MUST WATCH: Business interview of the year

13 March 2009

Question: How did the mighty American media miss the financial meltdown?

Answer: The same way the mighty American media missed George W. Bush‘s lies on Saddam Hussein‘s weapons of mass destruction.

That’s not a Q&A from Jon Stewart‘s grilling of Jim Cramer, host of CNBC ‘s revealingly titled show, Mad Money, but it could well have been.

Cramer, “the Howard Beale of business journalism”, popped up on The Daily Show on Thursday night, obviously to defend the business channel which had been roasted by America’s #1 comedian for not  being alert, for not doing its job, for being reckless in its advice and analysis.

What Cramer got was not the chance to clear the channel’s name but the kind of lashing that should remind journalists in general and business journalists in particular that, in the end, our profession is really about the people, the man on the street, the aam admi, the average Joe.

# “I understand that you want to make finance entertaining, but it’s not a fucking game.”

# “Instead of being a very powerful tool of illumination, it feels like we [the people] are capitalizing your [CNBC's] adventure by our pensions.”

# “It is a game that you know is going on, but you go on television as a financial network and pretend it isn’t happening.”

# “Isn’t there a problem selling snake oil as vitamin tonic? What is the responsibility of the people who cover Wall Street? Who are you responsible to?”

Watch the full episode: The Daily Show

Also read: How come the media didn’t spot Satyam fraud

Biggest corporate fraud is now biggest coverup

Romenesko: ‘An entertainment show on business’

Businessweek: Stewart thrashes Cramer

Associated Press: Stewart hammers Cramer

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