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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Was Jon Stewart unfair to CNBC when he lambasted Jim Cramer?

It’s hard to believe that someone so prominent would be so willing to out himself in public as a big ol’ crybaby:

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) – NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker fired back at comedian Jon Stewart on Wednesday, saying it was “unfair” and “absurd” for the funnyman to criticize CNBC and question its coverage of financial news.

“Everybody wants to find a scapegoat. That’s human nature,” Zucker said during a keynote address at a media industry conference. “But to suggest that the business media or CNBC was responsible for what is going on now is absurd.”

“Just because someone who mocks authority says something doesn’t make it so,” Zucker said, describing the comedian’s comments as “completely out of line.”

I wonder if Zucker has ever watched one of his own network’s longest-running shows, Saturday Night Live?

Oh, but there’s more:

Zucker, speaking at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York on Wednesday, said that CNBC’s reporters and commentators had done a “terrific” job and the network remained a “go-to” place for financial news.

“It’s unfair to CNBC and to the business media in general,” Zucker said. “I don’t think you can blame what happened here on the business media.”

The CEO of NBC Universal, which also owns the NBC broadcast network, cable channels like Bravo and USA, theme parks and a film studio, among other businesses, said the public was tired of hearing the media blamed for its coverage of financial news.

“Frankly, I already think you’re seeing a backlash,” he said.

I think there’s a backlash, all right, but not in the way he’s suggesting.

What do you think? Was Jon Stewart unfair to CNBC when he lambasted Jim Cramer?

If you can hear me laughing in derision from wherever you are, then you already know my answer.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • Yeah, Zucker, just because someone is flouting authority doesn’t make it right…

    Like deciding you didn’t need a pilot season to find quality TV? How’s last year’s NBC slate working out for you?

    Every time he opens his mouth he reveals how out of touch with the media and the rest of the world in general he is.

  • Chris

    It’s not Jim Cramer’s fault that a large amount of banks and home lenders had terrible practices for 7 years and the market finally collapsed. You cant prove what he did and did not know. Now maybe it would have benefited that nation had CNBC had someone or a program dedicating to asking the hard questions and doing the investigative reporting but there was none. They dont focus on hiring the O’Reillys, Russerts and Wallaces of the world, they focus on the guys who can analyze the market and give you some idea what it means. This market is the result of poor practices by these major companies, a lack of oversight by the government’s regulatory agencies, the house and senate’s lack of compromise to allow limitations and oversight on Freddie Mac (I’m looking at you Dodd and Frank!) and a number of people looking for a high risk way to get a home without putting the hard work such as saving and controlling there credit spending. Add in the ideal of using ethanol for fuel, increasing gasoline taxes, and of course trying to limit free trade to countrys that we could really use the support of (Columbia) and the market only continues to tank further. None of that is Jim Cramer’s fault and as much as I like Jon Stewart, he knows this.

  • Rykker

    Stewart didn’t say that CNBC was responsible for the economic mess, he said that they dropped the ball on properly informing the public as to what was going on.
    And they did.

  • misterb

    Zucker ignores the most damning part of Stewart’s indictment – that CNBC is in bed with the people that are trying to steal your money by giving you false and incomplete information when you invest. CNBC goes out of their way to give credence to the CEO’s and investment bankers who have all the motivation to mislead and none to be honest. While individual investors can’t shirk their own responsibility for their own money – our media and our government should be taking the individual investor’s side – not the side of the exploiters and Madoffs.

  • mollywobble

    I don’t believe Stewart was arguing that it was CNBC’s fault. He was arguing that they weren’t being the watchdogs that they should have been. That’s the role of the press in a free society, and the media has really dropped the ball in the last few years. Of course, “the media” includes more than just CNBC, and other news agencies should be scrutinized as well. However, CNBC has close relationships with most of these CEOs, so if you’re going to criticize anyone, it should be CNBC.

    Now, is it Cramer’s fault? No. Cramer’s an entertainer not a journalist. He’s trying to give market advice, not break the news. So maybe Stewart was a little unfair to attack Cramer, but he kind of deserved it too…

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    In fact, Stewart repeatedly said this wasn’t about Jim Cramer personally or even CNBC, but as soon as Cramer started going on every show in Christendom bellyaching about being bullied by Jon Stewart, he personalised it far more than The Daily Show ever did. And yet even during the Stewart/Cramer interview Stewart pointed out that this is merely one symptom of a massive problem. But go on, Mr. Zucker, ignore those facts, you can’t get a good whinge out of it.

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