I ♥ J.S.

It’s another front-loaded day, and I’ve already frittered away a chunk of precious blogging time figuring out why our internet was down and the dishwasher stopped mid-cycle last night. (Best Holmesian conclusion: Some sort of power surge/interruption. Elementary, my dear Watson.) So today will be nasty, brutish and short, but if you’d like a suggestion for discussion, how about the slice-and-dice Jon Stewart did on Jim Cramer last night? You can find it in segments at the Comedy Central site, and part one is on YouTube here. FiveThirtyEight has already done the housekeeping, putting them all under one post, here.

It was an act of heroic journalism. Yes, journalism. Yes, heroic. I’ve used that word a few times in recent months, mostly in reference to the financial reporting on NPR, but these are times that call for heroism, and one of the few bright spots is that periodically a hero will emerge.

Now I have 25 minutes to make myself presentable and drive three miles across town. Have a good weekend, all.

Posted at 8:36 am in Current events |

64 responses to “I ♥ J.S.”

  1. Deggjr said on March 13, 2009 at 9:06 am

    The truth hurts, and Jim Cramer is hurting right now. To his credit he showed up, but that doesn’t absolve him or his network of the lies they have broadcast.

    When is the discussion between Jon Stewart and Rick Santelli?

    224 chars

  2. coozledad said on March 13, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I haven’t heard Rush volunteer to go on the Daily Show, either. That posturing heap of goo is no William Jennings Bryan, but I’m willing to bet Stewart would be his Darrow.

    172 chars

  3. brian stouder said on March 13, 2009 at 9:45 am

    It is more than a little fascinating, watching this bifurcation over at NBC (et al). Their business network, CNBC, has a very different public face than their cable news at MSNBC.

    NBC’s broadcast internecine clash of worldviews highlights something that Rachel Maddow explored last night on her msnbc show, which is the implosion of the national Republican party.

    Big businesses, including Big Bailed-out Banks, are expending time and effort and money to orchestrate some sort of effective political response (read: opposition) to congressional initiatives such as Employee Free Choice Act (which is what Rachel focused on).

    By way of saying, in the absence of anything like an organized national Republican party to do its bidding, the business community has become (more) politically vocal and active on its own, and in concert with their media ’embeds’ like Cramer.

    877 chars

  4. Randy said on March 13, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Hurrah Jon Stewart!

    It’s so important that “homeowners are the primary cause of this problem” not become the accepted truth while the financial dorks hide behind the curtain. Hopefully that truth can get better traction in this era.

    I don’t see his show much – does Cramer always speak in an anxious falsetto?

    315 chars

  5. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Someone made the observation that if Cramer had been criticizing Bush’s economic policies instead of Obama’s, Jon Stewart would not have said a peep. So I guess he is somebody’s hero, just not everybody’s. But Cramer deserved it.

    You guys were cracking me up yesterday with the paperclip to coat hanger to bicycle to ??? lifecycle. Jeff, I think I know what the next stage is in the lifecycle. It exists here in San Diego and is revealed here and here. Monstrous, isn’t it?

    And chili is not right unless it is 4-alarm. Period. I must have the heat to cauterize, purge and purify my sinful mouth.

    784 chars

  6. Kirk said on March 13, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Danny, you weren’t around a few weeks ago when there was something I wanted to ask you about. I finally remembered what it was: Revolution Take 20. Did you check that out?

    171 chars

  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2009 at 10:29 am

    And the fully mature form, in all its terrible splendor — “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”


    157 chars

  8. Bill said on March 13, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Here’s a dome (OK maybe a flying saucer) that still astounds. Now I see they’re investigating putting luxury suites in it. Enough!


    181 chars

  9. Jolene said on March 13, 2009 at 11:03 am

    James Fallows makes similar points re Stewart v. Cramer on his blog at The Atlantic’s web site. (Perhaps someone could post the link. I’m still typing on my phone, which doesn’t allow cutting and pasting across sites.)

    It’s interesting that this show wasn’t mentioned at all on Morning Joe today. After Stewart’s initial takedown, Cramer went on MJ, and, along w/ the MJ hosts, conducted a Stewart-bashing (or, at least, Stewart-belittling) session. Stewart responded comedically, and that response was noted the next day. Today, however, after the serious takedown, silence.

    583 chars

  10. jeff borden said on March 13, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I love Jon Stewart, too, but he can do things a legitimate journalist cannot do because he is an entertainer/comedian/satirist. This does not negate his increasing value to the public discourse. In fact, it takes a satirist to truly convey the “through the looking glass” quality of so many of our policies.

    Let’s not forget Stephen Colbert, either. His hilarious sendup of the demented Glenn Beck was a stroke of pure genius. While Beck hyperventilates in his “War Room” about the kind of “what if” scenarios that give woodies to survivalists, Colbert counters with his “Bunker of Doom,” lit in red lights and swirling in menacing fog.

    639 chars

  11. Jolene said on March 13, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Andrew Sullivan, Matt Yglesias, and Joel Achenbach all have good comments on Stewart v. Cramer. For the Sullivan and Yglesias blogs, search on their names and scroll down a bit; for Achenbach, search on Achenblog. (His blog is on the WaPo website.)

    250 chars

  12. Sue said on March 13, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I wondered why this one took off the way it did. Stewart has been doing this for years. And Danny, I’m not sure this was about Cramer criticizing Obama’s policies, although that eventually was wrapped into the whole package; this started out with Santelli loudly blaming homeowners for the meltdown, with a cheering crowd of traders as his backdrop. Not exactly sober journalism, on what is supposed to be a legitimate news channel. Stewart took that and ran with it, just like he has all along, and it exploded into what eventually became last night’s “Weeklong Feud of the Century”. What impressed me about this whole thing is that Stewart seems to be doing both his job and the job that CNBC should have been doing. CNBC can position itself as a news channel or admit that it is nothing more than the Food Network for money people, and Stewart in essence pointed out the difference and asked them to make a choice.

    923 chars

  13. jcburns said on March 13, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Danny: “Someone made the observation that if Cramer had been criticizing Bush’s economic policies instead of Obama’s, Jon Stewart would not have said a peep.”

    I want to know who’s whispering in your IFB, Danny.

    325 chars

  14. nancy said on March 13, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I just watched the extended version of the interview, and it’s even better. I’m just amazed by how neatly JS was able to say what millions of us feel, and I think it’s this passage that was the needle to the heart:

    CNBC could be an incredibly powerful tool of illumination for people that believe that there are two markets: One … has been sold to us as long term: ‘Put your money in 401ks. Put your money in pensions. And just leave it there. Don’t worry about it. It’s all doing fine.’ Then there’s this other market, this real market that’s occurring in the back room, where giant piles of money are going in and out, and people are trading them, and it’s transactional, and it’s fast. But it’s dangerous, it’s ethically dubious, and it hurts that long-term market. So what it feels like to us — and I’m speaking purely as a layman — it feels like we are capitalizing your adventure by our pension and our hard-earned … and that it is a game that you know, that you know is going on, but that you go on television as a financial network and pretend isn’t happening.”

    I need a cigarette.

    1136 chars

  15. beb said on March 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Danny, Stewart wasn’t attack Cramer for attacking Obama. First of all Stewart wasn’t attack Cramer personally but CNBC. Cramer just happen to take exception to being one of those dinged by video. Once he started crying in his Morning Joe about how mean Stewart was, then it became personal. And Stewart tried to warn him that night, don’t pick fights with people who’s job it is to make fun of people.

    If anything Stewart was whacking CNBC for not critizing the Bush economy. For not recognizing these credit default swaps for the WMDs that they were. For not pointing out how over-leveraged banks had become. How so much of the market was based on home mortgages or that the real estate market was in a giganticbubble. Warren Buffet recognized these things, Roubini recognized these things, Atrois recognized these things. Krugman, too. CNBC proved itself to less a news channel than a variation of The Home Shopping Network.

    Jolene, thanks for the update, that Morning Joe did not mention anything about the Stewart-Cramer interview.

    Sue, what did this story take off? I think because outside Washington and outside the puditry circle-jerk, real Americans are mad as hell about this financial melt-down and want to know who’s to blame. Stewart pointed out the obvious that the media has been in bed with these rogue operations all along.

    Also it didn’t hurt that Cramer *WAS* hyping Bear Sterns right up to the end., and all of it was on tape. I don’t think pundits and politicians realize how devastaging it is that the last 5-10 years of everything they’ve ever said is on tape somewhere, ready to trip them up.

    We do have to repect Cramer for agreeing to come on the show and let Stewart publically horse whip him for 25 minutes. His best defense, though, was “they (the CEOs) lied to me!” But as a reporter isn’t Cramer lied to all the time? Isn’t that why stories need to be verified by independent sources?

    At times like this I like to remember the other memorable Stewart moment, when he want on “Crossfire” and told Tucker Carlson to stop hurting our country.

    2093 chars

  16. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Sue/everyone, the thing that started all of this was indeed Santelli’s proclamation on the trading room floor in Chicago, but the point he was making was not the culpability of the homeowners who got in over their heads, it was the direct criticism of Obama’s proposed bailout of those homeowners. There was nothing oblique about it. He thinks it is a dumb move and in his words he, “doesn’t want to pay a bunch of losers’ mortgages.”

    And Cramer continued this criticism.

    And that is why Stewart took his shot at CNBC.

    526 chars

  17. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Kirk, Revolution Take 20 sounds very interesting. And being a prog-rock guy, songs that run over 10 minutes are right up my alley. I must check this out over the weekend. Got any linkage for a non-lossy format?

    220 chars

  18. jcburns said on March 13, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Amazing. Virtually 100% of Jon Stewart’s issues with Jim Cramer and CNBC’s approach to business reporting have nothing to do with this or the previous presidential administration, yet Danny is so sure that it was because of Cramer’s criticism of Obama.

    Danny, please pull Rush Limbaugh out of your ear.

    312 chars

  19. Sue said on March 13, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    And had Santelli provided a reasoned analysis of the proposed restrictions on the bailout, the restrictions that may or may not keep “losers” as opposed to legitimate mortgage holders from getting funds, Stewart would not have had such incredible material to work with. Instead, Santelli behaved not so much as a journalist on a network devoted to journalism as an entertainer paid to rev up the audience. He then began appearing on talk shows, on one complaining of a threat from the White House. He was more than happy to become the story. In other words, he did not behave like a journalist and Stewart called him on it and noted that the network he worked for did not appear to be behaving like an outlet of respected journalistic behavior. That is why Stewart took his shot.

    784 chars

  20. moe99 said on March 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Santelli took the place of Joe the Plumber, another guy who made it all about him.

    82 chars

  21. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Sue/JC, CNBC’s criticism of Obama has been THE story for the last couple of weeks, not their poorly timed advice on Bear Stearns or their non-professional delivery not meeting journalistic standards. And if shakey financial advice was what Jon Stewart really wanted to talk about, he could have chosen just about any show on any network that was touting the common wisdom before the meltdown. So get over it.

    Oh and fyi, it was Stuart Varney, formerly of CNN and CNBC, now with Fox Business.

    I do not listen to Rush, but if it makes you feel better to jump to such conclusions, have at it.

    597 chars

  22. brian stouder said on March 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Santelli took the place of Joe the Plumber, another guy who made it all about him.

    I think that’s actually unfair to JTP; JTP didn’t ask Senator McCain to make him the keystone of the whole ideological rationale as to why McCain should be president; hell, Joe was just being a hotdog at the rope line of an Obama campaign stop, and President Obama* was gracious enough to sincerely engage the fellow in conversation. JTP’s whole provinance – which proved to be all too genuine – was his ‘lowest common denominator’ amount of sophistication and lack of political polish.

    But Santelli – HE’S supposed to BE someone who KNOWS something; they turn to him for informed commentary from the hurly burly world of securities and exchanges and futures and indicies.

    I think Santelli’s misinformed (not to say dishonest) griping about “losers” – to the cheers of his colleagues – is especially damnable, whereas JTP’s antics are merely lamentable.

    another bit of entertaining frippery –


    *I love writing that name – “President Obama”

    1112 chars

  23. Gasman said on March 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Your logic is impeccably flawed as usual. Contrary to the talking points that the Porcine Oracle, O’Reilly, and your other masters are spoon feeding you, there is no liberal media that gets its marching orders from Obama or Pelosi. Besides, Stewart is a comedian, not a journalist at all. You are nuts if you think that Stewart is doing Obama’s bidding. Stewart has a track record of going after everyone that presents themselves as a vulnerable, slow moving target.

    CNBC and all of the other Wall Street groupies masquerading as journalists with financial acumen spent years fawning over the glittering men and women who commanded our economy’s destiny. If they were making money, especially if they were commanding obscene salaries, CNBC, et al., made them into rock stars. The CEOs could do no wrong. CNBC opened itself up to criticism. Especially since there are those on record who foresaw the enormous risks and sounded the alarm bells long ago. CNBC and the others just chose to ignore those voices in favor of their obsequious adoration of the CEO Magi.

    CNBC deserves to be pilloried. They were so wrapped up in the Wall Street hype, they didn’t do their jobs as reporters. They believed themselves to be privileged insiders who were in the know, not skeptical reporters who should of questioned what was going on. Stewart called them out as the frauds they are. Stewart is not protecting Obama. The minute Obama or someone in his circle does something dumb Stewart will be on him like stink on a fish. I’ll also be happy to acknowledge it when it happens.

    Now, on the other hand, we do know that the actors at Fox get their talking points directly from the Republicans. We also know that they amend their “transcripts” to conform to their version of reality. But that doesn’t seem to bother you.

    1842 chars

  24. moe99 said on March 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Hasn’t Jon Stewart poked fun at Obama and/or his administration since January? I can’t remember the episode but I don’t think our current president has gotten a free ride.

    But, Brian, Joe the Plumber may not have originally sought the spotlight, but he sure hungered after it once it was supplied to him, just like Santelli.

    328 chars

  25. Sue said on March 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I remember how much fun Stewart had with Kerry when he was running. Now there was a target. And I also recall a pretty open acknowledgment from Stewart that he liked and respected John McCain, although that didn’t stop him from asking some tough questions when McCain appeared on his show. Comic – yes. Liberal – yes. Fair – more than he’s given credit for.

    362 chars

  26. jeff borden said on March 13, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    “The Daily Show” has taken shots at the Obama Administration with regards to the embarrassing parade of would-be appointees who had not paid their income taxes. I remember that one clearly. The program also has enjoyed making sport of the inept leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

    Also, Stewart took off after MSNBC and Keith Olbermann, in particular, for being the left-wing doppelganger of Fox News. It was a potent segment, juxtaposing the blarings of O’Reilly and Hannity with Matthews and Olbermann, to demonstrate that hysterical hyperventilation was just as bad when practiced by liberals as conservatives.

    “The Daily Show” certainly had a field day with the Bush Administration, which undoubtedly help cast Stewart and his crew as liberal gadflies. But the show has demonstrated it is not so easily pigeon-holed and will take shots at whoever is acting foolishly.

    It’s not Stewart’s fault that Republicans and conservatives say and do more foolish things than Democrats and liberals. It’s simply a fact of nature.

    By the way, what’s the over/under on Michael Steele and will he be replaced by the South Carolinian who until recently belonged to a white’s only country club?

    1200 chars

  27. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Gas, everything you said about CNBC could be said about financial shows on other networks, which is undoubtedly why you wrote, “CNBC and all of the other Wall Street groupies” and “CNBC, et al.” And I never said that Stewart “gets marching orders from Obama or Pelosi.”

    So, Point One: If you are going to disparage my “flawed logic,” you should not spend the rest of your post regurgitating my views in your own special way.

    And, Point Two: You shouldn’t disagree with things I did not say.

    But other than that … Nice post.

    535 chars

  28. jeff borden said on March 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    More evidence the nation is just tired of screaming rightwing loonies. . .

    This is from Conde Nast’s Portfolio website:

    Though never exactly shy, Ann Coulter has been especially noisy in her self-promotion lately, inventing a beef with NBC News, arguing with Keith Olbermann over the meaning of a Cornell degree and taking her act on the road with Bill Maher as foil. Could it be because she’s worried she’s losing our attention?

    Coulter’s latest book, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, is something of a misfire by Coulterian standards. Of course, what constitutes a disappointment for Coulter would be a mega-hit for most authors; in its two months on sale, Guilty has sold 100,500 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan (a number that only reflects around 70 percent of actual sales).

    But with it moving steadily down the best-seller list, it looks certain that Guilty will fall far short of matching her earlier results. Her 2006 polemic, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, sold 279,100 copies in hardcover, according to BookScan; Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terror, published in 2003, sold 396,600 hardcover copies, and 2002’s Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, sold 333,100 copies, plus another 108,300 in paperback. (The two other books she published over that period, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) and If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans, are both collections rather than original works, so I left them out for the sake of apples-to-apples comparison.)

    No wonder Coulter’s wishing out loud that the new administration had chosen to feud with her instead of Rush Limbaugh. Could it be that Barack Obama’s America has a smaller appetite for Coulter’s brand of take-no-prisoners, obey-no-logic conservatism?

    1816 chars

  29. moe99 said on March 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Danny, Here is what you DID say:

    “Someone made the observation that if Cramer had been criticizing Bush’s economic policies instead of Obama’s, Jon Stewart would not have said a peep.”

    205 chars

  30. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    So what? My point is that Stewart is an ardent supporter of President Obama. A point that is very demonstrable if you’ve seen Stewart over the past few months. And “ardent supporter” is a far cry from “taking marching orders.”

    227 chars

  31. Sue said on March 13, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Danny your comments today have the tone of someone who’s majorly irritated. What gives? I don’t see comments today being any worse than normal; what’s setting you on edge?

    173 chars

  32. moe99 said on March 13, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I think others on this thread have made it clear that Stewart has criticized Obama and has not felt compelled to pull his punches. He is rather equal opportunity in that regard.

    186 chars

  33. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Nothing, Sue, other than that here’s everyone else’s logic here in distilled form:

    1. The only reason Jon Stewart called out Cramer was because he made a bad prediction on Bear Stearns and he is non-professional.
    2. Had Cramer and Santelli been skewering the Bush administration’s economic policies, Stewart would still have been all over them.
    3. None of this has anything to do with Jon Stewart’s politics or his stated admiration for Barack Obama.
    4. Anyone who does not completely subscribe to all of the above three statements is living in an isolation tank where only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are piped in continuously .. and they are to be argued with incessantly.

    So, anyway, I don’t agree with you all. And it is close to mine and Brian’s birthdays for God’s sake. So whatever. Get off of me! Geesh. I’m not ON EGDE GODDAMMITT!!

    856 chars

  34. jeff borden said on March 13, 2009 at 5:36 pm


    I would not call myself an ardent supporter of Barack Obama, though I certainly voted for him and admire him. He is a politician. He will disappoint me. I’m ready for that. The alternative was a sad old man who sold his soul for one last shot at the brass ring and was willing to embrace someone even more simple-minded than George W. Bush to be his running mate. It was no contest.

    What I am ardent about is that a reckless, lawless, arrogant administration –aided and abetted by a gutless, spineless, supine Democratic minority– didn’t simply stand aside, but actively participated in the looting of my country by some of our largest financial institutions by brushing away sensible laws and regulations under the guise of “market freedom.” And now that they have left a steaming pile of shit on the carpet of the Oval Office, they dare to blame the guy who has been in office for less than 60 days.

    I’m not so much in love with the new administration as I am furious at the old one and the lasting damage it has done. Jon Stewart taps into that lingering anger and sense of betrayal. This is why I watch and enjoy him.

    1139 chars

  35. jeff borden said on March 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm


    Happy Birthday, Danny! And Brian!

    43 chars

  36. Gasman said on March 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I don’t have cable, so I don’t watch John Stewart. Watching the Comedy Central clips via the web from last night’s show is more than I’ve seen in years. Has John Stewart ever openly declared himself to be an Obama partisan? If he has, I am not aware of it. He seems to attack those he perceives as liars, incompetents, or thieves, regardless of party affiliation. To my knowledge, he has not gone after exclusively conservatives or acted as the defender of Obama.

    That Stewart’s attacks toward the Republican/conservative side seem to be more numerous does not necessarily indicate an a priori liberal partisanship. It could simply be an indication that the Republicans/conservatives are bigger liars, incompetents, and thieves. However, Stewart’s rant was not politically partisan in the least. He was attacking thieves and liars, not Republicans. I know that it is very hard to tell the two apart and it is somewhat a distinction without a difference, but he did not characterize this as a Republican problem.

    What is both amazing and sad is that the respected “journalists” at CNBC and elsewhere could not be bothered to actually exercise a healthy sense of journalistic skepticism. John Stewart, it seems somewhat begrudgingly, filled that void by expressing the outrage and incredulity that we have certainly not gotten from the TV side of mainstream media journalism.

    The entertainers Stewart, Letterman, and Olbermann seem to have displayed more journalistic integrity than the MSM talking heads. The TV MSM talking heads seem to be unwilling to go toe-to-toe with politicians from either party and they are certainly unwilling to call bloviators like Limbaugh on their lies. What does it say about TV journalism when the hardest hitting reporting comes not from within their own ranks, but from comedians?

    1859 chars

  37. jcburns said on March 13, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Found on Twitter: under Reagan, wealthiest Americans had a 50% tax rate. Under Nixon, 70%. Under Eisenhower 91%. So the Obama as socialist meme is, well, laughable.

    164 chars

  38. beb said on March 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Media Matters reports that Bill O’Reilly said today about Jon Stewart interview with Jim Cramer: “So, when Mr. Cramer began criticizing Barack Obama, Mr. Stewart — an ardent Obama supporter — let him have it.” O’Reilly later added, “So here we have the melding of politics — because if Cramer didn’t attack Obama, Stewart would not be on his case.”

    Danny, you’re about five words shy of being a plagiarist.

    412 chars

  39. alex said on March 13, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Danny, Cramer’s fair game for Stewart because he’s demonstrably both inept and dishonest as a journalist. That someone like him holds himself up as an expert on economic policy is great comic material. Similarly, Santelli’s silly antics (say that three times) — pretending that Obama is making threats to harm him and his family — is such a disgrace for his network it’s a wonder they didn’t fire him. If they were legit, they would have.

    So I really don’t get your point. You’re upset that the liberal media is having a laugh at the expense of the conservative media?

    EDIT: Frankly, I think Stewart and Colbert ought to be credentialed to be allowed to ask questions at press conferences just like Cramer and Santelli. The latter two are mere entertainers, after all.

    780 chars

  40. jeff borden said on March 13, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    As the facade of the Republican/Conservative movement sags to reveal the bitter stench of failure and the rot of irrelevancy, it’s fair to expect the lies and the volume at which they are repeated to rise accordingly.

    This movement is all but dead. It has been revealed as farce in every arena: political, social, military, financial, diplomatic. But the deadenders, particularly those who draw media paychecks, will have none of it.

    Limbaugh is reaching new levels of hysteria, as is O’Reilly, Hannity, Dobbs, Cavuto, et.al. But these loons are sensible compared with the second-tier douches like Glenn Beck, who yesterday suggested the mass murderer in Alabama may have been driven mad by political correctness. Or has-been action star Chuck Norris, who is now talking about running for President of Texas, whatever that means.

    A dying political movement is never pretty to watch, but the rhetoric of the right as it slips into its richly deserved obscurity is especially ugly. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so scary. Remember, the unrepentant creep in Tennessee who murdered a couple of Unitarian Church members because they were liberals also wanted to kill every Democratic member of Congress and the 100 people wingnut lotion boy Bernard Goldberg named in his book of a few years ago. Atta boy, Bernie. Your work helped fan this guy’s dementia. How proud you must be.

    1385 chars

  41. MichaelG said on March 13, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    What JB said at # 34.

    Gasman, the “actors at Fox get their talking points directly from the Republicans” is close. More to the point is that they function as an in house propaganda arm of the Rs. Roger Ailes, boss of Faux news, is a Republican dirty tricks operative of the nastiest sort and has been for decades.

    Folks can argue about what’s being done to fix the economic crisis but from my personal perspective I see this simple juxtaposition: I have taken a 10% pay cut, the value of my house has dropped significantly and AIG, BofA and all the other financial biggies who stole the money in the first place are receiving billions of dollars from the G’ment. No plan, no accountability, no nuthin, just $$$ and more $$$. But, hey, I’m not upset.

    Bill at # 8. The University of Illinois Assembly Hall in Champaign was completed while I was a student there. I lived for two of those happy college years in a dorm not far from it. I attended many basketball games, concerts, shows, etc. there. It was a wonderful facility. The interior has no columns so there are unobstructed views from every seat. The place can be closed off into smaller halls or theaters or whatever to provide more intimate venues for concerts, lectures and so forth. Haven’t been there in about 40 years.

    1313 chars

  42. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Sorry, beb, didn’t see the interview, but did Bill O’Reilly happen to say anything about the sky being blue? Because I happen to agree with that too and I’ve said that before too.

    Alex, Cramer is supposedly a liberal. So, no, this isn’t liberal vs conservative media.

    My point was that neither Cramer nor most of the other so-called gurus on any business channel gave warning of this coming economic downturn. Most of them were parroting the common wisdom and they were wrong. So, any of them could have been targets for a takedown by Stewart, but Jim Cramer is the one who got the nod. Why is that? I think the distinguishing characteristic was that he and Santelli heavily criticised Obama.

    You can see some of this heavy criticism and the unfolding of the war of words from wikipedia:

    On March 2, 2009, Jim Cramer drew the attention of some critics after his blunt evaluation of President Obama’s spending plans and the administration’s handling of the banking crisis. The Mad Money host’s name came up on March 3 during a White House press briefing after Cramer said that Obama was responsible for “the greatest wealth destruction I have seen by a president.” An offended White House shot back. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I’m not entirely sure what he’s pointing to make some of the statements.” When pressed further by NBC’s Tom Costello, Gibbs said, “If you turn on a certain program it’s geared to a very small audience […] And you can go back and look at any number of statements he’s made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the backup for those are, too.”

    Two days later, on March 5, Jim Cramer responded to the White House. He rebuked, “Huh? Backup? Look at the incredible decline in the stock market, in all indices, since the inauguration of the president, with the drop accelerating when the budget plan came to light because of the massive fear and indecision the document sowed: Raising taxes on the eve of what could be a second Great Depression, destroying the profits in health care companies, tinkering with the mortgage deduction at a time when U.S. house price depreciation is behind much of the world’s morass and certainly the devastation affecting our banks, and pushing an aggressive cap and trade program that could raise the price of energy for millions of people. The market’s the effect; much of what the president is fighting for is the cause. The market’s signal can’t be ignored. It’s too palpable, too predictive to be ignored, despite the prattle that the markets predicted far more recessions than we have.”

    BTW, Alex, I said that Cramer “deserved it” in my first post today, so I too think he was fair game.

    2721 chars

  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I’m not a scholar of or long-time fan of Cramer’s antics, just dimly aware of a fellow who appropriated “boo-yah” for his own purposes. But i’m impressed a) with his willingness to appear on “The Daily Show” (as has been noted, Rush “I’ll debate Mr. Obama wherever, whenever” Limbaugh hasn’t dared that particular maneuver), where he qualified his failings very little, if at all (i only watched the last half of it, life intruding as it does); and b) he really first forced me to pay attention to him when he made the incredibly gutsy move of telling specifically folks who needed access to their cash over the next six months to a year to cash out, right now, don’t delay, back in (again, i forget) Sept./Oct.

    He was roundly condemned for promoting panic at the time, won no friends on the street (sorry, The Street) for doing so, and if he had been wrong, would have been kicked to the curb by all and sundry for good and all. Instead, he was saying something no one else had the guts to say as Lehman crumbled, saw more clearly — or more honestly — what was about to domino down in their wake, and tried to tell people who needed to hear it what to do.

    To tack onto a critique of the man that he’s wrong or malign to suggest that savings and a diversified holding in stocks and bonds over the long haul is the wisest financial policy for most Americans . . . well, i certainly don’t think the trauma of the last few months means that folks should either spend rather than save or put their money in stamps and collectibles. It’s still a smart *long term* plan, and my money is emphatically where my mouth is. Stewart lost me when at the end he indicated that continuing to tell people they should save and invest is a crime Cramer should repent of. I suspect his point was really that if you tell people to do that, you should be infinitely more aggressive about revealing the dealings of those who misuse the system and abuse the trust average people are putting in Wall Street, but it didn’t come off that way. It is what Cramer says he’s going to do, and we will watch and discern if he does.

    So i thought they both came off pretty good, in sum, and yes, i’d endorse Colbert and Stewart getting WH press creds, but i think they’re smart enough to know that would actually undermine the most effective part of their schtick, which is that they know and admit they peddle snake oil, making their occasional impassioned rants about vitamins all the more effective.

    2485 chars

  44. brian stouder said on March 13, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Hey! NOW y’all have gone too far –

    my birthday ain’t for another week. (I’ll be four dozen years old; Jimmy Johnson; two score and eight; (from wikipedia:

    Forty-eight is a double factorial of 6, a highly composite number. Like all other multiples of 6, it is a semiperfect number. 48 is the second 17-gonal number.

    48 is the first number of the form (24.q) and is in abundance having an aliquot sum of 76. It is the lowest composite number to fall into the 41-aliquot tree having the 7 aliquot number sequence,(48, 76 , 64, 63, 41, 1, 0). 48 is highly abundant with an aliquot sum 158% higher than itself.

    48 is the smallest number with exactly ten divisors.

    There are 11 solutions to the equation φ(x) = 48, namely 65, 104, 105, 112, 130, 140, 144, 156, 168, 180 and 210. This is more than any integer below 48, making 48 a highly totient number.

    Since the greatest prime factor of 482 + 1 = 2305 is 461, which is clearly more than 48 twice, 48 is a Størmer number.

    48 is in base 10 a Harshad number. It has 24, 2, 12,and 4 as factors.

    and I understand about 1/24th of the above.

    Anyway – on the very day, I will be in Indy to catch friend-of-NN.c Laura Lippman’s book tour for Life Sentences, which will be interesting.

    Full report on that will be forthcoming, God willin’ and the river don’t rise…

    1344 chars

  45. Gasman said on March 13, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I’ll support Stewart and Colbert getting press credentials. After all, they’ve done more legitimate reporting than many of the schlubs that are wasting space in the White House press corps.

    While we’re at it, let’s yank the press credentials from anyone from FoxNews. They cannot credibly claim to be anything other than partisan cheerleaders. Their version of the Ministry of Truth is many things, but it is not journalism.

    What is that deafening silence I don’t hear on the right? It’s the conservatives not giving Obama credit for the upward movement of the stock market over the last four days. They sure as hell blamed him when it went down. So much so, that their latest trope is to try and assign all of the bad numbers to Obama’s status as presumptive D nominee as early as last June or so. Never mind that the numbers don’t even line up correctly. Why let the facts get in the way of partisan propaganda? If President Obama gets the blame for the rain, then he gets credit for the sunshine.

    1030 chars

  46. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Gas, on Obama’s performance, I’m still taking a wait and see approach. He has a very difficult task and I think he needs at least a year or so before we get a sense on how he’s doing.

    If President Obama gets the blame for the rain, then he gets credit for the sunshine.

    Oh yeah, like when everyone here did that for Bush. Especially you. Yeah, I remember that…

    378 chars

  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    We’re not done until the Dow hits 5500. I’d bet a York Peppermint Patty on it. Then we start creeping back up to a rational 9000 or so, starting this coming fall, taking about three years.

    But what do i know? Boo-yah! Anyhow, i don’t blame or credit Obama for much of anything stock-wise right now. Cramer’s “destruction of wealth” line was over the top — i think of it as an evaporation of wealth that never existed as a solid other than in a crystalline state.

    471 chars

  48. Connie said on March 13, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Brian, I am about a third of the way through “Life Sentences” and can’t put it down.

    84 chars

  49. Gasman said on March 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Bush was the cock who was constantly taking credit for the sunrise. No wait, he was just the cock.

    What precisely about our current economic woes would you ascribe to W? It’s clear that about 84% of Americans realize that Obama inherited this mess from his incompetent predecessor.

    To his credit, Obama hasn’t claimed credit for anything yet.

    If you think my previous criticisms of W have been unwarranted or unfair, please, by all means point out specific examples. Be sure to explain how and why you feel I unfairly maligned these clowns. In light of some of the recent revelations regarding John Yoo’s memos or Cheney’s hit squad, my rants were not nearly paranoid enough, or even paranoid at all. It turns out my cries about W & the Dick abusing the Constitution were right all along.

    813 chars

  50. LA Mary said on March 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Danny, did you see the show when Jon Stewart went after the financial cable shows? He did not single out any of those guys. He went after all of them and showed clips of all of them giving unbelievably bad information right up to this fall when everything went to hell. Cramer was on The Daily Show because he offered to be on. First he went on other shows which had not criticized him and whined about Jon Stewart picking on him, then he went on The Daily Show.

    462 chars

  51. Danny said on March 13, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Okay, I’ve company, so I’ll make this short.

    One if you think that this worldwide economic situation is all George Bush’s fault, well, you’re high.

    Second, a while back you wouldn’t even give Bush credit for no terrorists attacks since 9/11.

    247 chars

  52. Gasman said on March 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    The same rules apply; if you give Bush credit for no terrorist attacks after 9/11 you must hold him responsible for the attacks that occurred on 9/11. Otherwise, you are cherry picking blame and credit.

    If the other swipe is directed at me, I never blamed W exclusively. I also don’t get high. If I want to feel dizzy and disoriented I just read a few of your posts.

    380 chars

  53. beb said on March 13, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Actually there was a terrorist attack after 9/11/ Someone sent letters filled with anthrax to various people including members of Congress.

    146 chars

  54. brian stouder said on March 13, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Connie – aren’t you closer to Carmel than I am? You should go to that event (at their library) too, and then we can double the NN.c contingent there. The event is free, although they do ask that you rsvp so they know how many folks will be there.

    246 chars

  55. brian stouder said on March 13, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    btw – just finished watching Double Indemnity on TMC; I’ll never make it to The Postman Always Rings Twice tonight, but it’s the Lana Turner/John Garfield one.

    159 chars

  56. coozledad said on March 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

    beb: But that was the terrorism that is acceptable to Republicans. You know, clinic bombings, federal buildings razed by racist freaks, shites with a brain pan full of Beck and Limbaugh cutting a few people in half at a church, or blasting people to shreds at Olympic park. It’s the kosher kind. God sanctioned, and party approved. It’s only when the other slavering fanatics do it that it’s terrorism.
    They’ll go to their graves licking that preening failure’s arse.

    468 chars

  57. Bill said on March 14, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Michael G. I was living in C-U and drove past the Assembly Hall every day on the way to work. After completing the bottom and top halves of the “saucer,” they had a machine that moved around the rim with cable under tension; as the tension around the rim increased, the lower half was raised into its current position. Quite a feat of engineering for 1961.

    359 chars

  58. basset said on March 14, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I remember seeing Stephen Stills at the Indiana U. Assembly Hall in about 1972… a building at least as weird-looking, but in a different way. Stills walked out on stage, looked around, & said “Who designed this place – it looks like it’s about to take off!”

    Saw “Watchmen” at the IMAX last night. Most interesting.

    327 chars

  59. Dexter said on March 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    time for a ride …i think i shall air-up the Giant Simple Seven Cruiser and head here:


    116 chars

  60. beb said on March 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Cooledad at 56:

    Love the snark.

    But the antrax attack is a serious matter because the FBI has not fofund who was involved, the recent stuff about the deceased researcher isn’t standing up for review. It’s enough to make one wonder if this wasn’t something Dick Cheney cooked up just to make sure America pissed its pants. I know that conspiracy nutty but….

    366 chars

  61. Connie said on March 14, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Brian, I am tucked up by the north state line and it is a long way to Carmel. Plus you have to drive through Kokomo. I did get to hear Lippman at a big library conference about a year ago, and get a book autographed.

    217 chars

  62. brian stouder said on March 14, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Connie – well, doggone. For whatever reason, I thought you were downstate.

    And indeed – I’ve driven through Kokomo before – which ain’t fun; but it beats stopping there!

    Actually though – a summer ago, we were staying with Pam’s family in Logansport, and for whatever reason, we went to Kokomo (maybe for a movie? who knows) and ate lunch at a Damons there…and they had a fill-out-the-slip-for-a-chance-to-win-a-bycycle thing, so we did that. Hours later, back in Logansport, we got a call from Damons saying we had won! – so the next day, we went back to Kokomo and collected the bike (a very cute girly-girl pink bike with a banana seat and sparkly paint, that became Shelby’s)….and we had lunch at another Kokomo chain restaurant…the one with the big stone out in front of it.

    I still feel a little guilty about not having another lunch at the place that gave us the bike, but whaddaya gonna do? The young folks wanted something else!

    973 chars

  63. MaryRC said on March 14, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    LAMary beat me to it. Jon Stewart didn’t even target Cramer at first — his first show was a response to Santelli’s rant from the CME floor. Stewart took a swing at CNBC in general and included Cramer, Maria Bartiromo and whoever that hapless fool was who fawned all over Sir Alan Stanford. Cramer was the only one who struck back, turning it into a Stewart-Cramer “feud”. It’s interesting to note that if Santelli hadn’t cancelled a scheduled appearance on Stewart’s show, the whole episode might never have become as big as it did. Stewart might have left a few marks on Santelli during the interview but it would not have received a fraction of the attention his anti-CNBC rant did. After that it was Cramer who kept it alive.

    736 chars

  64. Connie said on March 15, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Don’t worry about it Brian, that Damon’s is long gone. And the rock out front restaurant is Grindstone Charlies, when I actually DID live downstate we visited the one in Columbus regularly.

    190 chars