What happened to Jim Cramer? CNBC's Mad Money host screams stock-market tips with alpha male abandon, but he looked like he was going to wet himself in his Daily Show grudge match tonight.
Having been slammed repeatedly by host Jon Stewart over the past few days for one-sided journalism, Cramer fled any real direct confrontation in his lengthy interview and instead went contrite — absurdly contrite. His voice went high and cracked, his thoughts fragmented as they left his mouth.
In the process, he didn't do anything to help CNBC's image, battered on Stewart's show in recent days.
On the other hand, he didn't do much to hurt it, either; with Cramer seemingly apologizing for everything CNBC has ever aired, Stewart couldn't uppercut CNBC the way he did CNN and its Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson a few years ago.
He was left to deliver (still very good!) packaged lines and videos and counter whatever coherent arguments he could distill from Cramer's sputtering. (One of the more dramatic interview moments is excerpted in the clip above.)
Stewart is, perhaps, handicapped in studio Daily Show interviews by his own good manners: He's always seemed reluctant to truly torpedo his own guests the way, say, Fox News shouting head Bill O'Reilly does. He was able to truly nail Carlson only when he himself was the guest, on Carlson's Crossfire.
It would be interesting to watch the full interview, which was edited down for the show, to see if Cramer sharpened his argument (he looked much more relaxed and sounded much more coherent at the close of the segment than at the start). The Daily Show told viewers to look for the full clip on its website, but it has yet to be posted. We'll embed it below when it becomes available.
UPDATE 1: Better than the Cramer interview was the Daily Show's meta-opening mocking the hype surrounding the CNBC-Daily Show feud:
UPDATE 2: The full video: