When Jim Cramer first stepped out onto The Daily Show set and Jim and Jon exchanged their pleasantries, I was worried that this would be a quiet, respectful meeting of two quiet, respectful men.
I guess my worries were unfounded.
Holy crap, that might have been the most uncomfortable ten minutes of television since, well...
The results of the bout are in: EW, Variety, MSN and the decision is unanimous. Jon Stewart didn't just defeat Jim Cramer...he disemboweled him. It is funny that I should run that Crossfire clip in this blog. That was the last time Jon Stewart made it his personal mission to demolish a television program. And I don't know if you have noticed but Crossfire doesn't exist anymore.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that pretty soon Mad Money with Jim Cramer will not exist as well. I do not understand any of the technical aspects of what they were talking about. I am inclined to believe Jon Stewart a little more because I have "known" him longer but to be fair, with my tiny economical knowledge there is no way to tell if this was a fair debate.
But as a life-long consumer of the American media I can reasonably conclude that Jim Cramer's career is over. And he knew it even before he stepped out onto the stage. He looked like a death row inmate walking to the chair, and he spoke softly, sparsely and carefully. If you need more proof that Cramer knew he was toast, just check out the actual transcript of every thing he said during the second half of this "interview." What he actually said is in black, while what he really meant is in red.
"I think that there are two kinds of people. People who come out and made good calls and bad calls and they are professionals. And people who make good calls and bad calls and say they make only good calls and they are liars. I try to make as many good calls as I can."
"Please just pretend to buy this bullshit and let's move on."
"This is a hyperbolic sample....something called short-selling. It's not something I did but...this is the type of shenanigans."
"Fuck, you got me."
"I am trying to expose this stuff. Exactly what you guys do. And I'm trying to get the regulators to look at it."
"I need to identify myself with you since America clearly likes you way more than me."
"OK... The regulators watch the tape, they can catch these shenanigans. It's a shame Madoff didn't get caught OK...OK...My first reaction is: we could absolutely do better. I can do a better job. I have been working with members of Congress on the uptick rule...I'm trying, I'm trying...I aint succeeding, I'm trying."
"Please spare my life."
"How bout if I try it. Try doing that. I'll try doing that."
*in-between heaving sobs* "PLEEEEEASE, STOP TORTURING ME!"
"I've had a lot of CEOs lie to me on the show. I don't have subpoena power....It's your show for heaven's-sake!"
"STOP WITH THE CLIPS, I AM HALF-WAY DEAD ALREADY!"
"Don't you want guys like me, who have been in it, to show the shenanigans? What else can I do?"
"I am making my last stand, right here, right now."
*seven minutes later*
"I wish I had done a better job. I was late in saying it was bad."
"Why hath you wrought this on me, Stewart? I am but a man. I cannot endure this brand of thrashing . You hath ruined me, stripped me down. I will never find a job in television ever again. I rue the day I ever crossed you. And thus, I die, right now, right here in this studio, before you, the audience and God, himself, I die. Goodbye,World. Goodbye, Grover's Corners, Goodbye Sycamore Tree. I wish I had appreciated you all when I was alive. But now I shake loose this mortal coil and leave the soul the the determination of the fates. May God have Mercy on my soul and may the winds guide me towards the heavens before the shackles weigh me down and the fires consume me. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye and having said my piece, I now die"
*falls of chair with "X"s for eyes and his tongue hanging out of his mouth*
And Jon Stewart goes back to "telling fart jokes for a living."
What a night of television, folks, what a night.