There was a poll last year in which some disturbing number of Americans said that their main news source was The Daily Show – a nightly satirical show on the Comedy Channel hosted by Jon Stewart.
Having been in the US for over a year now, I have to confess that, unbelievably, I now add myself to that statistic – and I’m a professional journalist for chrissake. But this isn’t just an indication of how bad US news is – and it is really, unbelievably bad – it is also how increasingly sophisticated and journalistic Stewart has become.
He is really starting to get up there with the best journalists through his incisive, powerful questions and his articulate and fierce questioning. It just so happens that whenever it reaches an uncomfortable point, he also throws in a joke.
Never has this point been so clear as the painful-to-watch destruction of TV financial advisor Jim Cramer last night. Cramer hosts an extremely daft show called Fast Money on CNBC. Last week, Stewart was laying into all these dreadful “fun” financial shows on US TV at the moment when people are really suffering financially and Jim Cramer unfortunately got upset about it.
This led to a peculiar and equally appalling US TV trait – obsessive personality fake-fight nonsense masquerading as news – which has consumed American TV and fallen over into printed newspapers for the past week. So with appalling inevitability, Cramer appeared on Stewart’s show last night. And my god, did he get a roasting.
And thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, you can watch it all below (and on this page). I have to say I am impressed with Stewart. When he tires of comedy, I want to see this man front a serious news show (he has to get over the swearing though).