Friday, March 13, 2009

Stewart and Cramer

I just finished watching the full Stewart and Cramer interview on Normally, I don’t recommend getting news from Jon Stewart. Yes, he’s informative. Yes, he offers a unique perspective on world events. Yes, he’s entertaining. However, he’s a comedian. He’s not news.

But! This interview is exceptional.

If I could, I’d thank Cramer for agreeing to the interview. I gained some respect for the man. I feel like he was honest with Stewart. We cannot change the past. Experts will make mistakes. It’s positively refreshing to watch someone say, “We screwed up.” (NOT a direct quote) It’s even more refreshing to watch a professional say, “It’s legal, but it’s shenanigans and should be stopped. And, furthermore, I once participated in it.” (NOT a direct quote)

Bravo Cramer. Bravo for admitting your mistakes. Bravo for admitting CNBC could have done more. Bravo for listening and not blaming “loser homeowners”. Bravo, Jon Stewart, for being so damn insightful.

What happened to our news when I feel like in-depth reporting comes from a comedian? When did fancy graphics and an interactive map replace good solid reporting? When did the news become bloated with commentary and opinion and bereft of fact and investigation?

Hey, news networks! If I want commentary and opinion, I’ll read a damn blog. If I’m tuning into the news, I want news. Yes, interview people, but don’t assume they’re being honest. If Jon Steward and Stephen Colbert can pull clips from the past showing contradictions, why can’t you? And, for crying out loud, please stop playing the freaking commentary and opinion on the screen while the real news scrolls across the bottom.

Our economy is in shambles. I don’t pretend to understand how we got here, but with three 24-hours news networks and two 24-hour financial news networks, shouldn’t someone be reporting on the dirty backroom deals on Wall Street? Shouldn’t someone shine some light on the shady-but-legal artificial means of manipulating the market? Why does it feel like the people who most believe in a free market economy are the ones who artificially control and manipulate it?

Has Wall Street abandoned ethics? Did Wall Street ever have ethics?

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