Trend: The search for villains in the financial crisis continues with leading financial network CNBC being criticized for lack of journalistic integrity in reporting.
Jim Cramer took a verbal beating from Jon Stewart for his role in not exposing the falsehoods that has caused so much asset destruction among investors in the financial crisis. Stewart dropped his comedic facade and became deadly serious as he questioned the integrity of Cramer and CNBC.
Stewart did not question the role of CNBC's advertisers in influencing their frequent acceptable of falsehoods from key players.
Stewart said he and Cramer are both snake-oil salesman, only "The Daily Show" is labeled as such. He claimed CNBC shirked its journalistic duty by believing corporate lies, rather than being an investigative "powerful tool of illumination." And he alleged CNBC was ultimately in bed with the businesses it covered - that regular people's stocks and 401Ks were "capitalizing on your adventure."
For his part, Cramer disagreed with Stewart on a few points, but mostly acknowledged that he could have done a better job foreseeing the economic collapse: "We all should have seen it more."
Cramer said CNBC was "fair game" to the criticism and acknowledged the network was perhaps overeager to believe the information it was fed from corporations.
"I, too, like you, want to have a successful show," said Cramer, defending his methods on "Mad Money." He later added: "Should we have been constantly pointing out the mistakes that were made? Absolutely. I truly wish we had done more."
Cramer insisted he was devoted to revealing corporate "shenanigans," to which Stewart retorted: "It's easy to get on this after the fact."
At one point, Cramer sounded the reformed sinner, responding to Stewart's plea for more levelheaded, honest commentary: "How about I try that?" said Cramer. "I'll do that."
By the end, the two-segment interview went far beyond its allotted time. Comedy Central said the on-air version would be cut by about eight minutes, though the entire interview would be available unedited on ComedyCentral.com on Friday.
Interview Part 1: