The Smartest Man on Television
I’m sure by now, most of America has either seen or been made aware of the face off between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer of CNBC that took place on The Daily Show last week. If you haven’t, I urge you to visit thedailyshow.com and watch the complete 3-part unedited version. Go ahead… I can wait. It’s totally worth it…
<theme to Jeopardy plays>…
Naturally, the pundits have been weighing in all over the place. Many of them are somewhat in awe of Stewart (as am I… quite often, actually). And some of them are sort of inexplicably miffed at the idea that this comedian -oh, horror of horrors, a comedian, with a brain- has taken it upon himself to deliver what they view as sanctimonious vitriol. You know what, Tucker… Just shut up. Shut. Up. Seriously.
Those that share his reactionary outrage (Doucheborough… haaa!) seem to take specific issue with the argument that Stewart is a comedian… and believe that he is actually a conspirator of some liberal strategy that they see as uninformed, unfair and smug. Forgive me… but that is some unbelievable bullshit.
Tucker, it isn’t that Jon Stewart is liberal… it’s that he’s smarter than you.
Let’s start at the beginning:
There is something fundamentally infantile and yes, comical, about an informed financial reporter unleashing a friggin’ war cry in the middle of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, calling homeowners ‘losers’. Seriously, was he at a football game? Just razzing the other team? I mean… he put that out there. And that kind of lunacy is absolutely fair game for Stewart & Co. to use on their show.
So get a fucking hold of yourself, Tucker. It wasn’t because Santelli criticized Obama’s policy. It was because that’s a totally idiotic thing to air on your network and then call yourself an authority on anything, let alone finance.
The parameters of comedy are not defined by what is fair or objective, which Stewart out and out declares, during his interview with Cramer. ALL GOOD COMEDIANS HAVE AN IDEOLOGY… whether it’s part of the act or an authentic source of origin. Yes, The Daily Show is at times reflective of this ideology. What it is NOT, however, is some kind of extension of an actual political agenda. That’s just a ludicrous and, sorry, stupid thing to say. Really, Tucker? You think The Daily Show is some kind of fucking arm of the Democratic Party? Part of me thinks you’re faking… because ‘you’re stupid, but you’re not stupid, you know what I’m saying.’
Stewart’s ‘attack’ (such a crybaby thing to call it) on CNBC was a comedic segment that was meant to highlight a general absurdity about the network and its narrative… a network that postures as a knowledgeable resource, but in essence offers up the most minimal amount of substance that is rarely based in truth, by way of spastic commentators who use props and sound cues, and yet we common folk are made to believe that their world of numbers and stock quotes exists in this intellectually coded headspace that is beyond our limits of understanding.
It’s a fucking joke. You know it, and I know it. So Stewart turned it into an actual joke on his comedy show.
Jim Cramer was merely ONE component of that 8-minute segment. And it was Cramer, who took issue with it. He asked to appear on The Daily Show. He made it personal. HE CHANGED THE GAME.
When you come on a comedy show to ‘defend’ yourself, you further legitimize said comedy show’s critique of your antics. You are removing the constructs of the joke and exposing its ideology. And if that’s the case… you can’t get pissed about the host taking off his comedian hat and becoming a private citizen for the duration of the interview.
And yeah, the lead up to the interview was obviously presented as a Jon vs. Jim spectacle.
At several points in the interview, Stewart articulates that his frustration is mainly incited by the methods that are employed by the network, AS A WHOLE.
“As Carol King would say: This song ain’t about you.”
And this is TRULY the bigger point. HE’S TOTALLY RIGHT. He more or less illustrated this on the show. The befuddled and sweaty face of Jim Cramer was a direct result of Stewart’s -not righteousness- but accuracy.
There totally is an overall ignorance projected on CNBC about what we now clearly see is a two-market system -much of it controlled by this weird ‘side bet’ that was orchestrated by some very powerful guys who had access to a lot of money that DID NOT BELONG TO THEM- and that ignorance is one big act. And what Stewart so beautifully articulated (he always does, and I’m always so grateful that his brain can access those words so fluidly) is that the fact that pundits at CNBC have the stones to behave as though they didn’t know that shit was going on from the beginning, is TOTAL. FUCKING. BULLSHIT.
So Tucker… Joe… you’re not really offended by Jon’s tone during the interview, or the fact that you think he’s really a political asset, not a comedian. You’re pissed because he got there before you did. You’re pissed because Jon does your job, as well as his own, BETTER than you have… EVER.
Because deep down… you recognize his integrity and you’re jealous. Jealous, I say. J-E-A-L-O-U-S. And you know that if there was even the slightest chance that he’d say yes, your producers would hand over your jobs to him in a heartbeat.
But he won’t. He likes what he does, and he’s fantastic at it. He’d be just as funny delivering ‘fart noises and funny faces.’ But that’s not in the grab bag right now. And though the current times provide him the material to create the best comedy he can, I truly believe he’d rather not have it to write. He’d rather live in a decent world with indecent comedy, than the other way around.