The confrontation between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer was a game with no one to root for. I have never seen Jim Cramer but I get the picture. Hyperactive stock touting. I have always agreed with Megan McArdle about those shows. If they tell you to buy a stock, even if they are right, it's probably too late. But then I am the ultimate buy and hold (don't even think about it again)guy and likely to be working until I am 80, so don't follow me.
I have no doubt that financial journalists have been tempted to try to manipulate the market and that some have done so. But its (relatively speaking) nickel and dime. It's not the cause of the current economic malaise and Stewart's posturing ("f*** you")is of a piece with the notion that there are bad guys to blame. It's a natural human tendency to want to believe that, if things have gone wrong, someone must have behaved badly. It's what makes good plaintiffs' lawyers rich. But it is often not true.