Stewart Breaks Cramer's Booyah

March 13, 2009 1:21 AM EDT
The much anticipated battle between CNBC's (NYSE: GE) Jim Cramer and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart aired tonight, with Stewart hammering Cramer for the station's lack of guidance to common investors ahead of the current crisis. Cramer mostly accepted the blame and vowed to do more to expose Wall Street corruption.

We felt Cramer did a poor job of defending himself and the financial news industry. Stewart clearly tried to pin part of the blame for the current economic meltdown on the financial media. Stewart suggested that Cramer and others at CNBC catered to the Wall Street bankers versus investors. He said CNBC did nothing to expose the corruption and over-leverage of the industry at the expense of regular people's stocks and 401Ks. He even suggested that there was some type of parallel market that Wall Street runs that regular investors are left out of. Cramer didn't even challenge him on that.

What Stewart may not understand is that everyone was involved in the bubble called the U.S. economy - lenders, borrowers, regulators, policymakers, media, appraisers, rating agencies, investors, and investment bankers - everyone. Even you Mr. Stewart!

Yes Mr. Stewart. In fact, cable TV may not even exist in its current form if the Wall Street junk bond kings of the past had not funded the massive expansion of the industry. And maybe the advertisers that you rely on for revenue Mr. Stewart would not even be around if not for Wall Street. That's not to mention the leverage of your own parent Viacom (NYSE: VIA) - maybe your station wouldn't be around without Wall Street.

Maybe it could even be argued that money lost in the stock market should have never been made in the first place. Maybe every U.S. worker's salary was overinflated by 50% or more because of the extreme leverage in the U.S. economy.

It is obvious that Wall Street got out of hand and banks became too big to fail, but to blame the financial media for not taming human behavior - absurd.

It was also disappointing that Cramer didn't fire back at Stewart for his clear political move to discredit him and CNBC for their critical view of President Barack Obama. It is no coincidence that Stewart started firing shots at CNBC as the station's voice in the political debate has grown significantly in recent weeks. Even the President's Press Secretary has commented on Cramer and another CNBC reporter, Rick Santelli.

We are not here to defend Cramer and CNBC. They have made some horrible calls. But to blame the financial media for the crisis and attack with such a clear political motive is just rank. Mr. Stewart you and your ilk should grow-up. Take some personal responsibility.

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