Cramer: Stewart attack on me 'naive and misleading'
One week after the now famous dressing down of CNBC’s Jim Cramer by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart, the host of Mad Money has backtracked significantly from the apologetic and conciliatory tone he struck last Thursday on The Daily Show.
Appearing on one of CNBC's sister-networks and friendly media platform NBC, Cramer told Today Show host Meredith Vieira Thursday morning that Stewart was “naive and misleading” for laying so much of the blame of the financial crisis on poor reporting by financial reporters at CNBC.
Noted Vieira of the interview, “He was very tough on you. He was very tough on CNBC. He basically said that you guys had been cheerleaders for the financial bubble, that you had also allowed CEOs to come on the shows and essentially lie to the American public without really challenging them… Did he have a point?”
“I don’t think so. I think it was naive and misleading to attack the media,” Cramer responded. “CNBC, in particular, has been out front on this.”
He went on to praise individual CNBC reporters for their financial reporting work on the sub-prime housing mortgage crisis
“I think that there are people who bear so much more responsibility, that it’s just wrong-headed,” Cramer said, naming specifically, “the politicians, the regulators, the SEC, the lenders, the investment banks.”
Cramer’s remarks to Vieira stand in mark contrast to what he said on The Daily Show where he said criticism of him and CNBC was “fair game.”
"We all should have seen it more,” Cramer said to Stewart. "Should we have been constantly pointing out the mistakes that were made? Absolutely. I truly wish we had done more."
Cramer appeared to hint that he felt Stewart and the rest of the media commenting on the interview had been unfairly hard on him.
“That was an attempt, as it was throughout the interview, to take a high road, which I was brought up to think was a good thing to do and to go in for discussion,” Cramer said of his comments to Stewart. “Sometimes high roads aren’t well greeted in the media, but I believe that you should always try to do better.”
Stewart’s grilling of Cramer has received many accolades from the press.
The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan wrote of the interview, “This was, in my view, a real cultural moment. It was a storming of the Bastille…There is a cloying familiarity among many cable show hosts and television personalities. We all have to get along, even though some of us may believe that others of us are very much part of the problem, rather than the solution. And what Stewart has done is rip off that little band-aid of faux solidarity for a modicum of ethical and moral accountability.”
In response to Cramer's "mumbling a stream of shit all over again," Dennis DiClaudio, blogging for Comedy Central's Indecision Forever, wisecracked, "Just ignore [Cramer]. Pretend you can't hear him and walk away. Believe me, being dismissed always hurt me worse than the beatings."
On second thought, jokes DicClaudio, "I mean, hurt him. Hurt the kid. That's what I meant."
This video is from NBC's Today Show, broadcast Mar. 19, 2009.
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