PRINT April 2009



The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 1999–, stills from a TV show on Comedy Central, March 4, 2009.

IT IS AMONG the most remarkable exercises in deconstruction to appear on mainstream television in recent memory: an eight-minute segment of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, aired last month, in which predictions and proclamations made by the punditry of the cable business channel CNBC during the past two years are juxtaposed with short texts describing events as they actually unfolded to create today’s global financial crisis. “The market just won’t quit, no matter how poorly actual companies are doing,” quips Mad Money host Jim Cramer in February 2008, unaware that the Dow will fall to half its level within a year; “Will Merrill [Lynch] need to raise capital? No,” declares commentator David Faber, echoing the company line, only five months before the investment bank ran out of capital; “The worst of this subprime business is over,” pronounces moderator Larry Kudlow earnestly, if

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