O'Reilly's claim about Stewart's motives undermined by Stewart's criticism of Cramer a year ago

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

Bill O'Reilly said of Jon Stewart's recent Daily Show segments on Jim Cramer's coverage of the current financial crisis: "So, when Mr. Cramer began criticizing Barack Obama, Mr. Stewart -- an ardent Obama supporter -- let him have it." O'Reilly later added, "So here we have the melding of politics -- because if Cramer didn't attack Obama, Stewart would not be on his case." In fact, Stewart criticized Cramer in March 2008 over Cramer's claim that investment firm Bear Stearns was "not in trouble" less than a week before the company collapsed.

On the March 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, discussing Comedy Central host Jon Stewart's recent segments on CNBC host Jim Cramer's coverage of the current financial crisis, host Bill O'Reilly claimed, "So, when Mr. Cramer began criticizing Barack Obama, Mr. Stewart -- an ardent Obama supporter -- let him have it." O'Reilly later added, "So here we have the melding of politics -- because if Cramer didn't attack Obama, Stewart would not be on his case." However, on the March 17, 2008, edition of The Daily Show, Stewart criticized Cramer for claiming that investment firm Bear Stearns was "not in trouble" less than a week before the company collapsed -- the same remarks that Stewart has highlighted on recent editions of his show.

Indeed, during the March 17, 2008, segment, titled "Broken Arrow: Crisis in the Chartland," Stewart criticized Cramer after airing a clip of the March 11, 2008, edition of CNBC's Mad Money, during which Cramer said: "Bear Stearns is fine. Do not take your money out. This is -- look, if there's one takeaway other than a plus 400 [inaudible] -- Bear Stearns is not in trouble. I mean, if anything, they are more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear. That's just being silly. Don't be silly." After airing Cramer's comments, Stewart said: "I love the way that Jim Cramer breaks down really complex financial issues into ones that are wrong. By the way, you may want to join Jim Cramer on his new show, No Matter How Good I Am At This Over The Next 10 Years, I Will Never Make Up The Amount Of Money I Blew For People Last Tuesday. Don't take your money out of Bear Stearns, it's only going to be worthless."

From the March 17, 2008, edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

STEWART: It went from $60 a share to $2 a share in a few days. I mean, let me see if I can break this down for you. Let's say you had $60, and then after a night out, you had enough only for subway fare home. Now take away the night out. But, of course, obviously, someone like me, someone like you, we're not going to see this kind of disaster coming. That's what these financial shows are for. Right, there, Jim Cramer, last Tuesday?

CRAMER [video clip]: Peter writes, "Should I be worried about Bear Stearns in terms of liquidity and get my money out of there?" No, no, no.

STEWART: Well, that could mean anything. Perhaps we should give Mr. Cramer a chance to explain the subtlety of his position.

CRAMER [video clip]: No, no, no. Bear Stearns is fine. Do not take your money out. This is -- look, if there's one takeaway other than a plus 400 [inaudible] -- Bear Stearns is not in trouble. I mean, if anything, they are more likely to be taken over. Don't move your money from Bear. That's just being silly. Don't be silly.

STEWART: I love the way Jim Cramer breaks down really complex financial issues into ones that are wrong. By the way, you may want to join Jim Cramer on his new show, No Matter How Good I Am At This Over The Next 10 Years, I Will Never Make Up The Amount Of Money I Blew For People Last Tuesday. Don't take your money out of Bear Stearns, it's only going to be worthless.

From the March 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Directly ahead: After NBC financial guy Jim Cramer hammered President Obama, Jon Stewart -- an Obama supporter -- went after Cramer. Now the game is on. Right back with it.

[...]

O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight: It's getting very personal between comedian Jon Stewart and NBC financial analyst Jim Cramer. As you may know, Mr. Cramer has had a rough year, making bad stock calls on companies that collapsed, like Bear Stearns. So, when Mr. Cramer began criticizing Barack Obama, Mr. Stewart -- an ardent Obama supporter -- let Cramer have it.

[begin video clip]

CRAMER: Bear Stearns is fine. Do not take your money out. This is -- look, if there's one takeaway other than a plus 400 [inaudible] -- Bear Stearns is not in trouble.

STEWART: Wow. If I'd only followed CNBC's advice, I'd have a $1 million today. Provided I'd started with $100 million.

[...]

STEWART: Jim Cramer did write an article for MainStreet.com complaining that we had unfairly used a video clip out of context. He's not saying, literally, "I'm asking you to buy Bear Stearns." For that, you'd have to go back a full seven weeks before the stock completely collapsed.

CRAMER: I'm asking people who are watching this video to buy Bear Stearns.

STEWART: [Bleep] you.

[...]

CRAMER: If Jon Stewart wants to debate the merits of Tier 1 capital versus common equity, I'll do it. But the guy's a comedian, and he's decided to focus on some calls that I made during a bull market.

[...]

CRAMER: A comedian's attacking me. Wow. He runs a variety show.

[...]

STEWART: He makes it sound like I'm some kind of buffoon. Just flapping my arms with crazy buttons and wacky sound effects. [clip of Cramer sound effects]

[end video clip]

O'REILLY: Wow. Now out of this trivial pursuit comes a serious question: Why would anybody take advice from a television stock picker? With us now, Fox News business correspondent Stuart Varney. So here we have the melding of politics -- because if Cramer didn't attack Obama, Stewart would not be on his case -- and what I feel is a shaky industry -- television and radio stock pickers. What say you?

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.