“Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel
March 5, 2009 5:15 AM   Subscribe

Don't Fuck with the Daily Show.

In case you forgot who Rick Santelli was. (outside the US? click here)
posted by Lord_Pall (192 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah some of their commentator's predictions became inaccurate a while into the future! BURNED. TDS and Stewart are insufferable.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 5:25 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I know it's uncool to actually summarize, but is there any chance you can summarize for those of us who do not live in the You Ass Hey and thus cannot see the clip?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:26 AM on March 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


The whole time I watched this I kept wondering if they hadn't seen ornate insect's great FPP?
posted by From Bklyn at 5:27 AM on March 5, 2009


For those of us outside of the U.S who can't watch the clip, does anyone know what episode and segment this was from? Was it last nights?
posted by Staggering Jack at 5:27 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


If by "a while", you mean "almost the very next day," then you're on to something.

The Daily Show makes a clear case that CNBC was cheerleading for failing businesses and encouraging irresponsible spending as though it were sound financial practice, and then, when things went tits up, had one of its reporters suddenly decide to scream at Obama the moment he suggests helping the people who were hurt by this, instead of simply bail out millionaires. What part of this did you miss, norabarnacl3, if that is your real fake name?
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:29 AM on March 5, 2009 [122 favorites]


Is it fun being a billionaire?
posted by sciurus at 5:34 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah some of their commentator's predictions became inaccurate a while into the future!

As Astro Zombie said, they were pretty much consistently, mind-boggling wrong. They were supposed to be business journalists, but they turned out to be nothing but stock market cheerleaders. Having said that, norabarnacl3, I'd be more than willing to take a second look at the CNBC crew if you were able to provide some video or a transcript of a few predictions of the economic downturn, the crisis of CDSs, or DOW 6,500. I haven't seen any evidence that they knew about any of this stuff.
posted by billysumday at 5:35 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


To be fair, out of the 10,000 or so business beat writers, how many got the downturn right?

Their failure to figure out that it was a house of cards seems more of an indictment of human nature (or perhaps the journalistic profession) than a personal failing. Where they did fail was at not being over entitled, whiny, stick-their-fingers-in-their-ears-and-sing-la-la-la-la-la when the market doesn't do what they expect, apologize for nothing blow-hards.

Snark is our release norabarnacl3, without it, we have to baldly face the fact that our economy has been run into the ground by untreated gambling addicts. Its a "you have to laugh or you'll cry" situation.
posted by wires at 5:36 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Impressive trolling, norabarnacl3, but I don't think much of your summarizing. I would say the clip eviscerates CNBC's empty-headed cheerleading for the bubble on its way up, and their ostrich-like denial of it on the way down. Simply by replaying the fatuous assertions of its "reporters" and contrasting them with the truth of events, Jon Stewart demonstrated in eight minutes why nobody from CNBC ought ever to be taken seriously, and how they betrayed those who turned to them for information.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:36 AM on March 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


I've seen this all over the internet, but only on video players that won't work in my browser. :((
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on March 5, 2009


I watch it over the inner-web, just google "Jon Stewart."

And, uh, if you thought 'Cramer' was an ass before...
posted by From Bklyn at 5:37 AM on March 5, 2009


Here is an example of how CNBC are so enraptured by the glowingly optimistic type-A bullshitters they encounter every day, that they cannot even hear pessimism, even if it is stated to them repeatedly by respected economists. Instead they just make fun of the economists.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:37 AM on March 5, 2009 [14 favorites]




For those of us outside of the U.S who can't watch the clip, does anyone know what episode and segment this was from? Was it last nights?


Yes, and it was as good a takedown of "business journalism," which is what CNBC claims to be practicing, as I can recall.

My favorite are the clips of Cramer making wildly optimistic statements, followed by the facts of what really happened to the market, often within a couple of days or certainly, a few months.
posted by etaoin at 5:37 AM on March 5, 2009


I'm in Finland and was able to watch the video without problem..

I'll look around for a mirror.
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:38 AM on March 5, 2009


On lack of preview, I like how we're all using the word "cheerleaders".
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:38 AM on March 5, 2009


I watch it (from Germany) here.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:40 AM on March 5, 2009


Also, the real bite here is in TDS pointing out the cheerleading of CNBC to buy stocks, buy real estate, buy everything, buy, buy, buy, do it do it do it, hurry up, there won't be any left... OH SHIT everything went to crap and now the government wants to bail out homeowners? The same homeowners we pushed and prodded to gobble up real estate on our shows every day for years on end? Those homeowners? Oh, well FUCK THEM NOW!

It's that specific hypocrisy that chaps my ass about the Santelli rant. Three years ago, was he ranting, "Don't buy houses! They're overvalued! It's a bubble! You can't afford those loans, don't dooooo iiiiiit!!!" Of course he didn't it. Some prudent investors were saying that, but most people wanting the gravy train to keep on churning.
posted by billysumday at 5:40 AM on March 5, 2009 [13 favorites]


The Daily Show makes a clear case that CNBC was cheerleading for failing businesses and encouraging irresponsible spending as though it were sound financial practice

One of the things that really annoyed me was that CNBC and a lot of newspaper business reporters used groups like the National Association of Realtors as their only source for real estate market predictions during the early part of the subprime crisis. I don't fault the reporters themselves for not being able to predict the impact that it would have on the economy, but seeing people say "The crisis is over, now's a good time to buy!" over and over again back in 2007 when clearly that wasn't the case was sickening.
posted by burnmp3s at 5:41 AM on March 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I was going to say "meh", thinking is was going to be a minute or two on the subject, but I'm watching it on hulu.com now and ten minutes in they just keep tearing CNBC apart. TDS has its problems, but CNBC deserves this.
posted by Science! at 5:41 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've seen this all over the internet, but only on video players that won't work in my browser. :((

I'm in the same sad boat as DU on this one.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:42 AM on March 5, 2009


Well, one guy seems to have been not moving deck chairs around the Titanic.
He keeps pointing at the big hole in the boat, but no one was listening.

Well no one at Fox News or CNBC.

Peter Schiff, ladies and gentlemen.

Yay! Austrian economics!
posted by willmize at 5:53 AM on March 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


The Colbert Report last night was also one of the best ever, with his incredible parody of Glenn Beck's War Room that went on for a very long, very hilarious 2nd act.
posted by TypographicalError at 5:57 AM on March 5, 2009


TDS is missing the point here. CNBC has simply been doing a quite brilliant homage to Welles' War of the Worlds broadcast back in '38. We're almost two thirds of the way through CNBC's decade long project - soon we'll be seeing reports about Mad Max-style highway combat and priest-kings dedicating burnt out WalMarts to Almighty Set.

This is not to say that TDS has no right to be irked with CNBC. When this project was first conceived it was during the height of Da Vinci Code-mania. Originally, the banking booms were to lead to the revelation that Christ had returned and was actually Jim Cramer (thus all the throwing stuff around on Mad Money - allusion to Christ and the moneylenders) who was in the process of defeating the Illuminati or something. That fell through when Cramer asked for more money, so CNBC has been scrambling ever since. They then tried to follow up by hiring Aaron Sorkin to plot out the rest of the show, but like most of his post-West Wing efforts, it's been a muddled wash at best.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:01 AM on March 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


A good case of inviting themselves to a gunfight with a knife.

CNBC should have known that if they annoyed TDS, Stewart had a trove of archive material he could put together to show how bad CNBC financial "experts" were at their professed line of work, and make people laugh (if somewhat sardonically).

How is CNBC supposed to reply to this? Find clips of Stewart not being funny (it does happen), and make a financial show out of it?
posted by Skeptic at 6:03 AM on March 5, 2009 [15 favorites]


Yeah some of their commentator's predictions became inaccurate a while into the future! BURNED. TDS and Stewart are insufferable.

I'll agree that TDS and Stewart are insufferable. Colbert has transitioned into this new political landscape way better.
posted by mazola at 6:03 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


For those of us in Canada and other blocked regions, the clip is watchable here.
posted by Staggering Jack at 6:04 AM on March 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


The differences between The Daily Show and anything on CNBC:

1. One of them admits that it's presenting fake news.
2. One of them is funny.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:05 AM on March 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


I'll agree that TDS and Stewart are insufferable. Colbert has transitioned into this new political landscape way better.

Actually, the past few episodes of TDS have had some great moments. It's not like the Murdoch Channel has gone away, or stopped echoing talking points. When several Fox News shows made it a point to call Biden forgetting the URL "recovery.gov" a 'gaffe,' something had to be up.
posted by JHarris at 6:14 AM on March 5, 2009


Peter Schiff, ladies and gentlemen.

Astounding. Every one of those fucking asshats who scoffed at him so rudely should be walloped repeatedly with a Louisville Slugger while Schiff dances around them chanting, "I told you so; I told you so." Only he's probably way too classy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:18 AM on March 5, 2009


Colbert has transitioned into this new political landscape way better.

I liked Colbert a lot better when he was playing it straight. He's wearing his wink much too obviously now.
posted by Slothrup at 6:21 AM on March 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Remember reading in Dot.Con about the internet / late 90s bubble that the economic pundits were a main part of the problem, continually talking up stocks (often for their own profits). What goes around, comes around.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:24 AM on March 5, 2009


There is not a single competant finance professional who does not mock CNBC on a regular basis. Last week I heard one of their "Journalists" completely fail to grasp the difference between Marginal and Average tax rates. TDS' takedown was good not great - but only because the really insanely idiotic stuff that gets said on CNBC requires a teeny tiny background in markets that you couldn't realy expect a general TV viewership to have.

My favorite is when they play "guess why the market is doing what its doing" but make it sound like a definitive answer.
posted by JPD at 6:26 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


That Peter Schiff YouTube video is awesome!
posted by Slothrup at 6:31 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


East Manitoba, was I the only one who saw that clip and immediately thought of this scene from The Meaning of Life?
posted by condour75 at 6:43 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your favorite fake news show sucks.
posted by Poolio at 6:46 AM on March 5, 2009


"It's amazing. We've had a lot of executives on and they've been saying the same thing. That in fact their businesses are doing okay."

What a truly idiotic thing to say. Especially since it really sounded like she meant it.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:50 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Peter Schiff demonstrates that you can speak truth to power, but power is going to tend to respond by laughing at you and treating you like you're insane.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:51 AM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Actually, it's not just that segment. The entire episode was a takedown of business "journalism". The second segment was the Fox talking point that the market reacts negatively to Obama's stimulus speeches (just like they did when we won WWII). The interview was with a business writer for the NY Times (mostly just Jon ranting and the reporter nodding in agreement), and the stinger was Neon-Colored Genital Wart Jim Cramer berating Obama like some 2nd grade school teacher because "the market" didn't like his speech.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:54 AM on March 5, 2009


How is CNBC supposed to reply to this? Find clips of Stewart not being funny (it does happen), and make a financial show out of it?

It would probably out perform the market.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:54 AM on March 5, 2009


Peter Schiff, ladies and gentlemen.

Schiff was wrong about enough of the details that following the advice in his books would have lost you a significant amount of your money too. Really, the fault of CNBC is not so much that they are bad at predicting the stock market, because almost nobody can do that consistently and if you believe A Random Walk Down Wall Street it's a fundamentally impossible task.

The real fault is that, as TDS points out, their analysis is usually a combination of people who have a vested interesting in lying about what is going on, and people who have no idea of what is going on. There are tough questions that could be asked of CEOs, but for the most part they go unasked. Really it's a problem with television news in general, because the focus has shifted towards random opinions and entertainment (such as Jim Cramer's antics) rather than actually trying to be accurate or report facts.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:59 AM on March 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


Yeah some of their commentator's predictions became inaccurate a while into the future!

Dude, this isn't like predicting that Mickey Rourke is going to win the Oscar for the Wrestler and then Sean Penn wins instead. These bad predictions probably caused some people to lose their shirt. If a cable network could be sued for financial malpractice, CNBC would be just as bankrupt as Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers.
posted by jonp72 at 7:00 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's amazing. We've had a lot of executives on and they've been saying the same thing. That in fact their businesses are doing okay."

What a truly idiotic thing to say. Especially since it really sounded like she meant it.


I really don't think you can truly understand the heights of vacuous self-importance humanity can reach until you've been in journalism school with the people who really, really want to be TV talking heads. They are an extraordinary class of human being, whose mix of vanity, earnestness, self-regard and inexplicable faith in their own native intelligence is a sight to behold, far more baroque and borderline psychotic than your garden variety I-wanna-be-in-pictures fame whore.

Maybe there's a dog on your street, perhaps a tragically inbred Labrador, very sweet in its way but clearly mentally unsound, who's always running the other way when you come by to bark fiercely at nothing at all. Now take one of those yappy Paris Hiton purse breeds and mate it with the poor dumb Lab. Take the progeny, give them no discipline training whatsoever as pups, and just as they reach maturity put 'em through police dog training so they sniff at the crotches of passersby with impunity and bark and nip and snarl at every twitch and motion. Imagine the mess of piddle and torn couches and humped legs that would result.

That's your average newscast's stage set, folks. That's who's guarding the televisual fort.
posted by gompa at 7:03 AM on March 5, 2009 [93 favorites]


That was great. It continues to amaze me that anybody takes CNBC seriously.
posted by diogenes at 7:10 AM on March 5, 2009




The reason TDS is more honest than other news stations it that it looks backwards. TDS can rewind through their Beta and PVR archives and see what someone said years ago, against what they're saying today. Most other news shows live in the extreme present, where the world disappears when they can't see it. The past doesn't sell - what's happening right now is the only thing that matters at all.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on March 5, 2009 [39 favorites]


Cramer and his fellow blowhards all keep making the same mistake- assuming that "the Market" is the proper arbiter of all things hallowed. Sure, a lot of Main Street is invested and getting pounded, but it is still primarily the big, self-interested, money that moves the boards.

The situation is bad, but a good bit of the downward price march is "the Market" throwing a hissy fit because the gravy train is being challenged.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:22 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Peter Schiff , ladies and gentlemen.
Schiff was wrong

Mish vs Peter Schiff
posted by preparat at 7:25 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fuck you! I got mine...
posted by symbioid at 7:31 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


...a good bit of the downward price march is "the Market" throwing a hissy fit because the gravy train is being challenged.

Benny, while I have no evidence in support of this view, this is something that I have suspected for some time now.
posted by Mister_A at 7:32 AM on March 5, 2009


Well, to be fair to Cramer, he was the only one on CNBC who said to take your money out of the stock market, but that was back in August of 2007. After that he would often amend what he said by stating this is a trader's market, not an investor's market, so if you're in it for the long haul, keep your money out of the equities markets. But the criticism by TDS is worthwhile, although I wish they had showed a bit more Art Cashin, Larry Kudlow and those other lame cheerleaders. Cramer's flamboyant, but he was right about the overall direction from a while back.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:33 AM on March 5, 2009


The situation is bad, but a good bit of the downward price march is "the Market" throwing a hissy fit because the gravy train is being challenged.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:22 AM on March 5


I LOLed. Do you understand that "the Market" is already hiring government contract lawyers in DC to figure out how they can get get their hands on that stimulus money? Money for bridges? No problem. They'll build you a $10 million bridge for the low low price of $40 million. And don't worry that they'll waste your money -- they'll be sure to use the cheapest illegal immigrant labor they can afford and deny knowledge of later.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:34 AM on March 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


"The real fault is that, as TDS points out, their analysis is usually a combination of people who have a vested interesting in lying about what is going on, and people who have no idea of what is going on."

That's exactly right, and as was mentioned in the piece, it's difficult to tell who is a reporter and who is a commentator.

One thing MSNBC can tell you is how Wall St. is feeling. That can be useful, but it's important to remember that the view from Wall St. is a myopic view which tends to gauge everything by how the stock markets react.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:37 AM on March 5, 2009


Dude, this isn't like predicting that Mickey Rourke is going to win the Oscar for the Wrestler and then Sean Penn wins instead. These bad predictions probably caused some people to lose their shirt.

Clearly you haven't been introduced to the high stakes world of Oscars Derivatives. Incidentally, I made a killing short selling Benjamin Button!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:38 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that this was a great segment by TDS standards. The montage of clips juxtaposed with white text on a black background didn't do it for me. You could easily argue that some of the shorter sound bytes were taken out of context (not that I would). It's weak.
posted by sswiller at 7:38 AM on March 5, 2009


"One thing MSNBC can tell you is how Wall St. is feeling."

Excuse me. CNBC.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:38 AM on March 5, 2009


"I'm not sure that this was a great segment by TDS standards. The montage of clips juxtaposed with white text on a black background didn't do it for me."

Yeah, it looked more like a political ad or a Frontline clip. And when people started booing because of the numbers being shown, well, it got a little weird.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:40 AM on March 5, 2009


I'm tempted to snark on CNBC re: CNBC parent company GE.

(TDS guest slipped a little GE jab into his interview)
posted by Hammond Rye at 7:48 AM on March 5, 2009


And what's CNBC's headline on the story?

GE CFO Says Concerns About GE Capital Are 'Overdone'

And he should know, he is the CFO.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:52 AM on March 5, 2009


"One thing MSNBC can tell you is how Wall St. is feeling."

Excuse me. CNBC.


krinklyfig: but wasn't that belief (the notion that CNBC can offer insight into what the market is "feeling" based on its five-second analysis of recent news events) a big part of what the segment was meant to challenge?

this practice of reading tea leaves and vaguely ascribing particular reasons to the overall direction of the market by the financial press has always bothered me.

there are lots of traders of different kinds, making decisions based on a lot of factors that have nothing to do with the latest hot news items--maybe they're dropping a bunch of stocks because they're about to have margins called and they need liquidity, maybe they're pulling out in response to an inside tip on bad revenue reports, etc.--traders on the market are not the borg. just because, as a statistical inevitability, the market appears to have a particular "direction" doesn't mean that that direction represents anything more than the aggregate of a bunch of independent variables. and yet, the financial press report on market swings as if the market is just some really powerful dude with roughly the same political outlook as your cranky, reactionary father-in-law who pines nostalgically for the days when colored folks drank out of separate water fountains.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:53 AM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Cramer's flamboyant, but he was right about the overall direction from a while back.

You mean like in March of last year when he said "I call a bottom...for the whole stock market" or in October of 2007 when he said "a brutal recession...will now be avoided"?

Cramer's trick is that he makes a lot of wildly different calls all the time, so that years later he can take the correct ones out of context and point to how correct he was. The best resource I know of for tracking his overall stock market predictions is Guru Grades, and the best resource I know of for tracking his individual stock picks is CAPS.

Currently, in guessing whether the stock market is going to go up or down, his overall historical accuracy is around 46% on Guru Grades, and in guessing whether a particular stock is going to outperform or underperform the market, his accuracy is again around 46% on CAPS. That's slightly below average, and in my opinion it's no coincidence that in the long term all of these stock market predictions have near 50% accuracy (the same as predicting by flipping a coin).
posted by burnmp3s at 7:54 AM on March 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


I don't fault the reporters themselves for not being able to predict the impact that it would have on the economy, but seeing people say "The crisis is over, now's a good time to buy!" over and over again back in 2007 when clearly that wasn't the case was sickening.
posted by burnmp3s



I'm a drywall hanger and I have no training in economics. Well over 4 years ago I can remember guys standing around on the job saying, "Who is buying these $300,000 houses?" "Boys I'll tell ya, there are a lot of them houses just a sitting. Ain't nobody round here can afford these houses" "I'm glad to have the work, but it's not gonna last, to many houses being built, and not enough of them selling."

Yeah a bunch of construction workers sitting around at lunch, doing basic math and figuring out (4 years ago) that something was wrong. You know, with the math.

"Well boys lets get back to it." Sorry Duck, we're out of work.
posted by nola at 7:55 AM on March 5, 2009 [37 favorites]


I liked Colbert a lot better when he was playing it straight. He's wearing his wink much too obviously now.

Stewart's incessant mugging through the show and especially the giggling during interviews drives me nuts. It's like he doesn't trust the audience to know funny. It's the 70s sitcom laughtrack of the 21st century. I'll take the wink any day.

Plus the writing on the Colbert Report is way tight.
posted by mazola at 7:56 AM on March 5, 2009


What gompa said. He'd know much better than I, being an actual journalist with a journalism degree, but when I was at Western doing my library thing we shared the same building and library as the journalism program, so I saw those people every day. Some of them even dressed up in their little newscaster outfits to go to class.

I took a couple of journalism electives as part of my own degree, so I got to know a few of the students in that program. Over beers one evening I got to talking with one of them, a guy who was in the habit of vociferously disparaging the intelligence of most of his fellow j-students, especially the wannabe tee-vee people. When I asked him why he thought the program attracted so many dumbasses he told me "It's hard work being a good journalist. But it's the easiest thing in the world to be a shitty one."
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


There is not a single competant finance professional who does not mock CNBC on a regular basis. Last week I heard one of their "Journalists" completely fail to grasp the difference between Marginal and Average tax rates.

In high school I had a classmate ask me to tutor her in math for a few days before she took the SATs. I agreed. I was surprised to learn that she couldn't do basic math. Like, reading a word problem she didn't know if she should multiply or divide. Subsequently, I was not surprised to learn that she got a low score.

At our 10 year reunion, I met her again. Her job? Financial journalist. Hosts a show. WTF.
posted by DU at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2009 [22 favorites]


talking heads: "But how do we make money?"
economists: "You're all going to be poor."

hilarious.
posted by eustatic at 8:11 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Cramer's trick is that he makes a lot of wildly different calls all the time, so that years later he can take the correct ones out of context and point to how correct he was. The best resource I know of for tracking his overall stock market predictions is Guru Grades, and the best resource I know of for tracking his individual stock picks is CAPS."

Yes, I have a CAPS account. I follow Cramer's picks, among others.

One of the problems with making a statement like I did here is that someone would want to challenge me on every aspect of Cramer's accuracy. I'm not trying to vouch for him. But he's never said anything like he did in 2007 before, and his predictions were off in timing, but overall correct. He saw that the underlying fundamentals were shot, and it was just a matter of time before it all fell apart. In fact, if you look at the CAPS blogs, there's an ongoing joke about Cramer, calling his show "Cramer's Stop Trading!" (instead of "Mad Money"). I don't have a problem with calling him out or any other analyst, and he picks so many that it's hard to imagine he "does his homework" on them like he tells everyone else to, but the way TDS presented it, it's almost as if there's a memory hole where his warnings about the state of the market went, and all they showed were his bad predictions, which all analysts make. I'm not really a fan, and it's easy to pierce his big balloon, but I have to give the guy a little credit.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:11 AM on March 5, 2009


his predictions were off in timing, but overall correct

You are going to die tomorrow. My prediction may be off in timing, but overall correct.
posted by DU at 8:13 AM on March 5, 2009 [14 favorites]


I know it's uncool to actually summarize, but is there any chance you can summarize for those of us who do not live in the You Ass Hey and thus cannot see the clip?

well, since you put it so nicely, sure thing. here you go:
posted by shmegegge at 8:18 AM on March 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


I would never fuck with the Daily Show.

While i am not a person of faith myself, I have the utmost respect for those who preach to the choir on a nightly basis.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:35 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


"You are going to die tomorrow. My prediction may be off in timing, but overall correct."

Yeah, OK, guess I'm not being doctrinaire enough for you.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:35 AM on March 5, 2009


You Ass Hey

And I woke up this morning thinking I would die with "Usians" being the dumbest thing I had ever read in my life.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:36 AM on March 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


And I woke up this morning thinking I would die with "Usians" being the dumbest thing I had ever read in my life.

Worse than Thomas Friedman?
posted by JHarris at 8:48 AM on March 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, to be fair to Cramer, he was the only one on CNBC who said to take your money out of the stock market, but that was back in August of 2007.

krinklyfig's point is absolutely correct. Cramer's famous "they know nothing rant" was about how bad a shape the i-banks were in, and many, including myself, mocked him for it. Within two weeks it was obvious to everyone, me included, that Cramer had been right. The problem was not that Cramer is a blowhard, the problem was that he was screaming when everyone else was blissfully oblivious.

The markets are not like politics, and TDS does not understand how CNBC works. CNN is mostly stories that no one gives a shit about until a girl falls down a well or tanks surround a Waco compound, and then everyone is glued to CNN. CNBC works on the same principle (it is the same medium) but there is nothing to show. This is why absolutely every single trading floor has CNBC on, but with the sound down. However, when odd things start happening, you turn it up, because CNBC is going to have the people on with intelligent guess as to what's going on about 2 months before CNN will have them.

TDS works for politics where the news cycle is relatively slow. Stimulus for a week or two, then budget for a week or two, blah blah blah. Ultimately it doesn't matter, because the people watching political coverage have no ability to change the news.

In the markets, the CEO is on CNBC on Friday saying there is no problem, investors watching CNBC ignore him and dump the stock creating an immediate short term problem, and by Sunday night the Fed is selling the bank to another bank for a ballcap and stick of gum.

In other words, other networks show you an event that is happening as news. On CNBC, the news is the event. The interview with the CEO or Buffet or that is on CNBC is the news event itself. That why no finance professional takes it seriously, but they all watch it.

The other thing that TDS doesn't get is that the markets don't care what you think. This isn't politics. There is no difference of opinion. This is right and wrong. They don't care what Rick Santelli or Cramer thinks about Obama or the budget. Markets care if you are right. Cramer has $100 million in bonds. He doesn't have to be right all the time, or even most of the time. He just has to be right about enough big things to outweigh all the wrong ones. It is undeniable that he has been, otherwise he'd be poor.

What TDS gets away with is never having to be accountable. Snarking about wall street bankers and economists is fun, because no one is ever going to turn to TDS for any kind of an answer to anything. It's a diversion, an amusement. It might as well be a juggling bear.

On another thread below, delmoi made a great point that a lot of message board prognosticators, "never makes any actual predictions, just a hearty stew of adjectives and DOOM." I'd change DOOM to laughs here.

It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

6 months from now, will the market better or worse than today? Please identify specifically the index or stock upon which your answer is based. 1 year, will the inflation rate be greater than now or or not? 3 years, will tax revenues greater than today or not? Will gold be higher or lower than it is at as of the posting of this comment in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years? You don't need a government bailout or a stimulus plan.. all you have to do is be right. How hard can that be?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:00 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong

TDS wasn't making fun of them for being wrong. Well, OK, a little. TDS was pointing out that these "loser homeowners" were following the advice that CNBC gave them and then CNBC (in the person of Santelli) turned around and blamed them, the homeowners.
posted by DU at 9:04 AM on March 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


Los Estadounidense.
posted by delmoi at 9:05 AM on March 5, 2009


Not the classiest move, but I'm just gonna link to my last Daily Show comment and add a "Yay!"

Hopefully this back-to-basics media bodyslam means The Daily Show has sorted out its little identity crisis re: New Non-Satan President.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:09 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What TDS gets away with is never having to be accountable. Snarking about wall street bankers and economists is fun, because no one is ever going to turn to TDS for any kind of an answer to anything. It's a diversion, an amusement. It might as well be a juggling bear.

This right here is some very elegantly constructed bullshit. What TDS is demonstrating - as it has, day in and day out, for a decade now - is that the mainstream media generally and the cable news networks in particular are the juggling bears.

Someone upthread noted that only TDS digs through the vaults to hold the talking heads to account, and they do it to Dick "never said that" Cheney and his Sunday-morning-earnest-interviewer lapdogs as well as CNBC. Hell, they're doing it to Obama every time he eloquently repeats something that's a near-verbatim match for something the loathed Dubya once said. And it's not because they're the only ones who can - as you're pointing out, Pastabagel, the CNBCs of the world have nothing but dead air to fill - but because they're the only ones who bother.

This is what TDS is - it's a long-form, elaborate, satirical performance art project with a single message at its core, repeated each night in a different way, and that message is this: The mainstream news media is ethically compromised, intellectually bankrupt and wholly unworthy of its vaunted institutional heft. These fuckers are part of the problem. A big part, made bigger by their fine-tailored defenders-of-the-public-interest costumes. That's the whole point of Stewart and Colbert, and they do their job much, much better than 99 percent of the Fourth Estate's bobbleheads do theirs.
posted by gompa at 9:16 AM on March 5, 2009 [78 favorites]


Stewart's incessant mugging through the show and especially the giggling during interviews drives me nuts. It's like he doesn't trust the audience to know funny. It's the 70s sitcom laughtrack of the 21st century.

True, Jon Stewart's mugging is mildly annoying at times, but it's surely no worse than the mugging of Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, etc., etc. Plus, it's not as if Colbert never mugs.

I kind of prefer 1970s sitcom laugh tracks to the "I'm so funny and clever that I don't need a laugh track" shtick of some recent-vintage sitcoms which shall remain nameless, but that's just me.
posted by blucevalo at 9:16 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The markets are not like politics, and TDS does not understand how CNBC works. CNN is mostly stories that no one gives a shit about until a girl falls down a well or tanks surround a Waco compound, and then everyone is glued to CNN. CNBC works on the same principle (it is the same medium) but there is nothing to show. This is why absolutely every single trading floor has CNBC on, but with the sound down. However, when odd things start happening, you turn it up, because CNBC is going to have the people on with intelligent guess as to what's going on about 2 months before CNN will have them.

Well, point one: "Intelligent"?

Point two: The Daily Show understands how CNBC works better than many of CNBC's viewers do. The problem with CNBC and the like is that 24-hour coverage (worse, cheerleading) of the stock markets is a fucking terrible idea. It does nothing but perpetuate bubbles and crashes as viewers obediently buy and sell en masse whatever the fuck they're told to. Of course Cramer is right sometimes: The very nature of his show means every "prediction" is a self-fulfilling prophesy. CNBC creates its own news. That is not good. That is not ethical. That is not helpful.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 AM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I do think it's a bit unfair to Call out someone like Cramer for being wrong about various stocks, a good analyst only has to be right more then 50% of the time. You would expect almost every analyst to get it wrong about everything during the meltdown. Obviously you'll always be able to go back and find instances of people being wrong, like the dailyshow did.

On the other hand, from what I've read CNBC had been relentlessly positive. Much more then 50% of the time, and had no idea about what was happening. So it does make some sense to take them to task for that, especially given the fact that CNBC and I guess an amorphous "Wallstreet" is now trying to get into politics by slamming Obama for not using his magical superpowers to make the DOW go up or something.

It's a little transparent. They know there is popular outrage right now, primarily directed at them, and they want to focus that outrage at the government and Obama. I don't think it will work very well. I mean, rants from Trading floors? Jim Cramer whining about Obama? I just don't think it will resonate.
posted by delmoi at 9:25 AM on March 5, 2009


And fuck it but I've gotta point out one other cowpie. This?

It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

This is truly the last refuge of the indefensible argument. Think you could do better, smart guy? Well, perhaps not, but then again I don't rake in a six-figure salary to dispense financial advice on a national news network.
posted by gompa at 9:28 AM on March 5, 2009 [14 favorites]


filthy light thief : The reason TDS is more honest than other news stations it that it looks backwards. TDS can rewind through their Beta and PVR archives and see what someone said years ago, against what they're saying today. Most other news shows live in the extreme present, where the world disappears when they can't see it. The past doesn't sell - what's happening right now is the only thing that matters at all.

There is an awful lot of truth here. To be honest, I would love to see this model used in a "real" news program; archiving everything and comparing what a person is saying now versus what they said last month. TDS does it really well, but as Stewart is prone to point out, they are fake news and generally not taken too seriously.

Hell, I would love it even more if there was a minimum of editorializing whenever possible, just so that the program wouldn't be accused of siding one way or another, just play a clip of someone saying something, and a few seconds later, show a clip of them saying the exact opposite at an earlier time. Let the contradiction itself be the news and let the audience decide for themselves.

We need news that remembers that stuff happened before yesterday, and confronts those who's memories are short when it's politically convenient.
posted by quin at 9:29 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

I make fun of them for thinking (or pretending) that they can accurately make predictions despite all available evidence showing otherwise. I'm not claiming I know more about the market than they do. I'm claiming that I'm smart enough to know that stock picking and market timing is a fool's game. I put my money where my mouth is by rebalancing a diversified portfolio every three months.
posted by diogenes at 9:34 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

Give me a cable financial news network with the resources and connections of GE/NBC and I'll be happy to rock your world.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:36 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

I'm smart enough to not care.. And, the irony there is that if more people cared less and just got on with their lives, the market would be a lot healthier (less rent seeking, fewer bubbles, etc.).
posted by Chuckles at 9:43 AM on March 5, 2009


Cramer and his fellow blowhards all keep making the same mistake- assuming that "the Market" is the proper arbiter of all things hallowed.

For most of my adult life I considered The Market as a contra-indicator, often of what was financially sound, but almost always of what was right. When I had a 401K, I minimized my investment in "market based" funds in favor of guaranteed interest-bearing choices that underperformed the market between crashes. Sadly, a combination of other non-investment-related financial mistakes and circumstances way out of my control combined to wipe out my nest egg 4-5 years ago so my schadenfreude is rather restrained. Still, being broke and subsisting on mostly-fixed disability income means I don't have to care what The Market's doing, and these days, that's not a bad place to be.

Still, if The Market has decided that it doesn't like what Obama is doing, I'd call it a good sign that he's doing the right thing. And if you're still invested in The Market right now, you're sheepishly following the people who are making these generally-immoral value judgments. There are better ways to make and save money; always have been, always will be.
posted by wendell at 9:45 AM on March 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Apparently, Jon Stewart does get off on populist outrage. That was pretty good.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:46 AM on March 5, 2009


The Colbert Report last night was also one of the best ever, with his incredible parody of Glenn Beck's War Room that went on for a very long, very hilarious 2nd act.

See, here's a reason I like facebook. I know that one of my good friends runs last night's Colbert Report on her FB profile. Watching it now...

posted by mrgrimm at 9:50 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


On preview: It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

I did. I had a running 'competition' with a co-worker who went with the high-flying investments from 1994 to 2002 and when I last compared results with him, post dot-com bubble, I was ahead. If the costs of life-threatening heath crises, a marital disaster, dishonest 'friends' and stupid credit card handling hadn't sucked everything out of my accounts, I would be so far ahead of the rest of you losers. Period.
posted by wendell at 9:52 AM on March 5, 2009


On CNBC, the news is the event. The interview with the CEO or Buffet or that is on CNBC is the news event itself. That why no finance professional takes it seriously, but they all watch it. The other thing that TDS doesn't get is that the markets don't care what you think.

So the market doesn't care what we think, but what CNBC thinks is all that matters? I'm confused. Should I just let CNBC do my thinking for me?
posted by mek at 9:53 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


[I added a link to the post for non-US people who couldn't see the vid via Comedy Central]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:58 AM on March 5, 2009


also, no commercials ...

I watched up through Stephen Colbert's Doom Bunker. Pretty funny. When he turned the extra fog on and said "I lost you for a second, colonel," the guy said, "you lost me a long time ago." Also, "ghost malls!" made me laugh.

posted by mrgrimm at 10:00 AM on March 5, 2009


The problem is most apparent on CNBC but all the cable "news" programs have been blurring the line with their commentators/journalists. CNN and MSNBC put lots of folks on who have stakes in particular issues or agendas and float them out as if they were disinterested experts. Santelli is no more a journalist--as he was claiming to be when he was whining about what the White House said about him--than is my yellow Lab. CNN and MSNBC routinely bring in people with deep connections to both political parties, ignore those connections and label them as commentators discussing matters with journalists. After a while, everyone is blurred together. There is little or no way to separate fact from opinion. CNBC takes it a step further by offering airheads as journalists, surrounded by people whose main interest is in boosting businesses.

TDS hasn't been all that funny, all the time, in recent months. Colbert's been much funnier, in my opinion, but either way, last night was a knockout combination.

I just wish they were on earlier. I fell asleep the night before, knocked out by several bronchitis-related drugs, and woke up to David Byrne and his band, all dressed in white and singing "Life is Long." For a couple of minutes, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
posted by etaoin at 10:02 AM on March 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


I do think it's a bit unfair to Call out someone like Cramer for being wrong about various stocks, a good analyst only has to be right more then 50% of the time.

But delmoi: as someone pointed out up-thread, historically Cramer's accuracy has hovered at significantly less than 50%:

Currently, in guessing whether the stock market is going to go up or down, his overall historical accuracy is around 46% on Guru Grades, and in guessing whether a particular stock is going to outperform or underperform the market, his accuracy is again around 46% on CAPS.

But the deeper truth is, only a vanishingly small number of analysts ever manage to achieve better than 50% accuracy for any sustained length of time for one simple reason: Playing the markets is a crap shoot and analysts are overpaid frauds. There are numerous studies that demonstrate the best analysts are no better at predicting market trends than random chance alone.

The human cognitive bias for detecting order and perceiving meaningful patterns where none in fact exist is now well known and understood. Faith in rational markets is just another example of that bias at work. Our dogged insistence on seeing the meaning and rationality behind market movements represent just one of the more pernicious examples of Sir Francis Bacon's idles of the tribe.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:02 AM on March 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


"So the market doesn't care what we think, but what CNBC thinks is all that matters? I'm confused. Should I just let CNBC do my thinking for me?"

No, it means that CNBC doesn't report the news so much, but sometimes what happens on CNBC is the news. It's a ground-floor view of the various markets, so it's right where the action is, but the talking head stuff is mostly filler. Occasionally, some bigwig will come on and say a few things, and the market will react to that. That's why the pros watch it out of the corner of their eye, because you never know when something like that will happen.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:04 AM on March 5, 2009


Here is the problem with CNBC:

Nobody who knows what they're talking about is going to give you good financial advice (beyond common sense) for free.
posted by empath at 10:06 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What etaoin said needs to be favorited, like, a million times. Repeating it here:

"The problem is most apparent on CNBC but all the cable "news" programs have been blurring the line with their commentators/journalists. CNN and MSNBC put lots of folks on who have stakes in particular issues or agendas and float them out as if they were disinterested experts. Santelli is no more a journalist--as he was claiming to be when he was whining about what the White House said about him--than is my yellow Lab. CNN and MSNBC routinely bring in people with deep connections to both political parties, ignore those connections and label them as commentators discussing matters with journalists. After a while, everyone is blurred together."
posted by saulgoodman at 10:08 AM on March 5, 2009


(I'd only add it's not just cable news. All the "news providers" do it.)
posted by saulgoodman at 10:09 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

Well, I'm just one of your dreaded lazy, self-absorbed, mindless, stupid twits, but had I flipped a coin even I would have been right more often than Jim Cramer -- apparently a paragon of virtue, brains, and hard work because he's rich and does work related to the stock market.

Your so-called "expert," with nearly unlimited resources at his disposal, is less useful to me as an investor than the dirty nickel I found under my car seat. And he's supposed to be one of the better ones! And yes, as someone with retirement and other savings, I have been "putting my money where my mouth is", mostly because I have no choice. I've lost my shirt and then some because I'm not an expert, just a stupid twit and actually listened to people like Jim "Vicar of Sewage" Cramer and kept my 401k in index funds.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:23 AM on March 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


"For most of my adult life I considered The Market as a contra-indicator, often of what was financially sound, but almost always of what was right."

I think TDS is riffing on the idea that these commentators portray themselves as non-bias authorities when in fact they're pretty self-serving and hypocritical. Whether they're right doesn't enter into it. But I think, to add to the above point, there's this assumption that somehow making money is keeping score. As though making money was proof of some competence or legitimacy.
It's not. I've found that people who are interested only in money are some of the most abhorrent human beings I've ever met.
It's easy to make money. It's so easy in the U.S. that most people barely concentrate on it and do fairly well. Anyone who pays attention, doesn't have water for guts and knows enough not to draw to an inside straight - odds are they can get rich.

The irony here, and one of the big points TDS makes, is here are a bunch of wannabe rich guys trying to get folks just trying to make a living to play their game their way - and when they do - they yell at them for being stupid enough to take their advice.
It's not enough they're lying, they're value system is screwed up from the start. It's nice to have money, but (to augment Wendell's point) it's got nothing to do with doing what's right or living a decent life.
And yet these people try to suck people into that every day. F'em. They'd be hypocrites if they were 'right' 100% of the time.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:27 AM on March 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


"CNBC and I guess an amorphous "Wallstreet" is now trying to get into politics by slamming Obama for not using his magical superpowers to make the DOW go up or something."

Excellent logic there... The magic of the marketplace is such that it should be able to be so all-consuming and resiliant that it shouldn't have to rely on a single man to make it work. By their very logic. And let's not be foolish to pretend that we have some magical dictator who calls the shots by his very word. Wait?

I thought it was the LEFT who was turning Obama into an all powerful god. Now it's Wall Street? Hmm... weird, that.

OH! He's the bad nasty god that causes volcanoes! And instead of human sacrifice, I guess Chicago Tea Parties are what we need to appease him. Or something.
posted by symbioid at 10:28 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


DU
In high school I had a classmate ask me to tutor her in math for a few days before she took the SATs. I agreed. I was surprised to learn that she couldn't do basic math. Like, reading a word problem she didn't know if she should multiply or divide. Subsequently, I was not surprised to learn that she got a low score.

At our 10 year reunion, I met her again. Her job? Financial journalist. Hosts a show. WTF.


heh, you don't know the half of it. I was ChemE at Upenn but a lot of my friends on my freshman year hall were Wharton. Being a science guy I'd never given much thought to business, so I took them at their word when they ran around talking about how they were the best of the best and they were all going to make millions. I proceeded to mock them mercilessly for the rest of first semester when a good number of them needed daily tutoring to handle the one semester of dumbed down calculus they needed to graduate. These were people who wanted to go into derivatives yet couldn't handle doing a basic derivative. And yes they now make several times my annual salary. Go grad school.

And I'm not surprised we are in the mess we are, I doubt a large percent of them knew what they were really evaluating.
posted by slapshot57 at 10:30 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hmm, even further (re: point above): is a there a sort of mirror effect with the Dems now deifying Rush as the de facto leader of the Republicans, and how the Repubs said the same thing about Obama being a Messiah figure for the Dems?

Is it a way to mock the cultishness of the other side? Just an interesting parallel/technique/strategy. Does this happen often?

/end derail...
posted by symbioid at 10:30 AM on March 5, 2009


Just for fun:

6 months from now, will the market better or worse than today?
Worse.

Please identify specifically the index or stock upon which your answer is based.
A vague, uninformed impression of all of them.

1 year, will the inflation rate be greater than now or or not?
Greater.

3 years, will tax revenues greater than today or not?
Greater.

Will gold be higher or lower than it is at as of the posting of this comment in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years?
Higher, higher, lower, lower.

You don't need a government bailout or a stimulus plan.. all you have to do is be right. How hard can that be?

Well, it's easy enough to make the predictions. I breezed through these. How right I am is up to chance, just like everybody else.

Oh, and I almost forgot: DOOM!
posted by effwerd at 10:40 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


CNN and MSNBC put lots of folks on who have stakes in particular issues or agendas and float them out as if they were disinterested experts.

This is definitely a major problem, but it isn't the root problem. After all, it didn't "just happen" that these agenda-driven commentators get presented as disinterested experts. Laziness isn't the problem here. If it was all simple laziness, then we'd get commentary from all points of the political spectrum presented this way. In fact, it is almost entirely corporate/pro-business and scam artists (where two groups don't overlap).
posted by DU at 10:42 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anyone else remember the original Daily Show with Craig Kilborn? When the whole show consisted of him mugging for the camera and basically commanding the audience to "look at how pretty I am!", and the interviews were with like Penn and Teller and people from other shows on Comedy Central? And then he got canned for telling some magazine that the show's producer would totally blow him if he asked, which is how Stewart got the job? It's kind of weird to compare what it is now, all culturally relevant and stuff, with how it began.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:43 AM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I remember The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, which seems like it was essentially the same thing.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:59 AM on March 5, 2009


But delmoi: as someone pointed out up-thread, historically Cramer's accuracy has hovered at significantly less than 50%:

I saw that. I wonder how he performs relative to the rest of the field though, given the downturn. Would investing using his advice resulted in better performance than the market?
posted by delmoi at 11:00 AM on March 5, 2009


"These were people who wanted to go into derivatives yet couldn't handle doing a basic derivative. And yes they now make several times my annual salary."

Well, I doubt that there is high demand anymore for financial analysts like that. I do think that good, conservative financial analysts and advisors are going to become more in demand, or that people will demand better of their advisors. I think (hope) we'll see a return to ethics. Just like the UK discovered some years back, it's time for banks to stick to the business of banking again, so we're not all put at risk due to their misadventures.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:22 AM on March 5, 2009


Anybody who takes financial advice from their TV is an idiot.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:23 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anybody who takes financial advice from their TV is an idiot.

That's yer problem right there.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:28 AM on March 5, 2009


delmoi, if you go digging in the Guru Grades site, you'll find that he's a little below average compared to the rest of the field, but that it's a weak field all around.

That shouldn't be surprising though. You can't be an objective journalist and a news-maker at the same time, especially when the topic you're affecting and the topic you're reporting on are one in the same, and even more so when you're invested up to your ears financially in how well you are able to affect that topic. It's not journalism, and you'd be hard-pressed to call it "entertainment" exactly, as it's the odd duck who would watch it if he weren't invested himself. So let's call it what it is - snake-oil peddling.

So yes, fuck 'em. These people add nothing to society; they're simply mouthpieces and bouncing boards for multi-billion dollar scam artists. If I have any respect for Cramer at all, it is about the size of a grain of sand, and it only exists because he occasionally seems to know that what he's doing is wrong, whereas the rest of them either don't care or are simply too dumb to get it. That's where we get the pained expression from in the clip TDS played of him advising that the stocks were overvalued but people should invest in them anyway because they're only going to get more overvalued. That's also where the "know nothing" rant came from, and good for him for that moment, I guess, before his bosses told him to cool it and he fell back in line snow-jobbing his viewers even though he knew he wasn't being truthful.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:33 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are we all willfully ignoring what a shitty post this really is? Okay then.

HURF DURF SANTINELLI
posted by slogger at 11:36 AM on March 5, 2009


Interesting stuff here about a Morning Star study into mutual fund manager practices, as well as juicy stuff about how registered investment advisers sometimes pass off model-driven, "hypothetical" performance data about their performance history rather than "actual" performance data, as well as a practice known as "optimizing" in which minor tweaks are made to the models after the fact to make the outcomes better based on the historical data.

If even many "experts" are engaged in deceptive practices to create the appearance of better than chance performance, what makes you so sure they aren't all just playing the odds? Even if investment performance were purely random, you'd still expect to see somewhere close to 50% of professional investment advisers performing better than average. That's just how the numbers shake out by chance--not a reflection of any particular acumen on the part of those randomly-favored investment advisers.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:39 AM on March 5, 2009


krinklyfig: FYI "Cramer's Stop Trading!" is an actual segment during the day. He seems to have it on random times and it's usually less than 5 minutes. (Yes this means I actually watch CNBC).

The problem with CNBC is that they've created a nice little niche for themselves, where traders CANNOT turn it off. Lately, I see a 1% swing in the market in less than 30 minutes because of an interview on CNBC — lately that means whenever Meridith Whitney or Charlie Gasparino are on, the market moves like crazy. Meridith Whitney because she has legitimate information to share usually saying who's going to blow up next, and Charlie Gasparino making shit up that always turns out to be a filthy lie.
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:41 AM on March 5, 2009


wires:

You might be interested in one of the best articles I've come across with regard to "how did journos get it wrong?"

How Could 9,000 Business Reporters Blow It?
posted by timmins at 11:43 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey, you know who else was a cheerleader?
posted by Bovine Love at 11:56 AM on March 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

No problem. I did. Here's how it turned out.

1) Invest in mutual funds and diversified accounts as soon as you get your first job. Even if it is the minimum. Eat Ramen noodles and a lot of soup so you can take advantage of company matching. Shop at second hand clothing stores.

2) Diversify, diversify, diversify. Keep contributing until you can make the maximum. Pay yourself first into CD's and money market accounts until you've bankrolled three to six months pay for emergencies. Pay cash for everything, don't keep a credit card balance, ever. Or pay off the balance every single month.

3) Buy a used car and maintain it. Drive it until it dies, even if it takes over a decade. Walk or bike when you can. Keep the heat down during the winter and the a/c down during the summer. Bank the savings.

4) Invest in a fixer upper in a good neighborhood that is obviously undervalued. Do not use an appraiser suggested by the bank or the realtor, get your own. Same for the inspector. Use most weekends to fix up the house yourself and barter with others to get work done that you can't figure out. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity to learn new skills.

5) Invest in yourself by working your ass off at your job and go to school at night to get a graduate degree so you can do more of what you love and get paid more to do it. Also, exercise and eat right.

6) Stop connecting your sense of self-worth to the stuff you own. Stop trying to impress others.

7) Never gamble. Stop watching CNBC or listening to anyone who is too afraid of risking their relationship with a CEO to be honest about what is really going on in a company.

8) Watch this downturn with amazement as your high 6-figures portfolio comes down a little bit, but still retains quite a bit of its value as you live out your life in your modest, affordable house with the second-hand furniture that you refinished yourself.

9) Sleep well at night.
posted by jeanmari at 12:01 PM on March 5, 2009 [32 favorites]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is

1. put money in money market account. watch it still be there and slowly grow.
2. move to small community where people give a shit if people are starving/freezing to death.
3. (pat self on back)
4. PROFIT
posted by jessamyn at 12:04 PM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


jeanmari: Of course, if everyone lived like you the economy would collapse -- in fact, that's exactly what's happening (well, it's part of the problem). Everyone is cutting back to the 'necessities', and that means everyone who's job isn't tied to unnecessary things is at risk. Which of course makes them more thrifty, which makes the situation worse, and so on.
posted by delmoi at 12:11 PM on March 5, 2009


And then he got canned for telling some magazine that the show's producer would totally blow him if he asked, which is how Stewart got the job? It's kind of weird to compare what it is now, all culturally relevant and stuff, with how it began.

Well, he actually just got suspended for that remark and was back a week (or two) later. He stayed for months after until he got a much higher paying, larger exposure job at CBS doing the Late Late Show. Then he decided to go to producing and fell off the face of the earth.
posted by dig_duggler at 12:16 PM on March 5, 2009


I find it very telling that the two people with the most sensible responses to "putting your money where your mouth is" do not post their pet theories on the market in Mefi finance threads. Also, I note that they describes lifestyles very different from the way most Americans lived. Second hand what? Ew...

Also, In Which We Improbably Defend CNBC Against Jon Stewart.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:23 PM on March 5, 2009


delmoi, if you go digging in the Guru Grades site, you'll find that he's a little below average compared to the rest of the field, but that it's a weak field all around.

Ah well. I don't particularly care that much if he's any good or not. I think he's kind of entertaining. And he did actually tell people to get out of the market back a couple months ago if they were going to 'need' their money in the next few years. It's not like he's out there every day saying buy buy buy. My point was just that you can't judge these people by single snippets, you've got to do a more rigorous statistical analysis. If the stats show he sucks, then he sucks.
posted by delmoi at 12:25 PM on March 5, 2009


jeanmari: Of course, if everyone lived like you the economy would collapse

That's the definition of an economy that should collapse. Which is why I'm opposed to propping it up. I don't want it to not collapse, I just want a soft landing that can be turned into something that's not bubble driven, one in which people living the way jeanmari does is something like the normal case. But that's right up there with peace and love and universal health care. I don't actually expect it or anything.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:26 PM on March 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


jeanmari: Of course, if everyone lived like you the economy would collapse -- in fact, that's exactly what's happening (well, it's part of the problem). Everyone is cutting back to the 'necessities', and that means everyone who's job isn't tied to unnecessary things is at risk. Which of course makes them more thrifty, which makes the situation worse, and so on.
posted by delmoi at 3:11 PM on March 5


What you're describing is the paradox of thrift, but over the long term, I wonder. If people saved more, the rate of consumption would be less, but it would also increase the demand for higher quality, less disposable, less planned-obsolescence type consumer goods than what we have now. Those goods would likely be more expensive. So maybe the decline in economic activity would be mitigated to some degree by the increase in the value of the activity that did take place.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:29 PM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


soon we'll be seeing reports about Mad Max-style highway combat and priest-kings dedicating burnt out WalMarts to Almighty Set.

I'd buy that for a dollar. (Assuming, of course, that by then all the singles haven't been burned for fuel.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:32 PM on March 5, 2009


That wouldn't be a problem if the economy was based on necessary things. Unfortunately it's currently based on bullshit, which we are rapidly growing sick of.
posted by mek at 12:35 PM on March 5, 2009


What you're describing is the paradox of thrift, but over the long term, I wonder. If people saved more, the rate of consumption would be less, but it would also increase the demand for higher quality, less disposable, less planned-obsolescence type consumer goods than what we have now. Those goods would likely be more expensive. So maybe the decline in economic activity would be mitigated to some degree by the increase in the value of the activity that did take place.

I think, to a certain extent, it would just mean bigger government. Rather then iPods and plasma screens, money would go to government health care, infrastructure, etc. Health care has a potential to eat up a lot of money. Projections show that if health care costs keep rising faster then inflation they'll eat up 50% of the GDP or something within the next 50 years. Up to 20% in the next 10 years, according to some quick googling.

Obviously the economy would adjust eventually, and that may be what happens in the future, but I do wonder how much of that is going to be caused by taxing and spending, rather then consumer driven spending. That's certainly how the great depression ended (With WWII)
posted by delmoi at 12:44 PM on March 5, 2009


I find it very telling that the two people with the most sensible responses to "putting your money where your mouth is" do not post their pet theories on the market in Mefi finance threads. Also, I note that they describes lifestyles very different from the way most Americans lived.

Can't speak for these poor, pitiable hordes of "most Americans" who seem to be the targets of so much of your scorn lately, but if you can point me in their direction, I'll let 'em know you don't care for them very much, since that seems to be your only real theme lately. (I've always appreciated a lot of your input in the past for offering a certain no-nonsense perspective too often lacking around here, but lately it seems like you only have one tune: Americans suck. They all deserve what they get. Yada yada yada. What are you making tons off short-selling GM right now and need a little peace of mind?)

(And why's everybody seem to be linking to NY Magazine lately, as if it's some serious journalistic institution or something? Ownership of that rag's passed through the hands of more oligarchs than Marilyn Monroe's underwear back in the day; hell, even Rupert Murdoch owned it a few years ago.)
posted by saulgoodman at 12:56 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I think TDS is riffing on the idea that these commentators portray themselves as non-bias authorities when in fact they're pretty self-serving and hypocritical."

I like how one of the promos to "Power Lunch" mentions "Un-biased" when you can't go 30 minutes without Caruso-Cabrera rag on the government. Not to mention their lead-in is Melissa Francis and Kudlow, who have been more than vocal against "government intervention in the markets" during the past few weeks.
posted by jbiz at 12:59 PM on March 5, 2009


"Health care has a potential to eat up a lot of money. Projections show that if health care costs keep rising faster then inflation they'll eat up 50% of the GDP or something within the next 50 years. Up to 20% in the next 10 years, according to some quick googling. "

It only works out like that if we do nothing to fix health care, which is unlikely. A hell of a lot of money is eaten up in insurance costs and overhead, and we have perhaps the most inefficient modern health care system among the wealthy nations. Like the insane cost of housing in the last several years, it's not sustainable in its current form.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:30 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It amazes me that people make fun of Cramer CNBC commentators, etc. for being wrong. You want to show how smart you are? Put your money where your mouth is.

I have been, and I think I've been doing ok. Now if someone else wants a slice of my sweet common-sense pie, they can either pay me megabucks to be a consultant, or else take off the blinkers, stop drinking the kool-aid, start paying attention, and engage in some good old-fashioned critical thinking.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:31 PM on March 5, 2009


delmoi, the problem isn't the people cutting back, it's that the foundation of our economy is based upon needless consumption.

We need to establish a better principle for the economic system and society.

Don't ask me what it is. I hate utopias. :P
posted by symbioid at 1:34 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel: "What you're describing is the paradox of thrift, but over the long term, I wonder. If people saved more, the rate of consumption would be less, but it would also increase the demand for higher quality, less disposable, less planned-obsolescence type consumer goods than what we have now. Those goods would likely be more expensive. So maybe the decline in economic activity would be mitigated to some degree by the increase in the value of the activity that did take place."

So wait... You're telling me that we can consume less, work fewer hours, make more money per labor/time-unit AND have goods that are higher quality?

Sign me UP!
posted by symbioid at 1:42 PM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


That was great and all but how can I sublimate this so that it's actionable?
posted by brevator at 2:00 PM on March 5, 2009


how can I sublimate this so that it's actionable?

that's what she said
posted by found missing at 2:07 PM on March 5, 2009


Jeanmari – Nice. Pretty much my playbook (except for #9) Well, that and the mason jars buried out back.

“Interesting stuff here about a Morning Star study into mutual fund manager practices”

You know who else was named Morning Star?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:05 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Projections show that if health care costs keep rising faster then inflation they'll eat up 50% of the GDP or something within the next 50 years. Up to 20% in the next 10 years, according to some quick googling.

Isn't this the logic that shows that all of humanity will outweigh the Earth by 2100, or some such? It certainly proves that the current situation will change, one way or another. Following it to it's ultimate conclusion, that healthcare costs will someday be greater than the GDP is great if you're Captain Kirk and you need to escape from a robot investment advisor, but not the model to use when planning your own 401K.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:24 PM on March 5, 2009


Always bring some cold iron with you when you talk to an investement advisor Smedleyman. Just sayin'
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:26 PM on March 5, 2009


I find it very telling that the two people with the most sensible responses to "putting your money where your mouth is" do not post their pet theories on the market in Mefi finance threads.

1. Place coin in mouth.
2. Use tongue to flip said coin.
3. Make better predictions than CNBC.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:07 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


jeanmari: Of course, if everyone lived like you the economy would collapse.

You need to brush up on your history :) Before the age of credit cards, everyone paid cash for everything. You were forced, more or less, to live within your means or pretty close to it.

So, if you're suggesting that the growth of the economy relies upon all of us living beyond our means, I think you've been watching too much CNBC.

And I never suggested that I don't buy anything. Oh, believe me, I do. More than I'd like to. But savings and investments and charitable giving come first, then the necessities (house, utilities, food, education), then everything else. If I want something special, I have to do without something else. I know, crazy, right?

As our disposable income has grown, we can afford nice things. Could we afford a really nice, new car? Yup. But then we would have to give up a couple of really nice vacations per year and we love, love, love travel. More than cars. So, old clunker (with sensible gas mileage) and Vancouver or London, here we come. We finally bought our first dining room table, ever. (I'm in my early 40's, spouse is younger.) Not because we couldn't before. But we wanted a really nice quality one and we didn't want to get it on credit. Now we're saving up for a really nice sofa. Our current sofa is 12 years old. I used to have to eat Ramen noodles to make my savings and investment goals. Now, I eat what I please, pretty much. But I was willing to make do with less to live wisely.

It seemed to work for old school Republicans, and Sam Walton, and Warren Buffet (when he was starting out). Seems strange that many Republicans are now giving me a hard time for my fiscal conservatism, including Santelli.

And THAT more than anything is why I appreciate TDS. They have been pointing out hypocrisy and lifting the wool off of many sets of eyes through comedy and common sense. They spark the conversation and the questioning. They nudged my dyed-in-the-wool Republican parents to vote for Obama. I think that they know what they're doing, and they're doing a pretty good job of it. :)
posted by jeanmari at 4:22 PM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jeanmari: you forgot number 10 - don't have a wife or kids. Cuz once you do that, you can kiss your thrifty days goodbye. Not that I'd trade my family for anything, but damn that shit's expensive.
posted by fungible at 4:39 PM on March 5, 2009


fungible: I'm a wife and we have a kid. So, yeah, I hear you. I don't go out as often as I used to when I was single. But strangely, it's easier to have an excuse to be thrifty when you have kids. And man, I love me some Craigslist.
posted by jeanmari at 4:57 PM on March 5, 2009


After watching the show, it looks to me like The Daily Show got its pre-election mojo back. When Jon Stewart and the writers are at the top of their game as this show was, there is no commentary with more clarity.
posted by bluesky43 at 4:58 PM on March 5, 2009


It's refreshing to see a healthy dose of CNBC bashing lately to compliment the routine FOXnews bashing... not that there both not worthy of it.
posted by buzzdiggity at 5:18 PM on March 5, 2009


Before the age of credit cards, everyone paid cash for everything.

I always like it when we get quantum crosstalk across histories. In my timeline -- I'm from one of the ones with an extra World War; our Horrible Wacko was "Hitler" like the artist -- store credit and manufacturer credit (ie, installment plans) were commonplace long before credit cards were common. I'm curious how, if at all, an automobile industry got going in your timeline without the ability to sell on credit or installment.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:39 PM on March 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


Lay away plans still meant that you didn't get the item until it was paid for. Same with some installment plans.

Yes, some people didn't buy cars with installment plans, even back then. My grandmother's boyfriend (before she met my grandfather) sold cars in the 20's. It wasn't unusual to save up the equivalent of 4 months pay to buy a car back then. And many people did pay cash.

The whole notion of "I have to have it NOW even though I can't afford it" is not necessary to keep an economy going. Would the economy grow more slowly if people spent within their means? Most probably. And we'd avoid the problems we have now where companies have to set prices to cover their uncollected Accounts Receivables and there would be lower administrative expenses for handling accounts. We'd have less people filing for bankruptcy, less foreclosure, etc. etc.

I could live with that.
posted by jeanmari at 6:11 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I finally watched the show, and I have one urgent question:

What asshole -- although one with dual citizenship -- with an honorary knighthood would actually style himself "Sir" while in the United States?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:30 PM on March 5, 2009


... a good analyst only has to be right more then 50% of the time.

I can't let that one go.

Suppose you are betting double or nothing and you win the first 5 in a row. You must be ahead for at least 4 more rounds, right?

Nobody's read Taleb or even played a little poker?
posted by asusu at 7:07 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


effwerd: "6 months from now... better or worse than today?
Worse.

1 year... inflation rate
Greater.

3 years... tax revenues
Greater.

gold... 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years?
Higher, higher, lower, lower.
[...]
Oh, and I almost forgot: DOOM!
"

Like other concrete predictions I have found on MetaFilter, I have forwarded this comment to myself in the future (at the appropriate dates) and I will follow up on them in due time. Any of you who think I'm missing the point are missing the point.
posted by lostburner at 7:52 PM on March 5, 2009


Does Pastabagel know TDS is on Comedy Central? Guys, someone should probably tell him, this is getting kind of awkward. Here, I'll leave, you do it.
posted by birdie birdington at 7:52 PM on March 5, 2009


Suppose you are betting double or nothing and you win the first 5 in a row. You must be ahead for at least 4 more rounds, right?

So, don't bet double or nothing--i.e., don't leverage.
posted by blenderfish at 7:53 PM on March 5, 2009


Does Pastabagel know TDS is on Comedy Central?

That kind of reminds me of an annoying thing that Jon Stewart does all the time. He reports on real events, to an audience of millions, and frequently calls out the media on its journalism quality/ethics, yet any time someone calls him out on similar grounds, he retreats behind the "Who, meee? I'm just a Cable Comedy Show." defense. It is really tiresome.
posted by blenderfish at 7:57 PM on March 5, 2009


Here is a rather spectacular Daily Kos diary which alleges that Jim Cramer is a criminal scumbag.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:02 PM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


>> Suppose you are betting double or nothing and you win the first 5 in a row. You must be ahead for at least 4 more rounds, right?

> So, don't bet double or nothing--i.e., don't leverage.

As I understand it, leveraging is borrowing to place bets, assuming you'll win overall and be able to pay off the loans with even more profit left over. However, if something really bad happens, you can go below zero. Double or nothing is not leveraging.

I meant: it's not just whether you win or lose on a particular bet (errrr ... investment) but how much. Winning $1 most times doesn't help when you are in the long run being exposed to huge losses, even if infrequently. Leveraging helps make the blow ups that much more spectacular.

Of course, if you get yours early and don't have to worry about the payoff at the end, it doesn't really matter if everything blows up. You're set.
posted by asusu at 8:42 PM on March 5, 2009


However, if something really bad happens, you can go below zero.

You'd be margin-called, so you shouldn't go (much) below zero.

Winning $1 most times doesn't help when you are in the long run being exposed to huge losses, even if infrequently.

True. So, also, diversify.

(Note that a homeowner going 5% down on a house is leveraged twenty to one, and probably uses all their available money to pay down the house, so nor are they diversified.)

Anyway, yeah, the fundamental point is that you can invest in such a way that one screw up doesn't erase all your gains, and assuming you do that, you need to be correct more than 50% of the time. However, of course, a lot of people don't.
posted by blenderfish at 9:09 PM on March 5, 2009


Beautiful.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:13 PM on March 5, 2009


He reports on real events, to an audience of millions, and frequently calls out the media on its journalism quality/ethics, yet any time someone calls him out on similar grounds, he retreats behind the "Who, meee? I'm just a Cable Comedy Show." defense. It is really tiresome.

But that's just it, it IS just a cable comedy show. They don't have to tell the truth at all, they just happen to do, and that truth is a big part of why their comedy is funny.

The Daily Show has no pretensions to factualness and ethics, but they're there, so it's a bonus. The cable networks have every pretension to those things, and they tend to be lacking.
posted by JHarris at 3:56 AM on March 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Like other concrete predictions I have found on MetaFilter, I have forwarded this comment to myself in the future (at the appropriate dates) and I will follow up on them in due time. Any of you who think I'm missing the point are missing the point.

Just remember, I don't care if my predictions are right or wrong. But if I'm right, you can bet I'm going to apply for a job at CNBC.
posted by effwerd at 5:10 AM on March 6, 2009


heh... s/b "idols of the tribe" of course. not "teen idles of the tribe"
posted by saulgoodman at 6:32 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Breaking News: "Trading irregularities" Reported at Merrill Lynch
posted by saulgoodman at 8:13 AM on March 6, 2009


"Jeanmari: you forgot number 10 - don't have a wife or kids. Cuz once you do that, you can kiss your thrifty days goodbye. Not that I'd trade my family for anything, but damn that shit's expensive."

Well, if you start your own business you can have some "free" labor.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:30 AM on March 6, 2009


"It's refreshing to see a healthy dose of CNBC bashing lately to compliment the routine FOXnews bashing... not that there both not worthy of it."

CNBC has its issues, but Fox Business Network is a joke, even to the business world.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:32 AM on March 6, 2009


CNBC has its issues, but Fox Business Network is a joke, even to the business world.

But it's owned by the same folks who own the Wall Street Journal! How could that possibly be a bad thing? Note: Sarcasm.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:48 AM on March 6, 2009


The Daily Show has no pretensions to factualness and ethics, but they're there, so it's a bonus.

So, not having "pretensions" to ethics exempts you from them?

Sorry, no. It's a news show. It may be a 'funny' news show, but it is nonetheless, by the fact that it is a show that shows news, a "news show." If it fails at being an ethical or factual news show, I guess, whatever, that makes it like most of the news shows out there. But to then turn around and call out other news shows for not being ethical or factual is pure hypocrisy. You can't play the same game but by different rules.

I like the Daily Show, fwiw, and agree with most of what they are saying. But I've definitely seen Stewart do the 'I'm just a comedy show' shutdown before whenever someone he is accusing of being a bad journalist turns the tables. And it is really, as I said, irritating.
posted by blenderfish at 2:40 PM on March 6, 2009


Sorry, no, it isn't a news show. It is a comedy show that uses the news, and reporting on the news, as fodder for comedy.
posted by found missing at 2:43 PM on March 6, 2009


Sorry, no, it isn't a news show. It is a comedy show that uses the news, and reporting on the news, as fodder for comedy.

Wow. How convenient for them, then.
I'm going to start a company that takes deposits which isn't a bank.
posted by blenderfish at 2:55 PM on March 6, 2009


Well, I'll agree that The Daily Show is indeed a de facto news show. However, blenderfish, I'm afraid I'm going to have to point something out to you:

JHarris
wrote: The Daily Show has no pretensions to factualness and ethics, but they're there, so it's a bonus. (Emphasis mine.)

To which you replied: So, not having "pretensions" to ethics exempts you from them?

Um, what? No. Unless you can definitively show that TDS, regardless of its stated mandate, has demonstrably breached any ethical guidelines to an extent approaching anything close to what the show's targets--who are actually bound by those ethical guidelines--do on a regular basis, your cries of hypocrisy are just fucking lame.

In other words: Pix or it didn't happen.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:07 PM on March 6, 2009


(And by actually, I meant ostensibly, obviously.)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:12 PM on March 6, 2009


I'm going to start a company that takes deposits which isn't a bank.

Paypal?
posted by dirigibleman at 3:18 PM on March 6, 2009


I wasn't saying they are unethical, just that accusations of bad journalism by them should be met with an actual defense and not shrugged off--and I have definitely seen this shrug off happen multiple times.
posted by blenderfish at 3:29 PM on March 6, 2009


I have definitely seen this shrug off happen multiple times.

Well, here's the thing: The Daily Show actually admits it's a fake news show. Glenn Beck et al. will not be making any such admissions any time soon, and yet: Fake news. Those accusations you're talking about? You know who was making them? Tucker Carlson. Bill O'Reilly. Jim Cramer. Talk about hypocrisy.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:52 PM on March 6, 2009


Cramer has $100 million in bonds. He doesn't have to be right all the time, or even most of the time. He just has to be right about enough big things to outweigh all the wrong ones.

He doesn't have to be the least bit right: he just has to be loud. He just needs to pick a stock that seems to be about to break up or break down, and then shout about it until the media makes it so. Place a bunch of shorts on a stock, sic the media on it, panic the public, and fleece them like naïve lambs. Rinse, repeat.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:30 PM on March 6, 2009


Q: which air dates were particularly good?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:31 PM on March 6, 2009


Well, I'll agree that The Daily Show is indeed a de facto news show.

Okay, here is the saddest part.

TDS has ALWAYS been a comedy show, never claimed to be anything more than a comedy show. Just like that famous comedian of my parents' generation (gah! What was his name!) who would just get a newspaper, go up on stage, and riff on the news.

But the REAL news outlets screwed up the news SO MUCH during the last 8-9 years that people were looking to TDS to get some sense of what the story was behind the talking heads on the cable news networks.

TDS didn't change that whole time. But the fact that we had to rely on them for some hint of truth demonstrates how far the Fourth Estate has fallen.
posted by jeanmari at 6:31 AM on March 7, 2009


In honor of blenderfish, I decided to watch Letterman's monologue last night so that I could catch up on the news.
posted by found missing at 9:29 AM on March 7, 2009




In honor of blenderfish, I decided to watch Letterman's monologue last night so that I could catch up on the news.

You don't have to stay up so late. You can just read The Onion. It's printed on newsprint, right?
posted by jeanmari at 1:39 PM on March 7, 2009




Are Republicans killing the stock market with their apocalyptic hysteria?

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I may be), but isn't the market set up in order to allow people to profit from hysteria? If stock prices are being artificially depressed due to fearmongering, what is to stop a person who sees through the hype from cleaning up, buying value-depressed stock at a bargin?
posted by JHarris at 8:21 PM on March 7, 2009




It's a fun game. It's a lucrative game. And you can move it up, and then fade it--that creates often a negative feel. So let's say you take a longer-term view -- day, and you say I'm gonna boost the futures and then when the real sellers come in, when the real market comes in they're gonna knock it down, and it's gonna create a negative view. That's a strategy very worth doing when you're valuing on a day-to-day basis, and I would encourage anyone in the hedgefund business to do it, because it's legal and it's a very quick way to make money. And very satisfying.

By the way, no one else in the world would ever admit that, but I could care--I can't, I'm not gonna say that on TV.

The hedgefunds are positioned long-short, okay, not just long like mutual funds. So it's really vital these next six days, 'cause of your payday, you've really gotta control that market. You can't let it lift. So you get a Research In Motion, it's really important to use a lot of your firepower to knock that down, 'cause it's the fulcrum of the market today.

So, I mean, let's say I were short. What I would do, is I'd hit a lot of guys with RIM. Now, you can't 'foment,' that's in violation of--of-- You can't foment, you can't create yourself an impression that a stock's down. But you do it anyway 'cause the SEC doesn't understand it, so you--I mean it's --that's the only sense that I would say it's illegal. But a hedgefund that's not up a lot really has to do a lot now to save itself, so--

This is actually just blatantly illegal, but when you have six days, and your company may be in doubt because you're down, I think it's really important to foment...

posted by Sys Rq at 6:07 PM on March 8, 2009


CNBC luminaries push the idea that labor unions kill jobs

You know what's strange, I don't particularly like unions and I too think they stifle job creation, yet at the same time I want everybody to have right to form, join, and assist labor unions as they please. So does the first part of that make me "corporate right" or does the second part make me suicidal? The answer is neither. Though Unions would have you believe it, being anti-union does not make you pro-corporate (though in CNBC's case, this is certainly true), anti-worker, nor on the right.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:15 AM on March 9, 2009


You don't have to stay up so late. You can just read The Onion. It's printed on newsprint, right?

Cute mischaracterization. But, thanks for bringing up the Onion, since it is a perfect example of something that is humor and not news. If the Daily Show outright and obviously fabricated news, I would agree with you. But, alas, they don't. The Daily Show reports real news daily. But with a humorous slant, so, hey, free pass, I guess.

Anyway, this is pretty academic, since they do generally do a pretty good job. But it is interesting that so many people share this viewpoint.
posted by blenderfish at 11:08 AM on March 9, 2009


Hey, news item you all might have missed. It is from one of my go-to sources:

"You guys know anything about this weasel, this rodent, Bernie Madoff? He decided what he would do would be to swindle his friends. And so he did a pretty good job. He got them for $50 billion, and now his lovely wife Ruth was able to get 69 million. And she wants to keep that. She and her husband say it's not fraud money, it's money they saved on gas by fully inflating their tires." -- David Letterman
posted by found missing at 11:29 AM on March 9, 2009


But, I guess the rap on that joke, and what makes it "not news" is that it isn't entirely factual. Unlike, say:

"Although Obama was greeted warmly, the night's speech was no small task. Obama's challenge would be to convey to the American public the sobering realities of our current situation, while maintaining an optimistic tone for the future, all while desperately, desperately, desperately trying not to turn around for a quick game of wack-a-mole [on screen: video clips of Speaker Nancy Pelosi continuously jumping up to clap during Obama's speech]. Interesting fact about Nancy Pelosi: she is one-eighth gopher, on her father's side." --Jon Stewart
posted by found missing at 11:37 AM on March 9, 2009




Just re-reading, this whole "They're journalists!" "They're comedians!" "They're comedian journalists!" argument is a little silly. They are comedians who rely on the behavior of the government, the media and the interactions between these two for their material. Necessarily, this involves some journalistic-type activity, but I'd be drop jawed if they actually sent reporters out into the field to gather facts, they bring it back to the office and edit and etc... Unless you consider 'the field' the cable news channels. But it still doesn't hold up (the idea of their being journalists) because they are clearly biased and intent on one kind of 'reporting' and that would be the kind that makes you laugh.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:03 AM on March 11, 2009


Where Jon Stewart apologizes for taking Jim Cramer's comments about Bear Stearns out of context. And, then proceeds to further skewer him.
posted by found missing at 11:57 AM on March 11, 2009


In Cramer's defense (OH GOD DID I JUST SAY THAT?), when I worked at Smith Barney, our higher ups were suggesting Enron as a buy right up until it falldowngoboom. Though isn't he supposed to, you know, like, know shit on his own? So yeah, he's a dick.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:32 PM on March 11, 2009


It strikes me that the US political / celebrity world has not learned how to deal with parody yet (which is weird, because TDS has been at this for a while now). If Cramer and company want to know how to effectively defuse Jon Stewart, they should take a cue from Teflon Jean.
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:39 PM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm reluctant to start a new thread. Let me just say that if you missed the interview with Cramer, you missed something truly amazing. Basically Cramer gets completely lombasted, but is totally contrite. It's pretty painful to watch... (but fascinating)
posted by Deathalicious at 8:36 PM on March 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


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