Friday, March 13, 2009

The Huffington Post is really wringing the shit out of this story centered around the the terse argument between Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart (who has been careful to point out he’s not alone in manifesting entirely for the point of ratings) and I just can’t stand when he does this kind of thing. Well, sort of.

Never mind the fact that clearly the entire thing had been negotiated prior to the interview with NBC logos plastered everywhere all over the background of the Comedy Central set and Jim Cramer firmly in the apologetic hotseat in much the same way Republican politicians seem to be with Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart may very well be in the right with this argument but the victory he has is annoying.

Jon Stewart does this every now and then. He quickly steps out of his role as a comedian and puts on the journalistic hat and tears into the media for failing to do their jobs properly and when he does that he takes credit for his work as though he were a journalist. He does that until it’s inconvenient to be a journalist and then he steps back into the entertainer category. He picks and chooses.

A large component of what has created this problem for Jim Cramer is the fact that he works within the media as a journalist and editorialist on an ongoing basis and as such has to, on a daily basis, deal with the combination of market pressures that include eviscerating his ability to focus on certain topics no matter how important they may be simply because people aren’t interested in those topics. In fact, Jim Cramer explains how it’s an extraordinarily difficult place to be because he’s running a show that is meant to be a financial information show but it has to be absurd and entertaining at the same time.

I’m not actually making an argument about Jim Cramer in this and I do think that the NBC marketing department is at fault for not reigning in their Jim Cramer campaign and Jim Cramer needs to examine his editorial philosophy obviously. Further more, from what the ocean of hype suggests, Jon Stewart has articulated the frustration of many people with regards to the current economic crisis quite well and he has pointed out the flaws of the finance media extremely well as well. That’s not what I’m irritated by here.

I’m so bored with the way Jon Stewart smugly walks into the media sphere every now and then and acts like a journalistic monitor by being a journalist because he claims he has to and then after he does that he gets a round of applause for being a demagogue and iconoclast and then goes back to his post.

Part of the profit generating appeal Jon Stewart musters up with young audiences who have shown in polls for years that they get their news from shows like his and The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher is that he is can be considered a news reporter and editorialist and yet he picks and chooses when he plays those roles so he doesn’t fall under journalistic market pressures of someone like Jim Cramer and as a result he can be as uneven as he wants. But, that doesn’t stop people from considering him a makeshift news anchor. And if you want to talk about responsibility as he clearly wants to do with Jim Cramer and the financial experts at NBC then his track record must come into question.

Stewart admits to being politically skewed but he doesn’t admit to being skewed when it comes to his role as a journalist or as an entertainer.

I sincerely doubt that without the use of someone like Michael Moore or an independent documentary film maker to explain to the average person how their media is so heavily untrustworthy and skewed, your average person would really be able to explain how media is so skewed. To many people, it’s just reassuring to be able to locate an enemy and hate them without having to think.

Right now, Huffington Post has three links. The story has headlined all day, one showing where you can watch the entire thing online, one where White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs has chimed in on the matter indicating that the president has talked about the argument (which does what? Makes the whole thing suddely more legitimate as news?) and there’s also the highlighted promise that Jim Cramer will be responding on his own show at 6pm tonight. Which is right now.

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