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Dasher 03-14-09 12:24 AM

Obama spokesman praises ‘Daily Show’ battle
Obama spokesman praises ‘Daily Show’ battle
‘I enjoyed it thoroughly,’ says Press secretary Robert Gibbs
updated 3:54 p.m. CT, Fri., March. 13, 2009

WASHINGTON - The White House’s chief spokesman on Friday said he enjoyed watching “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart give a lashing to CNBC’s Jim Cramer over how he and the business network have covered the collapsing economy.

Cramer’s Thursday appearance on Stewart’s Comedy Central program garnered buzz that carried all the way to the White House briefing room.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said he had spoken with President Barack Obama on Thursday about watching the Stewart-Cramer showdown.

“I forgot to e-mail and remind him that it was on, so I don’t know if he’s seen it,” Gibbs said when asked by a reporter Friday. “I enjoyed it thoroughly.”

The spokesman added: “Despite, even as Mr. Stewart said, that it may have been uncomfortable to conduct and uncomfortable to watch, I thought it was — I thought somebody asked a lot of tough questions.”

Gibbs has been dismissive of cable chatter, particularly about the economy, and has also been critical of CNBC’s Rick Santelli after he spoke harshly of Obama’s plan to stem home foreclosures. Stewart’s had invited Santelli to be on his show earlier, but Santelli was a no-show.

When the stars come out at night, they flock to the sofas of TV’s talk shows. Here are the hosts America has lost sleep over.

On Thursday, Stewart took Cramer to task for trying to turn finance reporting into a “game.” Stewart claimed CNBC shirked its journalistic duty by believing corporate lies, rather than being an investigative “powerful tool of illumination.”

For his part, Cramer insisted on the show that he was devoted to revealing corporate “shenanigans.” At one point, Cramer responded to Stewart’s plea for more levelheaded, honest commentary by saying: “How about I try that?”

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Obama spokesman praises ?Daily Show? battle - Television- msnbc.com

Dasher 03-14-09 12:43 AM

Stewart, Cramer TV battle royal draws big audience
Fri Mar 13, 7:22 pm ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In the end, this was nothing to laugh about.

The war of words between funnyman Jon Stewart and CNBC financial news commentator Jim Cramer drew a audience of 2.3 million to mock news program "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" Thursday night, the Comedy Central network said on Friday.

The audience size was second only to Stewart's most-watched show this year, the episode on President Barack Obama's inauguration day, which drew 2.6 million viewers, and it is one of the top 10 most-watched episodes in the program's history.

A Comedy Central spokeswoman said the 2.3 million was 17 percent higher than the shows average audience, year-to-date in 2009, and 40 percent higher than a typical Thursday this year.

The recent showdown between Stewart and Cramer, host of the financial news network's "Mad Money," has been widely followed by the media because Stewart harshly criticized CNBC's reporting of the financial market meltdown, saying it was too cozy with corporate chiefs and key government officials.

Stewart has singled out Cramer, who positions himself as a long-time Wall Street insider who dispenses knowledge that will help everyday people make complicated investment decisions.

For instance, Stewart has chided Cramer for touting investment bank Bear Stearns only days before the major Wall Street player was taken over by JPMorgan Chase & Co last year.

For his part, Cramer has fought back by appearing on talk shows and saying that he gave as many good tips as bad and that Stewart had only focused on his wrong moves.

Thursday, the two squared off on Stewart's show with the host taking Cramer to task on why he and CNBC were not more skeptical of Wall Street executives, and didn't ask harder questions that journalists should.

"The financial news industry is not just guilty of a sin of omission but a sin of commission," Stewart said.

Cramer conceded that he had made mistakes but added that he and CNBC were not the only ones who had been fooled. "Everybody got it wrong. I got a lot of things wrong," he said.

In the end, the two seemed to agree that the financial news media should refocus on asking hard questions of key corporate and government officials, and they shook hands.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant)

Stewart, Cramer TV battle royal draws big audience

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