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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
NewsBusters Rants About Jon Stewart
Topic: NewsBusters

Jon Stewart is sending the boys at NewsBusters into new fits of anti-liberal bluster.

A March 15 post by Noel Sheppard ludicriously described the faceoff between CNBC's Jim Cramer and Stewart as a "Battle Between Socialism and Capitalism." That's only if you call deficient reporting "capitalism" and criticism of deficient reporting "socialism." Even more ludicrously, Sheppard goes on to defend CNBC's deficient reporting:

For example, Stewart finds it inappropriate that CNBC personalities interview and/or quote CEOs and CFOs concerning what's going on at their respective companies because they're clearly presenting facts and figures that are almost exclusively painting a positive picture regardless of accuracy.

Well, should company representatives therefore not be interviewed by anyone? Should the presumption be that every representative of every corporation is biased and therefore can't be trusted?

If such is the case, shouldn't the same be true of everyone in America including politicians? After all, doesn't anyone that goes in front of a camera or behind a microphone have an agenda, even including comedians such as Stewart who are stepping into the political and economic arenas?

Let's be clear: CNBC is indeed a financial news network. As such, it reports information about companies when it is made available the bulk of which comes from the companies in question.

Is there any other way of doing it?

Well, yeah -- talking to analysts who can provide indications that those comapnies are not telling the truth and can provide fact-based countervailing views. It's called telling both sides of the story -- apparently Sheppard has never heard of the concept.

Sheppard goes on to while: "what else should a financial outlet such as CNBC do to ensure the information it is presenting is accurate? And, why should it be the only one under such pressure?" Uh, because its specialty is financial news, and company CEOs have been using the network as a platform to whitewash criticism?

Sheppard then asserts that Stewart's attack on CNBC is "about personalities Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer making negative comments about Obama's economic policies, and the left can't have that." In fact, Stewart first criticized bad reporting at CNBC in the form of Cramer's claim that Bear Stearns was "not in trouble" less than a week before the company collapsed in March 2008, long before Obama was elected.

And guess what? NewsBusters did too, the same day Stewart did. So where, exactly, is the problem here?

Meanwhile, in a March 16 post, Tim Graham has a cow over the idea that Stewart is expressing a populist sentiment, bashing the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz for calling Stewart an "populist avenging angel."Kurtz, Graham claimed, "failed in this story to consider that Stewart wasn’t an 'avenging angel' for populists, but a transparent shill for liberal Obama-lovers." Like Sheppard, Graham fails to grasp that the issue is not ideological.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT

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