In a recent New York Times profile, TV stock-shouter Jim Cramer admitted he still harbors a lot of resentment over Jon Stewart for pwning the hell out of him on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
Cramer took a tremendous amount of heat after Stewart called him on the carpet to answer for a series of recommendations that seemed to back about-to-fail firms like Bear Stearns. Cramer tried to defend his original assertions, but Stewart relentlessly pummeled him. To refresh your memory, Stewart scathingly accused back in 2009:
I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it’s not a fucking game… and I … when I watch that… I can’t tell you how angry that makes me. Because what it says to me that “You all know.” You all know what’s going on. From those shenanigans to the stuff that was being pulled at Bear and at AIG and all this derivative market stuff — that is this weird Wall Street side bet… You knew what the banks were doing and yet you were touting it for months and months. The entire network was. And so now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy once in a lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst.
These guys at these companies were on a Sherman’s March through their companies financed by our 401ks and all the incentives of their companies were for short term profit. They burned the fucking house down with our money and walked away rich as hell and you guys knew that that was going on.
Pretty harsh. And it turns out that Cramer hasn’t really personally recovered from the hit his reputation took on TDS that night, and feels as if he somehow became the face of the corruption and criminality that precipitated the 2008 crash. Cramer laments:
“It’s unbelievable, I know, but I never saw it coming… The night before Stewart, a bartender in Brooklyn wished me luck, and I didn’t get what he was talking about. I expected a cordial discussion. They promised they wouldn’t use any clips, and they lied…”
Cramer admits he caught on pretty quickly, though:
“As soon as he started, I realized Stewart was on a mission to make me look like a clown. I didn’t defend myself because I wasn’t prepared. What was I supposed to do, talk about how often I had been right? Praise myself? Get mad? I was mad, but I didn’t want to give the audience any blood. The national media said I got crushed, which I did, and made me into a buffoon…. Stewart was the prosecutor, and I was Exhibit A. But what was the crime? What did I do wrong? I wasn’t running Fannie or Freddie. I wasn’t in charge at Countrywide. CNBC was completely good. Better than the Department of Justice. What I did every night was call these bad actors out. I sat there with Stewart and thought: He’s never even seen my show. He doesn’t even know what I do.” He paused for a moment. “Obviously I didn’t know what he does, either.”
It’s like you could almost feel bad for him until you remember all the people that lost their pensions and stuff.
[NYT via Gawker]