As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Beatdown

In case you missed it, you can catch the entire three-part interview between Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart here. I'd embed it but it's everywhere already. I think James Fallows has the right take.

Through karmic guidance, I sprang awake at the exact moment Jon Stewart was beginning his merciless demolition of interview with Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money." [...]

Although, improbably, I share a journalistic background with Cramer*, I thought Stewart, without excessive showboating, did the journalistic sensibility proud.

Just before leaving China -- ie, two days ago -- I saw with my wife the pirate-video version of Frost/Nixon, showing how difficult it is in real time to ask the kind of questions Stewart did. I know, Frost was dealing with a former president. Still, it couldn't have been easy to do what Stewart just did. Seeing this interview justified the three-day trip in itself.

The post is entitled "It's true: Jon Stewart has become Edward R. Murrow".

I don't know what to say beyond what's already been said. Stewart is seemingly the only guy left in America willing to call out the media who has the platform to do it to their face. Jim Cramer is a criminal walking free and I don't use that term lightly. He has practically admitted to crimes, and Stewart played some of them last night. But it's not just CNBC. It's the entire media complex. What is said on television or in print is such a small part of the story, and what is concealed is so often more vital for a well-informed citizenry than what is revealed. How is what CNBC has done any different from the cheerleading into war in Iraq?

I'd like to think that this is a moment for change, but Jon Stewart is a comedian on a comedy show, and he's well aware of that, even though he's the only guy in the business with the platform. There will be a backlash against him, and it's already starting to happen. He can take it and give back plenty. But ultimately, the system remains. And this indictment won't be picked up as a conviction. Because the entire media is corroded.

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