Friday, March 13, 2009

Should've Seen That Coming

The play I saw last night was Frost/Nixon.

And then I went home and watched Jon Stewart take on Jim Cramer.

And I really think Cramer needed to watch Frost/Nixon. Because Frost/Nixon posits that Nixon underestimated Frost. Nixon knew debates and politics, but Frost knew television. And it was, ultimately, the entertainer who was able to take the upper hand.

I'll grant that it wasn't the same thing, but it was eerily similar. Watching Frost hammer Nixon with damning quotes; watching Nixon tell Frost he was taking them out of context; watching Frost come in for the kill with quotes you couldn't take out of context.... And then watching Stewart do the same thing with Cramer -- only this time, it was video clips rather than quotes from audio transcripts.

Stewart usually isn't such a piercing interviewer. Particularly when he's interviewing comedians, or other people he actually knows, it's generally just three minutes of Jon and his pal giggling in a mutual admiration session. But, at times like this, he takes the position of the Everyman Journalist -- and straightforwardly fires the questions we all think should be asked. And people like Cramer who think Stewart is just a fake newsman do so at their peril.

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