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Published on Mar 10, 2009
What happened to stock pundit Jim Cramer? What I enjoy most about him and his show, Mad Money, is his passion, his insights and his incredible self-confidence. He's a former hedge fund manager. He can be bombastic, even annoying. Sometimes he's right. Sometimes he's wrong.
But I, for one, have never cast him as an investigative journalist. The guy lives and breathes the markets. Most ads for his TV show have a picture of him screaming. He's an entertainer who talks about his own bets with enthusiasm and, most often, with knowledge.
So why did Cramer feel a need to suddenly assume the role of somber spokesman for CNBC on a comedy show Thursday night? It didn't make sense.
The "weeklong match of the century" (a.k.a. Brawl Street) finally took place. After days of watching himself and his network CNBC ridiculed by comedian Jon Stewart, Cramer appeared on The Daily Show.
Stewart had started the week with a broad swipe at CNBC and the predictions of its pundits over the past year. "If I had only taken CNBC's advice," Stewart said, "I would have a million dollars today—provided I started with $100 million."
On Thursday, after warming up with a few swipes at Cramer (it didn't help that Cramer chose to go on Martha Stewart's show earlier in the day to bake a pie), Stewart brought out the stock pundit.
Stewart clearly blames CNBC for not being more of a watchdog prior to the crisis.
Instead of being "a very powerful tool of illumination," Stewart told Cramer, "It feels like we are capitalizing your 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." Added Stewart: "Isn't there a problem selling snake oil as vitamin tonic?"