Jon Stewart continued his path of destruction through the reputation of CNBC last night during his Late Show appearance, and actually added two unnamed financial networks to his hit list as well. The whole thing started when CNBC’s Rick Santelli backed out of a scheduled appearance on the Daily Show Wednesday. Santelli, you’ll recall, is the CNBC reporter who became an online celebrity after an on-air rant where he castigated the Obama Administration’s housing plan for bailing out “losers” who couldn’t manage their mortgages. (Lesson: Anyone evenly vaguely associated with Wall Street should watch who they’re calling a “loser.” What’s the Dow at today? 300?)
After Santelli canceled (CNBC has explained by saying it’s “just time to move on to the next story”), Stewart responded on Wednesday’s Daily Show by pulling the financial channel’s pants down in a brutal segment that highlighted how spectacularly wrong CNBC has been in the run up to the economic meltdown (see it embedded below). Last night, Stewart continued the assault on Letterman, expanding his criticism to cover financial networks in general. “There are three 24-hour financial networks,” Stewart told Dave. “All their slogans are like, ‘We know what’s going on on Wall Street.’ But then you turn it on during the crisis, and they’re like, ‘We don’t know what’s going on.’ It’d be like turning on The Weather Channel in a hurricane and they’re just doing this: [shuddering] ‘Why am I wet?! What’s happening to me? And it’s so windy!’”
What do you think? Is Stewart your new favorite spokesperson for populist rage? Or do you think he’s been too hard on Santelli, CNBC, and the other financial networks given that we’re living through an unprecedented financial crisis?