Soft commentary, as most media enjoys, but ends with a purpose:
Yet in the end, as Cramer himself said, mistakes were made. His main line of defense was that others made mistakes as well. Though that’s no doubt true, it’s hardly a line you want to fight over, particularly when, considering the different audiences the networks serve, chances are most CNBC viewers would never have heard Stewart’s devastating take-down of the network had Cramer not kept the story growing and spreading.
By picking a fight he could not win, Cramer gave Stewart time and ammunition to launch a broader, more damaging attack on CNBC itself. The thrust, as he laid it out Thursday, is that the network gave up its role as watchdog and began to treat the market as a game and CEOs as star quarterbacks, forgetting what was at stake should the market fail. At a time when the market and the media are held in equally low regard, that’s an argument that can easily take hold.
And yet that could also be the one upside. If this affair makes the media reconsider their coverage and the rest of us consider how easily distracted we are by, say, stories about feuds between TV personalities, Cramer may have unintentionally done us all a service.