White House press secretary Robert Gibbs generated some criticism when he was a bit glib when questioned about former Vice President Dick Cheney's interview with CNN's John King. He drew laughs when mentioning Rush Limbaugh and Cheney as the least popular members of the "Republican cabal".

At least one correspondent, and also Pat Buchanan, felt that Gibbs was not showing proper respect for a former vice president. Gibbs seemed to acknowledge this point but I wish that he would have responded that he would have been more respectful if the Vice President had shown more respect for the facts and the truth.

Today, Adrianna Huffington had a great column on the Cheney interview. She illustrated how much more informative it would have been had Jon Stewart conducted the interview. Stewart would have confronted Cheney on the spot when he made spurious claims and accusations.

It should also be pointed out that Cheney showed no respect for the tradition under which former Presidents and Vice Presidents refrained from criticism of their successors. By contrast, Cheney went so far as to accuse President Obama of placing our country in more risk of terrorist attacks.


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Finishing What Stewart Started

Stewart closed his smackdown of Jim Cramer last week with a call to action for CNBC.

STEWART: So, maybe [CNBC] could remove the 'financial expert' and the 'in Cramer We Trust' and start getting back to fundamentals on the reporting as well and I can go back to making fart noises and funny faces.

CRAMER: I think we make that deal right here.

Cramer and Stewart shook on it and as much as I'd like to believe it's in CNBC's interest to deliver on that deal, we have to do what we can to hold them to it. That's exactly what PCCC is doing with the backing of an impressive array of progressive economicsts, journalists, bloggers and activists with their latest campaign: FixCNBC.

Sign the open letter to the network:

Dear CNBC --

   "You knew what the banks were doing, and yet were touting it for months and months. The entire network was." -- Jon Stewart

These now-legendary words were a wake-up call. We're asking you to wake up.

Americans need CNBC to do strong, watchdog journalism - asking tough questions to Wall Street, debunking lies, and reporting the truth. Instead, CNBC has done PR for Wall Street. You've been so obsessed with getting "access" to failed CEOs that you willfully passed on misinformation to the public for years, helping to get us into the economic crisis we face today.

You screwed up badly. Don't apologize - fix it!

CNBC should publicly declare that its new overriding mission will be responsible journalism that holds Wall Street accountable. As a down payment, we ask you to hire some new economic voices - people who have a track record of being right about the economic crisis and holding Wall Street executives' feet to the fire.

Please show us that you hear our voices loud and clear.

Once the number of signatures reaches 5,000 they'll deliver it to CNBC. They're already at 3,100 since this morning.

Add your name to the list and help finish what Stewart started.

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ACTION: Thank You Jon Stewart!

I'm sure that many of you reading this have been reveling in Jon Stewart's take-down of banks, speculators, and financial commentators this week on The Daily Show. I have too. I think my favorite part was from last night's floor-wiping spectacular with Jim Cramer.

"Listen, you knew what the banks were doing, yet were touting it for months and months, the entire network was. For now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst."

Exactly. You go, Jon!

Of course, he's taking a lot of flak about this from various sides - even the New York Times was a bit of a scold in their article today. So we at ACORN are taking a minute to thank Jon Stewart and The Daily Show for actually staying on this story and taking some of the biggest culprits to task.

And we'd like you to join with us and send him a thank you message as well. In a few days, we're going to deliver a big "Thank You" directly to The Daily Show's HQ in New York with all the messages.

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Stewart Destroys Cramer

If you missed Jon Stewart's interview with Jim Cramer on yesterday's Daily Show, it's absolutely must-watch television. I give Cramer a lot of credit for going on the show at all but his reduction to a whining, defensive child at Jon Stewart's hands can be a bit painful to witness. Memo to media: watch Jon Stewart for a lesson in how to hold your own accountable AND as a warning of what could happen to you if you act irresponsibly.

Unfortunately, the Comedy Central videos won't embed but watch the interview over at the Indecision Forever blog.

Update [2009-3-13 11:57:18 by Todd Beeton]:Here's part of the interview posted on YouTube but again, watch the whole thing in all its cringe-inducing populist glory:

Update [2009-3-13 23:0:43 by Charles Lemos]: Here's the video from Comedy Central. I have never believed in the wisdom of finance as "entertainment" and that's Mr. Cramer is a financial entertainer. He bemoans that Lehman CEO Richard Fuld "lied" to him about the health of the bank. As a former equity analyst who had a pretty good batting average stock picking wise, I'll say this, financial reporting isn't a game and Mr. Cramer treated it as one. A show called Beat the Street is little different than Let's Make a Deal except for the fact that the repercussions are more far-reaching. In my coverage universe, I could tell when a CEO or CFO was trying to pull one over on me. Balance sheets and cash flow statements tell a story. It pays to pay attention to them.

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"Just A Comedian"

Wow, Jim Cramer and Joe Scarborough REALLY do not seem to get the influence Jon Stewart and The Daily Show have in today's political discourse. They dismiss Stewart as "just a comedian" at their peril. Scarborough also betrays a very old school view of media when he claims that Jon Stewart can hide from everything he's ever said on The Daily Show because it doesn't publish a transcript.

Then again, maybe they DO get it. Cramer repeats the "just a comedian" line so much it does sort of seem like NBC's idea of crisis-management and a crisis is exactly what they have on their hands. If you haven't seen Stewart's two virtuoso takedowns of CNBC, do yourself a favor and watch them at the Indecision Forever blog.

Not to mention, if Stewart is "just a comedian" then why is Cramer appearing on The Daily Show on Thursday?

Update [2009-3-11 2:5:2 by Todd Beeton]:Today's brilliance:

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