One of the more disturbing aspects of American punditry is that failure and poor analysis are so often rewarded. Pundits who were wrong about the war in Iraq, for example, were routinely given promotions, space on the country’s most read op-ed pages, and face time on television. William Kristol took the term wrong to new levels in 2002 and 2003, yet was granted plum gigs withthe New York Times and the Washington Post. There is an entire Wikipedia page devoted to Times columnist Tom Friedman’s woeful miscalculations on Iraq. Peter Beinart, New Republic editor and a staunch supporter of the war, snagged himself a fellowship from the Council of Foreign Relations and a book deal. And on it goes. Everywhere you look in the world of media, those who got it wrong have stayed on as dominant voices in the public sphere.
So it only makes sense that, in the waning days of the global economic crisis, on goes the reign of Jim Cramer, CNBC’s wild-eyed investment advisor and one-man circus show. Not only has Cramer’s stock advice, often screamed loudly on his program Mad Money, been notably horrendous, his shady business dealings, lack of ethics, and failure to stand up to Wall Street greed have all been very publicly exposed (thanks, Jon Stewart).
And yet the degree of arrogance Cramer continues to maintain is downright staggering. Consider his latest book, Getting Back to Even: Your Personal Economic Recovery Plan. (One assumes the title is talking about leveling readers’ stock portfolios, but, given Cramer’s history, perhaps it should be referencing his credibility.) Claiming that, with the help of his tome, readers will not only survive the crisis, but "thrive" and make “what’s essentially free money,” Cramer has proven again that, while his wallet is brimming, his senses of history and reality are bankrupt.
Jim Cramer's Mad Memory
Jim Cramer's Mad Memory (A book review published by Campus Progress)
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