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Who's Winning the Cramer vs. Stewart Battle?

04/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Tim Berry Founder and Chairman, Palo Alto Software

Back in the seemingly pre-historic 1950s an interviewer asked pianist Liberace if it bothered him that people made fun of his flamboyance (which was a code word, back then for being gay). He answered:

"I cry all the way to the bank."

Flash forward: this week and last, Jon Stewart makes mincemeat of Jim Cramer over and over again. Cramer fights back during the day, Stewart comes back with yet another clip of Cramer being completely wrong and yet obnoxiously sure of himself.

What's wrong with Cramer? Why does he keep setting himself up to me made a fool of? The answer

He cries all the way to the bank.

Getting picked apart by Jon Stewart is good for Jim Cramer. He gets his name in lights: headlines, follow-up pieces. Look at the coverage here on Huffington Post, for example: suddenly, what Cramer says -- mostly his very visible mistakes, available as video clips -- is interesting to a larger audience.

Like Stewart, Cramer is an entertainer: the larger the audience, the better for him. He's not selling advice to clients, he's selling an audience to advertisers.

It's too easy to forget that sometimes. Rush Limbaugh is my favorite example: he's not a politician, he's an entertainer, and being hateful is good business for him. I don't like what he says? You don't? He cries all the way to the bank too. He must be laughing his head off, not to mention cashing checks, with some politicians and commentators suddenly taking him seriously.

So who's winning the Cramer vs. Stewart battle? Cramer and Stewart. Both are smart enough to keep it going as long as they can. And, along with them, Comedy Central, and NBC, and all the news media that cover them.