Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How To Be Dishonest Without Really Trying

Megan McArdle brings up Jim Cramer again, because her ass was handed to her on a platter by her commenters. Since her only pride is in her reputation, she could not let such injuries as the truth go unremarked. Hence "What's the Matter With Jim Cramer?".
I've seen a number of people making some variant of the claim that Jon Stewart is the only one brave enough to stand up to the financial journalists who helped get us into this mess.

This is purest poppycock.

Don't you just love her "poppycocks"s and "airy-fairy"s and "Listen, children while Mummy tells you a story." tone? It's so...what's the word...professional? Um, no. Respectful? Alas, not that either. Like a bad Victorian novel meant to teach schoolchildren to obey their teachers and trust the guardian angel that sits on their shoulder? Yeah. That one.

What follows is three not altogether wrong paragraphs why Cramer shouldn't be held to journalist standards. Odd that she didn't understand this about Jon Stewart, but we can't be forever searching through the Carlsbad Caverns of her brain looking for explanations of her behavior. So now we know that Cramer is really not to blame for the sorry state of financial journalism today. (And yes, I'm looking at you, McArdle.)
No, neither Jim Cramer nor CNBC created this mess.

Ah, not so fast. The question of CNBC not being responsible for being responsible is another matter. It's not an entertainment channel, as everyone keeps reminding the right wing. Slipping it into her somewhat almost reasonable defense of Cramer is dishonest and, frankly, idiotic. Did she really think nobody would notice?
They focus mostly on stocks, and though people tend to think of the stock markets as synonymous with the financial system, they just haven't had much to do with the current problems. And thank God, really. I'd rather not hand over the responsibility for the US financial system, or even my retirement account, to a guy who goes on camera to bite the heads off of plastic bulls.

This bit is downright painful. She takes the argument (that I made) that the network focuses mainly on stocks, which is basically correct, but focusing on stocks covers a tremendous amount of ground. They aren't just a ticker and some anchors talking about stocks' rise and fall. That's obvious to anyone who's seen the network. They cover the financial world. They report from Davos, Chicago Board of Trade, and so on--the truth is too obvious to merit further discussion. She ends the paragraph by again conflating Cramer and CNBC.

In conclusion:
Going after Jim Cramer is like trying to fix your marriage by getting new drapes.

Dishonest, dishonest, dishonest. We deserve better than this. It's just insulting to our intelligence. We need better than this.


Anonymous said...

"No, neither Jim Cramer nor CNBC created this mess."

Can someone point me to anyone who actually said that he did? That must be why it's "purest poppycock." Because nobody ever actually made the argument.

Susan of Texas said...

So many strawmen, so little time.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world does she get involved in disputes like this on a subject that she knows nothing about? She has no training or background in journalism. She knows nothing of journalistic ethics. I know her shtick is to be, first and foremost, a contrarian, so of course she has to be for Cramer and critical of Stewart. But what exactly is her point? Besides taking the "unpopular" position in supporting Cramer, what insight does this post have?

Anonymous said...

This is just an example of how Megan doesn't know how to stop digging when she's stuck in a hole. People rightfully called her out in the hundreds for taking Jon Stewart to task for not being serious enough - amazingly, comedians are like that sometimes. She then responds in several (in this case, just one so far) follow-up posts where she over-explains herself in embarrassingly repetitive detail in order to insist that we all misunderstood her point.

I always get popcorn for those when they happen.

Susan of Texas said...

Heh. She's getting a little shrill, too.

spencer said...

Don't you just love her "poppycocks"s and "airy-fairy"s and "Listen, children while Mummy tells you a story." tone?

No. It makes me want to break things.