Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cramer vs. Stewart: The Fallout Continues

A week after Jim Cramer's appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the reverberations are still being felt - at least among the punditry. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Thomas Frank wrote: "Mr. Stewart wasn't rude enough to ask it, but over all his inquiries there hung the obvious question: Why do you still have a job, Mr. Cramer?"

The man best positioned to answer that question, Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal, stepped into the maw this week. Stewart was "incredibly unfair to CNBC and business media in general," Zucker declared Wednesday at the 2009 Business Week Media Summit.

In the same venue, Zucker defended Cramer in part by citing two of the "Mad Money" host's more famous clips:
- The August 2007 "they know nothing" rant on CNBC, a.k.a. The Giraffe Dress interview.
- His "get out of stocks if you need the money in the next five years" call on The Today show last October.

These same points get raised in the accompanying video by James Altucher, managing partner of Formula Capital and author of The Forever Portfolio. Altucher is also president and founder of Stockpickr LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of, where Cramer is chairman, co-founder and the largest shareholder.