After admitting culpability during Daily Show interview, Cramer now calls Stewart's criticism of CNBC "naïve and misleading"

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

On Today, Jim Cramer asserted of Daily Show host Jon Stewart that "it was a naïve and misleading thing to attack the media" for their coverage of the economic recession, just one week after acknowledging that CNBC's reporting deserved criticism during an appearance on The Daily Show.

During the March 19 edition of NBC's Today, Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money, asserted of Daily Show host Jon Stewart that "it was a naïve and misleading thing to attack the media" for their coverage of the economic recession, just one week after acknowledging that CNBC's reporting deserved criticism during an appearance on The Daily Show.

According to Reuters, following Stewart's interview of Cramer, NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker reportedly attacked Stewart over his criticism of CNBC in his March 18 keynote address at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York. According to Reuters, Zucker called Stewart "unfair," "absurd," and "completely out of line." Additionally, according to mediabistro.com's TVNewser blog, an unnamed "tipster" said that MSNBC executives were asked not to air the Stewart interview in their programming the day following Cramer's Daily Show appearance.

On Today, co-host Meredith Vieira stated that Stewart accused Cramer and CNBC of being "cheerleaders for the financial bubble; that you also had allowed CEOs to come on the shows and essentially lie to the American public without really challenging them." Viera then asked: "I don't want to rehash the whole thing, but did he have a point?" Cramer responded, "I don't think so." He later said that "it was a naïve and misleading thing to attack the media. We -- we weren't behind this. CNBC, in particular, has been out front on this." During the interview, Vieira asked: "So, you don't think the media bears any responsibility, Jim?" Cramer responded:

CRAMER: I think that there are people who bear so much more responsibility that it's just wrong-headed -- the politicians, the regulators, the SEC, the lenders, the investment banks. I mean, listen to AIG. I mean, you're going to compare the media to AIG? There's some people who really should get in line to do -- to really take the responsibility. And the media, it's just a naïve focus. It really is, Meredith.

However, during his March 12 appearance on The Daily Show, Cramer asserted: "I think that everyone could come in under criticism because we all should have seen it more." Cramer continued: "[A]dmittedly, this is a terrible one, and everybody got it wrong. I got a lot of things wrong, because I think it was kind of a one-in-a-million shot. But I don't think anyone should be spared in this environment." Cramer also stated of CNBC that "we're fair game. We're a big network. We've been out front and we've made mistakes."

From the March 19 edition of NBC's Today:

VIEIRA: OK, before I let you go, Jim, this is your first appearance here since the appearance on Jon Stewart's show.

CRAMER: You noticed?

VIEIRA: I noticed -- I noticed that. He was tough on you. You've had a rough week -- he was very tough on you, very tough on CNBC -- basically said that you guys had been cheerleaders for the financial bubble; that you also had allowed CEOs to come on the shows and essentially lie to the American public without really challenging them. I don't want to rehash the whole thing, but did he have a point?

CRAMER: I don't think so. I think --

VIEIRA: Not on any of this?

CRAMER: Well, I think it was a naïve and misleading thing to attack the media. We -- we weren't behind this. CNBC, in particular, has been out front on this. [CNBC senior economics reporter] Steve Liesman broke the first big, big subprime story. [CNBC anchor and reporter] David Faber did the best work that I've seen of any journalist -- print. [CNBC host] Erin [Burnett] has been at the forefront; talked about it so much we used to joke about, "Erin, how often are you going to talk about subprime?"

VIEIRA: So, you don't think the media bears any responsibility, Jim?

CRAMER: I think that there are people who bear so much more responsibility that it's just wrong-headed -- the politicians, the regulators, the SEC, the lenders, the investment banks. I mean, listen to AIG. I mean, you're going to compare the media to AIG? There's some people who really should get in line to do -- to really take the responsibility. And the media, it's just a naïve focus. It really is, Meredith.

VIEIRA: OK, and at the end of the interview you said you were going to try harder in terms of talking to the American public. What did you mean by that?

CRAMER: I think everyone has to. This is a crisis where everybody has to re-examine -- you know, that was an attempt, as it was throughout the interview, to take a high road, which I was brought up to think was a good thing to do, and to go in for a discussion. Sometimes high roads aren't well greeted in the media, but I believe that you should always try to do better. I think that that's kind of the fundament of what we all as journalists try to do.

VIEIRA: Jim Cramer, thank you very much. Erin Burnett as well.

From the March 12 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

STEWART: Let me just explain to you very quickly one thing that I think is somewhat misinterpreted: This was not directed at you, per se. I just want to let you know that. We threw some banana cream pies at CNBC; you got a little, obviously, schmutz on your jacket from it, took exception.

CRAMER: I think that everyone could come in under criticism --

STEWART: Right.

CRAMER: -- because we all should have seen it more. I mean, admittedly, this is a terrible one, and everybody got it wrong. I got a lot of things wrong, because I think it was kind of a one-in-a-million shot. But I don't think anyone should be spared in this environment.

STEWART: So then, if I may, why were you mad at us?

CRAMER: No --

STEWART: Because I was under the impression that you thought we were being unfair.

CRAMER: No, you had my friend [New York Times business columnist] Joe Nocera on, and Joe called me and said, "Jim, do I need to apologize to you?" I said, "No, we're fair game. We're a big network. We've been out front and we've made mistakes. We've got 17 hours of live TV a day to do." But I certainly --

STEWART: Maybe you could cut down on that. We're going to go away. We're gonna come right back with Jim Cramer, right after this.

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
NBC
Person
Jim Cramer
Show/Publication
Today Show
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