I’m behind in watching The Daily Show.
Things pile up on the PVR when I go on vacation. Plenty of couch-potato time has reduced the stockpile, but I still have a good five episodes of The Daily Show sitting there. Thing is, the news is depressing these days. Even the fake news. So when faced with so many options, I’d sooner just watch Erica redo do her life onBeing Erica (possibly my favourite show right now), or explore Battlestar Galactica‘s final days, or see when (or if) Dollhouse will get really good, or root for this year’s un-obnoxious teams on the invigorated Amazing Race, or even revel in the clash of egos on the surprisingly addictive and compelling Project Runway: Canada.
But even without watching much Daily Show, there’s been no escaping Jon Stewart this week. He’s been everywhere—on blogs, in Salon.com, in the newspaper, on Letterman… It’s just interesting how he does the thing he does every week, yet every six months or so, something pops and everyone again reacts with some surprise that a comedian can seriously and intelligently address a real issue.
So though I haven’t watched any of this yet, this is what I know happened.
In response to CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s complaint about bailing out “loser mortgages”, The Daily Show ran one of their montages illustrating months of stupid advice from the supposedly intelligent financial commentators at CNBC. Canadian clip here.
Included in the montage was one Jim Cramer. Later, on another show (that was his mistake) Cramer complained his clip was taken out of context: That he wasn’t telling people to buy Bear Stern stock, only that they didn’t have to take their money out of the bank. YouTube link
The Daily Show responded by allowing that was true, then running clips of Jim Cramer, taken only weeks earlier, advising the purchse of Bear Stern stock. Canadian clip here.
The whole culminated at the end of this week with Jim Cramer appearing on The Daily Show. The interview was so long, it didn’t fit in the 22 minutes of the episode, so the network has made the uncut version available online. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3.
This full interview, I have watched on the computer. Not all that funny, it is Jon in “this is a serious issue” mode. And Cramer is not very combative in return. (And according to Salon, has in no way changed his approach because of all this.)
And just a sampling of the posts that alerted me to all this:
- Remarkable TV: Jon Stewart guts Cramer and CNBC (Baltimore Sun)
- It’s true: Jon Stewart has become the Edward R. Murrow (The Atlantic)
- Rant against network is most-viewed video online for Comedy Central this year
As someone who doesn’t watch financial TV anyway, it’s harder for me to get the moral outrage up compared with previous dead aims at things like the Bush government and the Crossfire approach to news coverage. But that’s how the world is today. It’s all about the economy, stupid.