My TV

13 March 2009

Welcome to Brawl Street: Get Ready to Buy Low and Sell DIE!

By // TV

I don’t need a very special episode of The Daily Show to tune in, but every once in a while it’s kind of fun, even if it always means that the next day all the bloggers will talk about how disappointing it was (see also: his interviews with Kerry, Clintons Bill and Hillary). But trust me, the blogs will be crazy talking about this tomorrow, but the Cramer/Stewart match up did not disappoint.

This week’s very special Daily Show features Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money. Since last week, when Stewart just flat out tore apart the whole damn network of CNBC, taking a huge chunk of the show to point out all the ways that CNBC steered the American Public wrong in the lead up to the major crashes in the market back in the fall (specifically, it was in response to Rick Santelli, the on-air editor, referring to all the people loosing their houses because of the recession “losers”), there’s been a semi-feud brewing between the two basic cable TV hosts. Cramer objected to the way that Stewart used clips of him, claiming Stewart was misrepresenting his intentions by funny editing. Stewart responded by showing more of the clip, and then even more clips of Kramer giving more of the same bad advice (specifically, advising viewers to buy Bear Stearns stock just before it fell). It’s escalated, needless to say, especially when you consider that the Network News Stations decided to babble on about it, calling it a “war of words” and wasting time they should be using to cover, oh I don’t know, the War in Iraq we’ve all seemed to forget about or the skyrocketing jobless rates. But I digress-

Here are my live blog type thoughts (although they weren’t done anything even close to live, since I watched this on DVR):

  • Wow this is going to be all types of awkward. I already feel bad for Cramer. Why do people go on The Daily Show?
  • First commercial break. It seems like thus far Cramer’s trying to be contrite. He admits he was wrong in a way that sort of assuages true blame. I have a bad feeling about this. Jon’s not a big fan of people fake apologizing.
  • Okay not really on topic, but I’m really sick of the Miss March previews. I have to watch them every time I watch a show on HULU. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to see a movie less.
  • That “okay” Cramer snuck out before Jon showed the trailer for Mad Money just broke my heart.
  • I might not be able to finish watching this. My stomach hurts for him. It’s not that I don’t think Cramer deserves this. I do think Jon’s anger about the way the financial networks have fed into the financial crisis is legitimate. And I think a man whose network says “In Cramer We Trust” is inviting a certain amount of scorn. But man he looks like he’s going to cry.
  • Jon’s doing a good job not playing up his occasional douche-iness.
  • Cramer just admitted he could and should do better. The “I’m trying”s are getting kind of pathetic, and I mean that with all respect. I just feel like Cramer is so aware of the shittiness of what’s going on right now.
  • “I can’t reconcile the brilliance and knowledge of the intricacies of the market with the bulls—- I see you pulling every night.”
  • The first time Cramer has actually defended himself is on the claim of being in bed with the bad financial guys.
  • Oh man, is that like the tenth “I’m Sorry”?
  • Stewart’s overall point seems to buy “DUDE YOU ARE TOO SMART TO ACT SHOCKED BY WHAT THE MARKET IS DOING AND BY THE BAD THINGS THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE MARKET ARE DOING.”
  • “It’s not a f—ing game.” Normally when Jon drops an f-bomb, it means that he’s trying to play it light. He just legit swore at Cramer.
  • Second commercial break. It’s awkwardly edited (they cut on the first joke in nearly six minutes) and Jon certainly just implied there’s something big that just happened that the network isn’t showing us. Am both terrified and excited to see what’s going to happen.
  • I sincerely believe Jon wants to go back to making fart noises and funny faces.

I know this makes me the worst of liberal cliches but I don’t care: Why the hell is JON STEWART doing some of the only great interviews on television right now? Why is it that Jon Stewart is willing to make a half an hour of time truly freaking awkward to get at the truth, but most of our most famous reporters are not? This was probably the awkwardest interview, but it was by no means the only one. Add to that the truly sober analysis Stewart provides in between fart jokes and funny faces, and as much as Fox News may want to mock it, we’ve truly got one of the most important shows on television. Oh well, get over it. If the cable news channels want to stop being outdone by a comedian, they should step it the hell up.

I’m going to end with a truly beautiful peice of television commentary from EW’s Ken Tucker:

The audience kept interrupting with applause and cheers, and for once it didn’t come across as a matter of hey-our-guy-just-pounded-a-jerk. It sounded like a small explosion of relief that finally, someone on TV was making sense about what has happened to money in America, and it wasn’t Jim Cramer.

Check out HULU or thedailyshow.com for last night’s episode and for the previous shows (the “feud” started Wednesday, March 4th, 2009). I was going to embed them, but let’s be honest, this post was crazy long as is and I can’t figure out how to make blogger allow me to add cuts to my text.

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