Beware the Talkpocalypse!
Here's the inevitable denouement (?) of the Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer smackdown:
(that's just the longest segment, it's broken up into five parts - go to The Daily Show for everything)
This was, as I'm sure you're aware by now, uncomfortable-to-watch television. And I'm left squeamish not just because of the confrontation, but because - come on! - Stewart was being unfair.
Yes, presenting financial news as entertainment is probably not helping promote financial literacy. Of course, if CNBC didn't do it that way, they wouldn't have enough of an audience to stay on the air (I know, cry me a river).
But really, blaming Cramer and company for not seeing the financial meltdown coming? As opposed to who? Greenspan? Geithner? Anyone not named Nouriel? And blaming them for having CEO's on who lied - as opposed to every politician who has ever appeared on television.
I think Cramer did himself and his network a disservice by sitting there like a deer in the headlights and taking the punishment. Yes, they had much of it coming, but defending why things are the way they are and why they made the mistakes they did would have been educational for the audience (and less squeamish - nobody likes to watch roadkill, even if they can't look away).