Segment one:

The war against the big banks began Thursday night, when The DailyShow’s Jon Stewart nuked the ethical pretensions of the entire industry and its media shills. FDL’s Thers live blogged it here, with Attaturk’s take here.

Using CNBC’s Jim Cramer as both Exhibit A and an accessory, Stewart laid out a devastating indictment of the industry and CNBC’s facilitating, coverup role. As Cramer fumbled to defend himself and CNBC, Stewart showed clip after clip of Cramer describing stock price manipulation, insider scams, and how cool and easy it is to fool federal and state regulators.

And in the process, the "comedian" as Cramer tried to belittle Stewart with Joe Scarborough’s help, not only humiliated Cramer; he showed by contrasting example how shallow and inept most of the MSM has been in covering the financial scandal.

Segment two:

When Cramer tried to claim that he felt he could have warned his viewers sooner, and wished he had done a better job of pointing out the scams, Stewart replied (paraphrasing):

"I want the Jim Cramer on CNBC to protect me from that Jim Cramer . . .CNBC could be an incredibly powerful of illumination. . . It feels like we’re capitalizing your adventure . . . and you pretend it isn’t happening."

Stewart is telling Cramer, CNBC and the media generally that it’s not a game; that protecting us from the powerful is their responsibility, and they’ve failed. And with that, CNBC’s credibility crumbled.

Segment three:

The banking industry has been crowing all week, following Treasury’s continuing, uninhibited assurances that government will commit our money to keep zombie banks alive as much and long as it takes. By Thursday, BoA and Citi CEOs were so confident that their looting of the US Treasury has succeeded that they were arrogantly proclaiming no further need for bailouts, while Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. was lecturing everyone how unpatriotic it was to criticize the captains of wealth. Of course, these CEOs know that Geithner will be shoveling tens of billions into the banks via the A.I.G. wormhole.

But all that arrogance was before Stewart.

The whole country is going to see The Daily Show video, and I think (hope) it’s going to change the debate. Congress and the Administration better wake up, because the policy of just giving the banks and AIG all the money they demand, with no accountability, no conditions, and no results, while Congress and the Administration pretend they have no choice, isn’t going to fly anymore.

More reactions from C&L.



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley