NewsTrust J-hunt: The final five

My stint as host of NewsTrust’s journalism topic area comes to an end today. Here are five stories I submitted this morning:

I could write an entire post on the last item, but I’ll just say this: Stewart is perhaps the best and most important media critic we’ve had since A.J. Liebling.

His dissection of CNBC’s Jim Cramer last night — as well as his two eight-minute pieces lampooning the so-called experts of CNBC (here and here) — will have, I predict, a major and well-deserved negative effect on the network.

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10 thoughts on “NewsTrust J-hunt: The final five

  1. bostonmediawatch

    This CNBC stuff is so overblown. It’s all based on the premise that CNBC somehow has a duty to do journalism, or vet the statements of its guests after the fact. It doesn’t.CNBC is background noise for traders and wannabe traders. At any given time, it has an audience of about 150,000. It has no influence on the movements of the markets.During the tech bubble and the housing bubble, CNBC had regular segments that addressed whether there was a bubble or not – they’d have one guy who said “yes” and one guy who said “no” – what the hell else do you expect? When there’s a bubble, everybody knows it while it’s happening, and nobody wants to be the first one out.Their “experts” like Cramer, are paid to give their opinions, and that’s what they do. They’re right half the time and wrong hald the time, which believe it or not, is plenty good enough to make a killing in the market.I don’t watch Stewart a lot, but when I do, I like him, he and his writers are excellent. But I re-watched his famous Crossfire appearance this morning, and it just looks willingly naive.It’s like telling Entertainment Tonight they should be doing exposes about accounting tricks in the movie business.

  2. tim

    I think Stewart is great but he only went at CNBC when they were critical of Obama and when Santelli cancelled his appearance(wich cramer should have done) so the most important media critic is a stretch seeing that he is selective on who he targets but that 8 minute rant against the entire peacock network with Dora and boots was top notch

  3. Brad

    It’s like telling Entertainment Tonight they should be doing exposes about accounting tricks in the movie business.There’s a crucial element you’re overlooking here…and one that Stewart did not overlook, although I wished he’d hammered this point home more:Entertainment Tonight is not reporting on something that is a critical component of the vast majority of Americans’ retirement funds.I don’t give a rat’s ass about ET because I can choose whether or not I go to the movies. I don’t have nearly as much choice about my retirement. Unless I stuff it all in a mattress, my retirement is – either directly or indirectly – dependent on the stock market. And because of that, Cramer and his ilk are essentially defrauding the entire country as much as the bozos at Bear Stearns and AIG.Stewart often, and wisely, reminds people that his show is SUPPOSED to be a comedy show. That the show leading into his is “puppets making crank phone calls”. He does not purport to be an objective journalist. Or a financial advisor. CNBC claims to be both and not only fails at it, but intentionally fails at it. That’s usually referred to as “fraud”.And there’s a reason why CNBC has no effect on the markets: because they are bought and paid for by the same people who run (or “manipulate”) the markets. If Cramer had come on his show, and every other show, starting in 2005 and screamed that Bear Stearns, and AIG, and every other one of these companies was doing unbelievably stupid things that would inevitably lead to a crash that would destroy the entire economy? Or that Bernie Madoff own numbers demonstrated that he could not possibly be anything but a fraud running a Ponzi scheme? And he kept screaming it until someone at the SEC was forced to take notice? You better believe that would influence the markets!There’s another aspect here, too: Stewart is reminding people that there must be consequences for so many supposed “watchdogs” being asleep on duty. That the people in charge cannot be allowed to just waltz away unscathed.

  4. bostonmediawatch

    As is Stewart’s, your basic premise is wrong. CNBC is not supposed to be a watchdog. In terms of objective journalism, its duty is to present opposing views, and that’s what it does.If Cramer makes a bad call on a stock, he is not committing fraud.99% of the blogoswarm never watch CNBC, they are just going along with the crowd.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucDkoqwflF4

  5. Brad

    Dude, did you WATCH the clips Stewart presented? There’s one that’s a huge promo for Cramer’s show that says “In Cramer We Trust”. That’s telling people that CNBC is watching out for them, which means they’re asserting a watchdog role.If Cramer makes a bad call on a stock, and it plunges 50%, that’s manipulating the market. And as those TheStreet.com clips Stewart showed rather amply demonstrate, Cramer is not above manipulating the market to his own ends. So it’s not a stretch to believe that Cramer is so corrupt that he’s using his own show to manipulate the market to his own gain. Or to the gain of people he knows or others at CNBC.THAT is fraud.I personally believe it’s also morally “fraud”, if not legally so, for CNBC to allow Cramer to spew the crap he does when there are undoubtedly people out there who know he’s gonna say something loud and stupid, it’s gonna affect the market, and they can profit from it. It’s almost a textbook “pump and dump” strategy. And it doesn’t matter if 99% of the audience out there isn’t listening. All it takes is the right 1% to completely screw up the entire economy. It doesn’t even take that much. If just one CEO lies to Cramer about how great his company’s doing while he’s quietly selling off all his stock because the company’s really going down the tubes? That’s all it takes.While I don’t want to speak too much for others…I think a lot of us, the esteemed Mr. Kennedy included, would take issue with your definition of “objective journalism”, too. OJ is not having opposing views on your show so both of them can lie to you. OJ is about independent reporting of the actual facts, and then putting those facts into context. CNBC does nothing of the sort…like many (all?) of the cable news outlets, and many of the major news outlets, they make up their own facts (or accept false facts spoon-fed to them) and warp the context to fit an agenda.

  6. Brad

    Sorry, I should be explicit: if Cramer makes a bad call on a stock ON HIS SHOW, and the stock drops 50% BECAUSE – IN FULL OR IN PART – OF HIS COMMENTS. Then that’s manipulating the market.

  7. bostonmediawatch

    “There’s one that’s a huge promo for Cramer’s show that says “In Cramer We Trust”. That’s telling people that CNBC is watching out for them, which means they’re asserting a watchdog role.”Are you kidding? That’s a pretty extreme extrapolation.“…And as those TheStreet.com clips Stewart showed rather amply demonstrate, Cramer is not above manipulating the market to his own ends.”He did, when he ran a hedge fund. He got caught, got sanctioned, and now he’s under trading restrictions. He made those clips specifically to educate about how things could work.“So it’s not a stretch to believe that Cramer is so corrupt that he’s using his own show to manipulate the market to his own gain. Or to the gain of people he knows or others at CNBC.THAT is fraud.”Cramer cannot manipulate the market by what he says on his TV show. He might influence a handful of indivduals who watch his show; that doesn’t move the market.Giving your opinion about what a stock will do and why is perfectly legal. Sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong. Should stock picking on TV be banned? Or just Cramer?You are basically accusing him of current fraud; it would be nice if you had some evidence.“I personally believe it’s also morally “fraud”, if not legally so, for CNBC to allow Cramer to spew the crap he does when there are undoubtedly people out there who know he’s gonna say something loud and stupid, it’s gonna affect the market, and they can profit from it. It’s almost a textbook “pump and dump” strategy.””Sorry, I should be explicit: if Cramer makes a bad call on a stock ON HIS SHOW, and the stock drops 50% BECAUSE – IN FULL OR IN PART – OF HIS COMMENTS. Then that’s manipulating the market.”Nothing Cramer says affects the market except in afterhours trading in the 5 minutes after he says it.“While I don’t want to speak too much for others…I think a lot of us, the esteemed Mr. Kennedy included, would take issue with your definition of “objective journalism”, too. OJ is not having opposing views on your show so both of them can lie to you. OJ is about independent reporting of the actual facts, and then putting those facts into context. CNBC does nothing of the sort…like many (all?) of the cable news outlets, and many of the major news outlets, they make up their own facts (or accept false facts spoon-fed to them) and warp the context to fit an agenda.”And how many hours would you say you’ve watched CNBC over the last 2 years?CNBC is akin to sportsradio for traders.Stewart latched onto CNBC because of Santelli’s “loser” comment and Cramer’s comments about Obama. Politically, that’s fair; it appears that CNBC has recently encouraged its talent to spice up their comments with stuff like that, and it’s a mistake.But making Santelli, Cramer, and CNBC scapegoats for what happened with the most recent bubble is invading the wrong country.Financial bubbles happen due to a convergence of lax regulation, monetary policy (ie. easy credit), and psychology. Everybody recognizes a bubble when it’s happening. They last as long as they do because nobody wants to get off the gravy train.CNBC and its talent have nothing to do with creating or extending bubbles, and are powerless to prevent or mitigate them.

  8. Aaron Read

    CNBC is akin to sportsradio for traders.Okay then, let’s say everyone’s entire financial future depends on who wins the World Series this year. If that were the case, I think people would care a lot more about what’s being said on sportsradio, wouldn’t they?

  9. bostonmediawatch

    Yeah. And would it be sportsradio’s responsibility to dig into the financials of all the players on both teams and declare that Team A would win because the star player on Team B had credit problems and might throw games?

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