Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

Love the Crow

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Cramer changed!

Now that’s some atonement.

Kill the Pigs

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While Obama rails against AIG thanks to yet another scandal with bonuses and payoffs and Bernie Madoff goes to jail (or not) smiling after having a last dinner (and seriously, what restaurant in New York City would serve him?) complete with white wine and aperitifs, I’m thoroughly disgusted with not only the level of corruption, which was as pervasive as, say, late Ming dynasty eyebrow-singing ridiculousness, but in the completely unrepentant attitudes of its participants.

Not only have they destroyed so much in their efforts to make a quick buck or line their own pockets, but even when they’re publicly branded and brought under close scrutiny they still take a mile with every inch. They’re rotten to the core, and disastrous to the well-being of, well, everybody.

Again, the more bloodthirsty of me harkens back a couple years to former China FDA head Zheng Xaioyu’s public apology and summary execution for gross corruption as head of a regulatory agency. Here, even jail time is rare for white collar criminals (hell, Madoff is appealing (!) his jailing) so a part of me must admire the straight-forwardness of China’s handling of white collar crime that hurts real people.

Now, I admired Jim Cramer’s gracious eating of crow even in the face of admitting to short-selling and other devious, underhanded practices in the art of making a quick buck, even though I know that cathartic feeling of watching him simper was irrational, but he proved to be – in the end – a somewhat conscientious man who knew he did wrong. I don’t get that from Madoff or AIG. It’s not “I did wrong,” it’s “okay, you caught me.”

So help me, when the revolution comes…

Court Jesters

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It’s only the court jester who’s allowed to be honest.

It remains to be see whether Jim Cramer’s capricious behavior will be curbed in a surprisingly amenable acceptance to be held at a higher journalistic standard, or if he’ll go like Tucker Carlson of Crossfire infamy after such a thorough grilling by Jon Stewart, but either way it was a breath of fresh air to see such honesty poured over the airwaves.

I don’t regularly watch TV (hell, I’ve been following Stewart’s ministrations online) but from what little I see I’d say there’s a little intelligence shining through all the usual marketing bullshit. Carlson was a fool; Cramer was still shown to be an intelligent and thoughtful person – at least capable of change – even after that drumming. An uplifting piece after all.

It’s nice to have a temporary reprieve of lucidity amidst the bile, invective and outright drive for destruction currently blasting on all channels. Cramer himself made some very salient points: In the beginning of the interview, he answered to Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC by saying, “he must have come from a different economic background than me.” Now that was pointing out a 500lb gorilla in the room, in an interview that was all about prescience.

That said, that the NYTimes deemed this spat worthy of the ‘front page’ of its online edition and NBC’s playing up the division (even to the point of having Martha Stewart interview Cramer, opening a whole new can of worms when it comes to hypocrisy) speaks to Jon Stewart’s point about the dissolution of journalistic integrity. After all, the heart of the issue is that Jon Stewart is on a channel devoted to comedy on basic cable. Jim Cramer is on a news network. The New York Times is a newspaper. Why is Jon Stewart the one making the news?

Meta Meta

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The NYTimes did a piece on CNBC’s suffusion of commentary with its news, centering on the ever-bombastic Jim Cramer. Two things came to mind:

1) The Daily Show said it better.

2) The NYTimes clearly got their cue from The Daily Show.

Making the article a paradox, considering its… suffusion of commentary. Not that Cramer shouldn’t be beaten to death with sticks, but this whole media thing needs to be sorted out, y’know?

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