For a week in 2009, Jon Stewart eviscerated shouty CNBC investment “expert” Jim Cramer to the point where I remember actually cringing as I watched it. Since then, the only question left unanswered about the fake everyman is whether he’s delusional or just a moron — or perhaps a delusional moron? But he’s still out there, apparently, and people still watch him, despite the fact that it’s been shown time and time again that he’s, well, kind of horrible.
And he’s also quite sensitive to criticism, based on the batsh*t meltdown he had on Twitter this morning, lashing out at some 27 year-old guy named Chris with less than 50 Twitter followers in a string of tweets after Chris — who describes himself in his Twitter bio as a “trader,car guy, biker, snowboarder,loving life and surviving in the bernake market” –questioned Cramer’s advise to viewers that they buy stock in Goldman Sachs because he feels its price will rise to $250 a share in the near future.
He went on and on and on like that, rhetorically puffing out his chest and beating it like an aging alpha-gorilla trying to warn any young bucks thinking about trespassing on his piece of the jungle that he can still take them down. And then, in the last bloviating tweet of the meltdown, Kramer laid down a final threat to guys like Chris who dare to point out just how awful he is — if you talk bad about Jim Cramer, just know that he will run through a wall of fire to prevent you from joining that “elite” fraternity for old men he’s so proud to be a part of, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, dammit!
Ralph Kramden would be sh*tting his pants if he were still alive and on Twitter and prone to criticizing Jim Cramer in tweets!
Coincidentally, this week’s New York Times Magazine features a profile of Kramer in which he admits to still being butthurt over Stewart’s deconstruction of him two years ago. (He also had the reporter who wrote the piece meet him at an Elks Lodge in New Jersey.)
When it was announced that Cramer was going on “The Daily Show” to debate Stewart, the media ballyhooed the clash as if it were the reincarnation of Ali-Frazier, albeit with two quick-witted, wise-guy Jewish flyweights.
“There was a real sense of excitement in the newsroom here when Cramer left for ‘The Daily Show,’ ” Mark Hoffman told me. They all thought that if anybody had a chance to go toe to toe against Stewart, it would be Cramer.
They were wrong. For 15 long minutes, Cramer sat abjectly as Stewart pummeled him. Worse, he accused Cramer of being a snake-oil salesman and suggested that he and his colleagues at CNBC were responsible for cheerleading Wall Street shenanigans that wrecked the investments of millions. Cramer greeted this with an abashed grin and repeated apologies for his role in the economic mess. People expecting to hear from the confident Jim Cramer of “Mad Money” were stunned.
“It’s unbelievable, I know, but I never saw it coming,” he told me as we sat in a booth in the diner gorging on a breakfast of bacon and eggs. “The night before Stewart, a bartender in Brooklyn wished me luck, and I didn’t get what he was talking about. I expected a cordial discussion. They promised they wouldn’t use any clips, and they lied,” Cramer said. (“The Daily Show” declined to comment.) “I should have known this was coming because of how vicious Stewart had been all week, but I really thought it was just going to be a friendly show.”
This misapprehension lasted for about 10 seconds. “As soon as he started, I realized Stewart was on a mission to make me look like a clown. I didn’t defend myself because I wasn’t prepared. What was I supposed to do, talk about how often I had been right? Praise myself? Get mad? I was mad, but I didn’t want to give the audience any blood. The national media said I got crushed, which I did, and made me into a buffoon.” He looked at his plate and shook his head. “You have a whole body of work and then — ”
Jim Cramer is a very sensitive man, y’all.