Jim Cramer finally surfaces on Today show; calls Jon Stewart "naive ... misleading"
Cramer's latest shot in the foot came this morning, during his first appearance on the Today show after his historic on-air spanking from Daily Show host Jon Stewart a week ago.
In a series of statements that read like they were scripted by his CNBC producers, Cramer offered a defense of the channel that he didn't bother bringing up on The Daily Show, saying Stewart's broadsides were "naive and misleading" without specifically addressing any of his criticisms Essentially, the CNBC host took back all the admission of mistakes and promises to do better that he had made on Stewart's show seven days ago.
In particular, Cramer and host Meredith Vieira never addressed embarrassing clips unearthed by Stewart showing the CNBC host describing how he used to manipulate markets as a hedge fund manager in ways he never talks about on his TV show. Or clips Stewart unearthed before his appearance on the show displaying a history of bad calls and cozying up to corporate titans.
"Other people bear so much more responsibility -- the politicians, the regulators, the SEC, the lenders, the investment banks . . . You gonna compare the media to AIG?" said Cramer, explaining why he didn't say any of this on the Today show as "an attempt to take the high road."
"Sometimes high roads aren't well greeted in the media," he added, as CNBC news anchor Erin Burnett looked on, stony-faced, as if someone had crapped all over her shoes. Even she recognizes the damage Cramer does every time he tries defending his indefensible actions.
Worse, NBC has decided to double-down on knuckleheads like Cramer and volatile analyst Rick Santelli, allowing these guys to spout their nonsense across the Today show and MSNBC because they are seen as ratings magnets for the financial news channel. Nevermind that Santelli was recently discouraging criticism of the huge bonuses for AIG executives weeks after ginning-up viewer outrage over the government helping individual citizens with their mortgage troubles.
Cramer's comments this morning echoed recent protests by NBC president Jeff Zucker, who called Stewart's criticism of CNBC "unfair" and "absurd." Reportedly, CNBC staffers were upset with Cramer after his Daily Show appearance, for not defending the channel more aggressively and seeming to agree with too many of Stewart's barbs.
Now Cramer has flip-flopped again -- declaring Stewart's devastating analysis "a naive focus" seven days after promising the Comedy Central host he would try to do better in covering America's financial crisis in the future.
Why exactly does anyone trust anything this guy has to say?