Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some comments on the Extended vs. Aired edition of the Jon Stewart/Jim Cramer interview

Aired Comedy Central interview here:

Extended Interview here:

This extended interview is a LOT better than the one that was aired on ComedyCentral. I am a heck of a big Jon Stewart fan, but one thing I think The Daily Show needs to be very careful of is walking on the thin line between exciting, riveting entertainment and true journalistic commentary. Jon always talks about how noone needs to take him seriously because his show comes on "after puppets making crank phone calls" - and while it is true he is on a Comedy network, we ALL know that we DO take Jon Stewart seriously. If he was on CNN I'd watch him just as much as I watch him now, and I'd respect his opinion just the same as I already do.

One issue I see though is that there is (at least in my mind) a fair bit of discrepancy between the aired interview and the extended "full interview". The aired one makes poor Jim Cramer look like he's more often fumbling for his words, and it, in a way, focuses more on the old clips that Jon rolled and how they seem to throw Jim Cramer off track.

So my gripe is not with the interview, Jon's passionate response to the markets or the "shenanigans", or even that Jon brought up some old clips to shine some light on his thesis for the interview. My gripe is that the EDITING of this interview for TV removed the context of some of the back-and-forth... it seemed to me that when it was aired (i.e. the version that MOST people saw), the point of the editing added a much larger embarrassment factor for Jim Cramer. This is just the kind of "sensationalizing" that Jon Stewart always says he hates, and one of his major criticisms against CNBC, too. I just think The Daily Show needs to be extra careful not to fall victim to a similar problem that they are criticizing other networks for doing. The American public is not stupid - and we don't need the extra emotional factor added - just give it to us straight, Jon!

On the other hand, I appreciate that during the Comedy Central airing they said you should come to this site to see the Extended interview, and that's exactly what I did. I understand it needs to be cut for TV airing time, but there's no need to make the guest look weak unnecessarily due to some careful editing.

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