“Was it a fair fight? No, it wasn’t even a fight. I came on with the idea of taking a high road approach and discussing the issues, obviously [Stewart] came on strictly to try to humiliate me,” Cramer said. “It was brutal. Was he stand-up? Absolutely not. Did he comport himself as a gentleman? Hardly. It was a deposition; he wants to be a prosecutor.”
Cramer also says that The Daily Show selectively edited him to make him look bad, but the linked article shows that selective editing probably helps him more than it hurts. The article lets him go on at length, repeating the same things over and over and getting progressively more self-absorbed. And it ends with a quote that unwittingly sums up everything:
“I am a highly controversial figure [on “Mad Money”]. I was not a controversial figure when it came to making money. And I can tell that guy, when he’s made his first 100 million in the market, I will respect his judgment about the market.”
The reason that sums up everything is that it’s the whole worldview that defines the CNBC/Fox Business culture (as opposed to legitimate financial reporting like The Wall Street Journal has traditionally done). It’s the idea that people who make lots of money do so because they are better than everyone else. Cramer made lots of money, therefore his judgment is not in question. The idea that you should take people’s word for everything just because they made lots of money in the market was the very thing Stewart was criticizing in the interview. And it’s still going over Cramer’s head.
Finally, though, he’s clearly enjoying the whole thing (getting defensive, but still enjoying it), and in a weird way he’s probably helping the network by taking all the heat. As has been pointed out many times, this isn’t about Jim Cramer; it started with Rick Santelli and his call for a John Galtian rebellion of the elites, which has led to tomorrow’s “Tea Party protests” against the idea of the government helping Santelli’s “losers” (more recently redefined as people who don’t make enough money to pay income tax). But it’s not about Rick Santelli, either; it’s about the notion that making bets is inherently the most productive and noble thing a person can do, and that those who bet successfully are the people entitled to the most respect and rewards. Even most of the people who are tea partying don’t agree with that, but it’s the founding principle of much of cable news. Cramer’s doing his network a major service by changing the subject to whether or not he himself is awesome.