As if it wasn’t bad enough, that CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer took what is widely perceived to be a beating at the hands of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart on Thursday. Now word comes out that some at CNBC are furious with Cramer for not defending the business network.
As Howard Kurtz reported in today’s Washington Post, “Cramer has told colleagues he felt blindsided by Stewart’s hostile approach. But many CNBC staffers were furious with Cramer yesterday for failing to defend the network’s reporting or to criticize Stewart’s video clips as selectively edited or out of context. CNBC declined all interview requests, saying in a statement: “CNBC produces more than 150 hours of live television a week that includes more than 850 interviews in the service of exposing all sides of every critical financial and economic issue. We are proud of our record.”
Seriously, Cramer felt blindsided? Apparently Cramer really meant what he said, before he went on The Daily Show, on Today about Stewart being a comedian. If this is the case then Jim Cramer was lazy and didn’t do his homework before he sat down with Stewart. Anyone who has ever watched Jon Stewart throughout his career could have told Cramer that is a capable and adept interviewer. His capacity to do a serious interview is what separates his from other more entertainment based late night talk shows. There was no blindsiding here. In his previous segments about CNBC, Stewart used comedy, but also revealed his entire line of criticism of the business network.
Kurtz’s report today confirms what I posted last night about NBC banning discussion of the interview. Cramer had no duty to defend CNBC. What he tried to do was defend himself and the system at large. It looks like CNBC is trying to scapegoat Cramer which is completely unfair. I know people who don’t watch CNBC might not believe this, but Cramer is one of the moderate voices on the channel, especially compared to the Santellis and Kudlows of the CNBC universe.
I don’t think that NBC is realizing that their reaction is keeping a story that should have had a 24 hour shelf life alive. How can such a large media organization be so blind, and in the dark? If CNBC wanted this story to go away, they could have talked about it on Friday, perhaps put out a press release stating that they are always striving to improve their business coverage, and the story would have died. NBC has moved to damage control to blaming Cramer, but the network better be careful because despite a week of bad publicity, they need Cramer more than he needs them.