when?!