Posted by: watchman | March 15, 2009

Not So Funny

If you haven’t been keeping track of the recent feud between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and CNBC’s Jim Kramer, you’ve missed a great prizefight. Jon Stewart started mocking CNBC and Kramer for turning a blind eye to the financial crises. In fact, he puts part of the blame on the network.

The media, along with the SEC and everyone else have claimed they did not see it coming. However, Jon Stewart has gone on a holy witch hunt and found clips of Cramer and others advocating the very practices that brought the market to this fall.

It all came to a head when Cramer appeared on the Daily Show –

Now, this most glaring problem I have with this whole situation is this: Why is a comedy show doing the job of regulators and watchdogs? That is a whole other discussion. However, it relates to our topic here. Many church leaders that go through painful, unfair terminations usually do not have a watchdog to make sure that things are being done right. The people responsible for this are denominational in many mainlines. In independent churches, the leadership committee, board, or elders are supposed to play that role. If they are unable to, third party mediation is an absolute necessity.

Unfortunately, the watchdogs often fail those they are supposed to watch over.

The second thing I am struck by is the fact that Cramer, CNBC and everyone else have shared the mantra so often recited by the culpable: “how tragic. We never saw it coming.” They say this as if they are not part of the problem. Then, they wipe their hands off and move on, none the worse for wear. But, at the very least they were enablers. Many of these lay leaders sat back and watched a person, a real person, get slaughtered becasue of political church games.

Jon Stewart at one point in the interview yelled in Cramer’s face “I understand you want to make finance entertaining,” he said, “but this is not a &%@*ing game. . . you knew what the banks were doing and yet were touting it for months and months. . . . These guys were on a Sherman’s march through their companies financed by our 401(k)s, and all the incentives for their companies were for short term . . . and they . . . walked away rich as hell. And you guys knew it was going on”

Stewart also revealed to Cramer that his (Stewart’s) mother’s 401K had been decimated in the debacle.

Real people, real hurt. At least someone is watching out.

For a more journalistic perspective on Cramer vs. Stewart –,0,1002693.story




  1. […] Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer […]

  2. Mediation is a great idea Watchman. But that would mean a leadership team would have to work with, or even listen to a mediator.

    I did mediation with the pastor’s wife, who I was in conflict with at the time, and when asking for financial help from the elders to pay for it, the head elder said, “We don’t believe that whatever is going on between you and her affects the youth department enough to warrant paying for it.” Her and I were the ONLY adult leaders in the youth room with the students once a week for almost two years.

    The elders never asked another question about what happened in mediation, and the pastor’s wife wouldn’t let the mediator write a report for the elders that I suggested be done. I got stuck with the bill, and they chose to stick with a one-sided story locked down by the woman who told it. Which ironically was exactly what the mediator told me they would do.

    She told me that the pastor’s wife wasn’t interested in reconciliation, but was going to make me pay until they got rid of me; and that the church leadership was going to sacrifice me and support her till the end. All that from one meeting. She was a wise mediator.

    Mediators can be a great source of information…if people will use them…or even solicit information from the ones that are already being used.

  3. I’m glad I fell onto this post. I had no idea that this happened. (I guess I dn’t watch enough television).

    I’ll be staying tuned in… and now doing some more research. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for stopping by Tifanei

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