John Stewart and the Fifth Estate

SUBHEAD: Fake news exposes CNBC slimy stagecraft.
By Jeff Vail on 13 March 2009 in JEFFVAIL
I'm a bit surprised that John Stewart's "interview" of Jim Cramer hasn't garnered more attention. Manymedia outlets (with the notable absence of CNBC, which is pretending it didn't happen) have mentioned the existence of some "smack-down" between Stewart and Cramer, but few have give the content of the interview any analysis.
It was the most important piece of journalism of the financial crisis to date. Watch the whole interview from last night here. Notably--and this was the hidden theme of Stewart's criticism of Cramer and CNBC--it came from a self-professed "fake news show."
Maybe the Fourth Estate is hoping that, by giving the existence of this interview lip service, but pretending that it was only funny--rather than an indictment of the Fourth Estate itself--they could somehow marginalize Stewart's conclusions. If you haven't watched the interview, please do so. Then consider whether the main-stream press, regardless of which political market-segment they try to capture, can remain legitimate when it is fundamentally designed to opitimize profit, not distribute civilizationally-valuable and accurate information.
The unresolved question lingering around Stewart's interview is whether or not the problem we've encountered is "solveable," meaning that with proper regulation and reporting we can get back to business as usual and live in a world where investment returns are something more than, to quote Nassim Taleb, "money borrowed from destiny with a random payback time."
Regular readers will know that I think we're facing a phase-shift from perpetual growth to perpetual contraction, driven by diminishing energy supplies, ecological constraints, and diminishing returns on our investments in technology and other forms of complexity. Most people, I imagine, will refuse to accept this even if they realize that it is 100% true. What will this lead to? John Michael Greer has an excellent piece answering that question.
see also: Island Breath: Jon Stewart on Rick Santelli 3/13/09

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

upon reading this article it reminded me of an old quote I recently read.

"but the press is, almost without exception, corrupt. I believe that in this country the press exerts a greater and a more pernicious influence than the church did in its worst period...they live and rule only by their servility, and appealing to the worse, and not the better, nature of man, the people who read them are in the condition of the dog that returns to his vomit."

full text here:
http://www.online-literature.com/thoreau/2059/

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