Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

13 March 2009

Pricks of the Week

Listen, I've been all like "The Daily Show is better than The Colbert Report" ever since Stephen branched out and started his own thang. While I totally dug Colbert, my respect for Jon Stewart ran deeper onaccounta a plethora of topics, personalities and a real agenda masked by a unicorn-and-thin-mint facade of giddiness. So what I'm about to say runs contrary to everything I've ever thought about fake-news programs on cable television, but I must speak thee truth:
Stewart acted like a total scrotebag last night during the Thrilla with CNBC's Jim Cramer. Now, I'm no Cramer fan, to be sure. (He's the epitome of buffoonery.) But that's probably because I can't watch financial news on TV. Can barely make it through the business section of a newspaper awake, actually.
I watched the Daily Show, pre-TiVoing, last night since it promised to be a memorable affair. Since Stewart had been mocking those drumming up/hyping the "feud," I figured he'd dismiss the bouncing-back-and-forth allegations and insults but examine, deeply, the flaws in business reporting, the chuminess of accepting CEOs' words as factual in lieu of being real journalists. Even Cramer was open to that possibility.
Well, I was wrong.
Sure, Stewart used those cogent points, but it was in the course of devolving into a name-calling, cuss-dropping carnival barker who had the whole crowd on his side; a Guess Your Weight guru only because he had a scale under where Cramer sat.

Once Cramer came out for the interview, Stewart wondered: "How the hell did we get here?"
Cramer, his sleeves characteristically rolled up, said he was a "fan of the show."
But the humorous tone , at least for Stewart , changed as the interview continued.
Stewart repeatedly said Cramer wasn't his target, but aired clip after clip of the CNBC pundit.
"Roll 210!" announced Stewart, like a prosecutor. "Roll 212!"
Most were from a 2006 interview not meant for TV in which Cramer spoke openly about the duplicity of the market.
"I can't reconcile the brilliance and knowledge that you have of the intricacies of the market with the crazy ... I see you do every night," said the comedian.

I've heard people saying how smart they thought Stewart proved to be and while he may very well be brainstrong, he was talking down to his guest unnecessarily and playing holier than thou, too. Even if that guest, as previously stated, is a buffoon despite dealing with serious, life-altering topics.
Does Cramer deserve dissing? Abso-fucking-lutely. The clips speak for themselves.
But, if Jonny Boy wanted to play fair -- instead of saying his show isn't a serious one (when he knows that behind the jokes, his audience considers it hip commentary on the news of the day) before launching a frontal assault -- he'd have engaged in a debate with Cramer. A fair debate.
Instead, he wielded an intellectual shiv because he knew the cellblock would never turn on him. Well, I hope it made him feel like the King of Block C but it was unprofessional. And, he deserves to be called out on it, even while everybody's reflexively making him out to be Common Dudes' Hero. Because even Cramer, who should've gone all Kenny Powers on Stewart, was man enough to admit he'd made mistakes while receiving the Punky Brewster treatment.
None of this is to say I won't watch The Daily Show anymore. I will. Every night, actually. But I'll look at Stewart a little differently, almost as if he's host of a show with the same moral backbone as Man Money.
Oh, almost forgot, Stewart is only the Prick of the Week Runner-Up. For the Prick of the Week is PETA, for thinking it has enough people in its kitty corner to be able to demand that Michael Vick not be hired without taking psychological testing to prove he's not as psychopathic as the O.J. Well, what he did was morally, ethically and humanely wrong. No doubt. But what you're doing is un-American.
Psst, hey psychos, I may love puppies too, but if you picket NFL stadiums to make your protest "point," I'd wear a dental dam. It'll keep the animal blood and raw meat you'll get pelted with outcha mouths.
Unless you're into that stuff. Then, by all means, hit play on Farm Fun and let the pelting begin!


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