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Heh. I think it's fair to say that Jim Cramer got utterly sonned by Jon Stewart last night. The culmination of what was billed as the "weeklong feud of the century" turned out to be a groundbreaking interview of real journalistic importance and quality....maybe it's a paradigm shift in financial journalism. Let's hope.

Everyone should watch this; it's a good look at how much the media has exacerbated an already dangerous financial meltdown. Why? To generate ratings...or, maybe...to hang the most pressing financial crisis in eighty years around the neck of a Democratic President by whom Wall Street is terrified of actually being held to accountable standards.

I like Jim Cramer, and I think he's uproariously entertaining. If I happen to be channel-surfing and land on his show, the chances are that I'm not going to change the channel. The key is that I recognize his schtick as entertainment; there are many, many people who don't. There's a reason Mad Money is far and away the highest-rated show on CNBC: because unfortunate, unsophisticated investors have subscribed to the Gospel of Cramer, enthralled by his seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Wall Street and his over-the-top antic. Jim Cramer and many others have turned the world of finance into a freak-show of buy buy buy/sell sell sell NOW!!! instant-gratification bullshit.

But Jon Stewart is right: "it's not a fucking game." I work in a securities litigation firm; I've sat across the conference table while eighty-year old women break down in tears, their entire life savings depleted through the malfeasance of crooked brokers and the poor performance of the markets. I've met people who simply have nothing left. It's heartbreaking.

I can only hope that Cramer and his cadre are truly chastened by this drubbing by Stewart, and go back to merely reporting the news as it occurs--please, stop filling the minds of inexperienced investors with purely speculative crap.



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