Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Financial News

For those who still have questions about the Madoff scandal, enlightenment may be found courtesy of those lovable characters on Sesame Street.

Meanwhile, in Metropolis, Lex Luthor asks the government for a bailout.

And, as a followup to the classic Jon Stewart evisceration of Rick Santelli and CNBC, we have the utter cornholing of Jim Cramer Part I, Part II, and Part III. (Cramer, to his credit, was the only CNBC reporter who dared to show up.)

Still, like every undergraduate fan of the Daily Show, I keep having to ask why it has to be Jon Stewart (along with muppets) who manage the best reporting?

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10 Comments:

OpenID nashmeister said...

Hi Walter,

I was just thinking that same thing: why is it left to a comedy host to ask the difficult questions 'serious' journalists are supposed to be asking? Mind you, Jon Stewart has proven over the years to be a better interviewer with a keener grasp on current affairs than the so-called professionals, so I suppose it should come as no surprise.

As for Jim Cramer . . . I was this close to feeling sorry for him. He simply had no answer to Jon Stewart's probing beyond 'Should I have done better? Yes'. To paraphrase Douglas Adams: 10 out of 10 for the courage to go on The Daily Show, but minus several million for the attempt to justify incompetence.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Lance Larka said...

My cynical side would say that to be a successful comedian you have to be smart and can think quickly on your feet (at least for those in a live format). Two traits that are critical for good reporting.

The local television stations here in Huntsville hire bubble-heads for their 'reporters.' I have a feeling this is most like the case at every TV station. Intelligence is quite lacking. Unfortunately these guys will probably eventually rise through the Peter principle and hit the major networks.

And that is how we get a professional news reporting class that can't do their job.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Slothman said...

Only the court jester dares tell the truth to the King, and right now, the Fourth Estate are in fear of losing their sponsorships. Which is why James Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic magazine, said, “It’s true: Jon Stewart has become Edward R. Murrow.” In a healthy world, this would inspire professional journalists to vie for the mantle of Edward R. Murrow...

11:32 AM  
Blogger halojones-fan said...

Well, my first question is "what happened to the government regulators WHOSE ENTIRE REASON FOR EXISTENCE was to monitor these issues"? Why aren't they going on the John Stewart Says Something Then Makes A Funny Face Show?

Although I did find it very funny to watch John Stewart act like Bill O'Reilly.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Lance Larka said...

I think this is the first time that I actually agree with something halojones-fan posted.

Why aren't the regulators getting excoriated?

1:11 PM  
Blogger John said...

The regulators aren't being excoriated because if you brought them into the light of day the real culprits of this mess would also be brought out. You would have regulators explaining how they've had their powers restricted by congress. You'd have them telling you how every time they tried to expose Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and their insane practices you would have Barny Frank and the Democrats demanding investigations of the investigators, which is why the regulators spent more time defending themselves before congress for doing their jobs than doing their jobs. Which fit fine for the likes of Barny Frank.

As for why Jon Stewart does a better job of reporting the news, I'd say because he actually questions what he's reading.

We live in a Trust But Verify kind of world and with a little effort basic research can be done and is being done, which is why so many mainstream newspapers are closing.

Right after the Asian Tsunami a liberal writer in my local paper went on a long rant about how could we spend so much on defense while not providing a system of warning for Tsunamis. If she had done one Minute of online research she would have discovered the US Navy's world wide Tsunami warning network.

No one expects intelligence from the new media and they work very hard to meet expectations.

5:49 PM  
Blogger dubjay said...

John, somehow I can't picture Bush administration regulators cowering in their offices for fear of Democratic congressmen, who weren't even in the majority for the first six years of the Bush administration.

The Bush administration didn't give a damn what congress thought on any other occasion: why should securities regulation be an exception?

You can't convince me that the party that is in actual power during the eight years prior to a financial collapse isn't the one that's chiefly responsible for the problem.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Lance Larka said...

dubjay, I completely agree that the Bush admin is largely culpable for this mess but to be honest with myself I gotta point out that the current round of deregulation (which I think we're all in agreement seriously contributed to this crisis) was started by the Clinton administration. Accelerated by the Bush administration, but started earlier....

Of course we can take this argument back to the Reagen administration for starting deregulation at all :-)

8:10 AM  
Blogger dubjay said...

Oh, there's plenty of blame to go around, particularly when you have a political class as corrupt as ours.

Hardly any of our politicians feels it worth their while to steal from widows and orphans anymore, not when they can just bend over and spread 'em for wealthy special interests.

3:05 PM  
Blogger John said...

The main problem with the Bush administration was general incompetence magnified by indifference. Bush focused on our enemies foreign and totally ignored or compromised with the enemies domestic.

There's nothing wrong with deregulation as long as it's real deregulation. Our financial industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world, the issue is enforcement. Most specifically Selective Enforcement. Regulation or deregulation doesn't matter when you don't enforce the existing rules and the rules get changed for specific companies or businesses.

Just keep an eye on what's going on with Chris Dodd. You'll be getting an education on what the Democratic Party is really about, turns out they aren't any different from the Republicans.

Yes, our political class needs a purging, but the worst Criminals on the Left and Right are difficult to get rid of. Those on the Right play to self righteous reactionaries and those on the Left keep their dependents in line with crumbs they dress up as Hard faught gains.

Ultimately things will end in tragedy.

1:54 PM  

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