Is Jon Stewart Now The Most Trusted Man In America?

jon-stewartWell, is he?

After his complete dismantling of CNBC’s Jim Cramer on “The Daily Show” last week it’s a fair question.  In a half hour for the TV ages, Stewart delivered a public shaming not just to the hyperbolic host of “Mad Money” but also to the so-called mainstream media for being asleep at the wheel in the years leading up to the current economic crash.

Stewart, whether he likes it or not,  has now crossed the threshold from satirist to, well, statesman.  He took apart Cramer like the relentless chairman of a congressional investigation … he had the incriminating evidence (video clips of Cramer talking about shady financial industry practices) … he had Cramer admitting that he had been lied to by insiders and CEO’s to manipulate his investment advice … and in the show’s most stunning passage, Cramer sheepishly acknowledging that indeed there was a “two market” system at work during the Wall Street bubble years.

This wasn’t Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, or Katie Couric delivering the goods … or even “60 Minutes” for that matter … this was Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart giving John and Jane Q. Public a lesson on the tremors that eventually caused an economic tsunami.

Now, to be fair to the folks who deliver “real news” Stewart has the advantage of having it both ways … he can play it straight or for laughs … and always has an escape hatch marked “comedy.”  He has the flexibility to be wrong about something and then just pass it off as “entertainment.” Hard news people have to be right, or pay the price (or write for “The Onion”).  There are scores of “great” stories out there that are just that, stories.  Those pesky facts keep getting in the way.  Stewart with a wink and chuckle can tip toe around all that legwork.

That’s not what he was doing with Cramer though.  He was on a righteous crusade to highlight the paradox of CNBC … can a financial network that is so entrenched in Wall Street machinations, honestly and accurately report on it?  The best Cramer could do was admit that he, and his network could do .. and must do .. a better job.

So, who would have thunk it?  Jon Stewart, suddenly one of the most powerful, and credible voices in American broadcasting.  Is he the new Will Rogers?  Is he the old Al Franken?  One thing’s for sure, he’s now a media force to be reckoned with.

And that’s no joke.

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4 Responses

  1. Jon Stewart has been my hero for years. It’s about time more people begin to watch and listen to this man.

  2. That show was a thing of beauty. I hope the mainstream media as a group start getting that we want them to actually investigate and report on genuine news. We want them to be skeptical and find more than one side to every story. We want them to act as part of the system of checks and balances and not simply as mouthpieces.

    There are alternative news sources out there.

  3. Jon Stewart has a knack for hitting the nail on the head. He can say exactly what we’re thinking, expletives and all, as we watch these absurd circumstances unfold. Through the whole financial meltdown, Stewart has been alone in exposing how and why the system went haywire. While networks like CNN barely scratch the surface, Jon Stewart has given the average layman a startling look into the type of manipulation that plays out every day behind the scenes in the financial sector. He asks the questions we haven’t heard anyone else ask, and he’s not afraid to confront & even ridicule those who should have known better. Sure, several networks aired Rick Santelli’s rant from the stock exchange floor against a homeowner bailout , but Stewart took the extra step to point out how hypocrytical it is for Wall St. players to complain about “loser homeowners” being bailed out when the financial industry as a whole has taken hundred of billions of dollars in handouts. The Daily Show ran the video of Jim Cramer discussing the ease with which he & others manipulated the markets for their own purposes. Why wasn’t THAT on CNBC, CNN, HN or anywhwere else?
    I used to catch an occasional episode of “The Daily Show”, but now I make more of an effort to tune in. By contrast, I NEVER bought into anything on CNBC, and now it’s obvious that they are simply cheerleaders for the financial institutions. Even CNN needs to work on their credibility. Thank you, Jon Stewart, for using your position on a comedy network to put the “real” news networks to shame. Maybe they’ll wake up & start giving us the FULL story.

  4. I wish Canada had a John Stewart — God knows we need one, with our corrupt government.

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