Friday, March 13, 2009

Have you met my new boyfriend? His name is Jon Stewart...

*Sigh*.   Isn't he just the dreamyyyyyyyyy-ist?!?!?    A Jonus Brother for menopausal men.  Im dispensing with any pretense of objectivity here and just swimming in the giddy hot goo of nerdy fan boy adulation. Aside from the obvious de-pantsing of financial reporting I think last night's Daily Show was a seminal event for reporting in general, politics, and  pop culture.  Lets look at the fallout.

The greatest guilty pleasure I took in watching Cramer grovel was how emasculated he, and CNBC by inference, looked when confronted with their own bullshit.   If you're not a regular CNBC viewer then you might be surprised at the level of testosterone that oozes up from the trading pits and finds its way on air.   These guys act as if they made money by swinging around their big penises and then carry home the profits in their pendulous  ballsacks.  Its a self congratulatory culture pumped up on its own fast pace and unrealistic reward structure.   This is the wanna-be NFL for paunchy non-athletes and CNBC is its ESPN.  

It spoke volumes then to watch this culture's loudest and most in your face personality sit with shoulders hunched offering little more than "sorry" and "you're right" in the way of explanation.   The curtain is down now and it all seems too silly, if it weren't for the money lost. Its been a circle jerk passing itself off as expertise.

But my new boyfriend didn't stop there.   The political fallout will be interesting to watch and harder to connect conclusively to the interview but there is no avoiding the implications of what's  been exposed.    CNBC and the economic class they represent have obviously been very critical of Obama.  They've whined about a war on capital, class warfare, socialism, and on and on.  But last night made it more difficult to make the case that the top earners in this economy are getting victimized here.  Stewart has helped to make it clearer for those of us with less financial acumen just  how skewed the system is in favor of those at the top.   The rewards are disproportionately dispersed and generated by a insider system that most Americans will never have access to so its going to be difficult to create a viable political narrative arguing that the responsibilities for fixing this fuck up should not be primarily borne by those who created and benefited from it.  The country club wing of the GOP has been punked by a comedy show. Get out your checkbooks boys, you deserve  your higher tax rates.

And I have to confess that Im fascinated by the eye candy implications.    This isn't the first time obviously the Daily Show or TV in general has generated viral pub but it is one of the first times that the nexus between YouTube and broadcast has fed on itself to generate a highly anticipated broadcast event.   Daily Show ratings are up 20% since this all hit and I think its clear that the web has driven that increase which reverses the conventional wisdom and creates a template for an interesting model going forward.   These don't have to be competing technologies, they should compliment one another and generate ad revenues that neither would have access to on their own.  We've seen a glimpse of our entertainment future here I think.

This will be why Jon breaks up with me finally but the degree to which he shames news networks is endlessly fascinating to me.   What seemed like uncomfortable awkwardness last night actually has a name.  I believe we used to call it journalism.

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