Fox Business Gunning for James Cramer

Via MediaBistro, we first learned that Fox Business Network bought ad space in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, poking fun at CNBC’s Jim Cramer, and what he said about Bear Stearns, days before its collapse. The ads ran on Monday.

The quotes have received lots of airplay on YouTube (pulled) and LiveLeak (pulled and then reposted). Out of context, they are rather embarrassing — but in all fairness to Cramer, he was advising the caller not to pull their account from Bear Stearns, and was not (as is somewhat implied by FBN ad below) advising them to buy or keep BSC stock.

Interestingly, CNBC could hit back with quotes from Fox News shows and guests over the past 2 years; FoxNews has been even more Über-bullish than CNBC heading straight into ther Bear market. That’s probably a no win argument for both networks, one that will only lead viewers to Lose the News.

The tag line of the Fox advert is "Turbulent Times Call For A Credible Network."

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. C. Maoxian commented on Mar 25

    “Turbulent times call for a credible network.” That’s right, and it’s called Bloomberg TV.

    Fox Business Network will go the way of CNNfn and the Financial News Network before them.

  2. engineer al commented on Mar 25

    Has anyone else noticed the female dress code on the FBC? Short skirts. Tight sweaters. Cleavage.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  3. david commented on Mar 25

    I am fast becoming impressed with how VERY wrong the “personalities” are on CNBC i.e., Kudlow, Kernan and Cramer:

    They are consistently in error in their opinions e.g. Kernan gleefully shutting down all experts in Sept 07 who dared to opine that subprime could be huge. Kernan said no way can it exceed $300 Million.

    Kudlow is just plain irrelevant unless you enjoy geriatric hot air and losing money. He rants and shuts up the best and brightest e.g., BR.

    I’ll gladly take the FBC sweater girls over the CNBC personalities who think they know more and deserve more air time than their experts.

  4. Crim Jamer commented on Mar 25

    Unfortunately, I believe the REAL Jim Cramer showed his true colors this a.m. on CNBC–when asked if the American public won’t be angry about the Fed bailout of Bear Stearns said, “The American public don’t know jack!”

    If that’s not pissin’ in the well from which you’re drinkin’ I don’t know what is.

    Hey Cramericans…Jim thinks you’re all dumb!

  5. pj commented on Mar 25

    Why is Cramer given this much importance? Or maybe it is just that “The American public don’t know jack!”

  6. Kris Tuttle commented on Mar 25

    I can understand (I guess) why people tune into mainstream TV programming to be entertained. What I can’t figure out is why someone would listen to programming like Jim Cramer. At first I thought it was the entertainment value but isn’t making investments that pay off more entertaining to a financially-oriented viewer? But maybe the Cramer viewer is indeed like Mr. Cramer indicates in his comment that they “don’t know jack.” There could be a very large community of lazy and/or uninformed people who find programming like CNBC in general and Cramer in particular fills a need to feel financially smart. If there is “one born every minute” then there are enough future viewers to be bamboozled by the likes of Cramer.

  7. Smap commented on Mar 25

    Have you seen their ‘half-hour news hour’? Garbage on all levels. What makes these quotes ‘last words’? What do the quotes have in common besides being stated by prominent people? I’m no expert but the ad is just clumsy and poorly done from the top to the bottom.

  8. Eric commented on Mar 25

    Yeah, in this one instance I actually feel bad for Jim. Fox is probably just trying to deflect attention away from their own irresponsible cheerleading.

    By the way, I like the fascistic style of the artwork in that Fox image. The black and white also gives it a touch of the early days of tv… the 1940s… Do you suppose it lends them credibility in the eyes of present day Americans? I sure hope not–but lack of historical sense leaves a person (or a people) vulnerable to all the old tricks.

  9. Northern Observer commented on Mar 25

    What amazes me is how unfair the Fox ad is. It complete de-contextualizes what Cramer said. It’s Gobbles like in its fiendishness.
    And now we see that what was perfected against liberal politicians has now come to attack the rival business press. What a country.

  10. Taylor commented on Mar 25


    in all fairness to Cramer, he was advising the caller not to pull their account from Bear Stearns,

    How much did you need to have to open an account with BSC?

  11. JustinTheSkeptic commented on Mar 25

    Wish I could say something profound here, like, “why are we even discussing this nonsense?” Are there not “real” markets out there that need to be dechiphered? To even know who Cramer is, says something preverse, about the state of investment today.

  12. amnon commented on Mar 25

    All those networks are just full of talking bobbleheads. If it wasn’t for Santelli there would be absolutely NOTHING worth watching on CNBC.

  13. bluestatedon commented on Mar 25

    Cramer and Kudlow may be loons, but the idea of a slapfest between them and Fox is like a morality contest between Eliot Spitzer and Kwame Kilpatrick.

    Your average $20 street hooker has more credibility and integrity than any of the numbskull shills on Fox/Pravda.

  14. Douglas Watts commented on Mar 25

    What is important to note is that FOX certainly, and the national media in general, has shrugged off any obligation to be objective and reliable. FOX and Rupert Murdoch are poison to this country’s quality of discourse, and hence, its ability to think. News Corp. is becoming little more than Pravda and Tass.

  15. John T commented on Mar 25

    I can’t believe a non general retail firm’s (such as BSC) customers would be calling Cramer for advice. Barry who do customers of Goldman Sachs call?

  16. Don Harrold commented on Mar 25

    Barry, you may be right that Jim Cramer was not talking about the the “common stock” on March 11, 2008. However, that’s not what TheStreet.com reported. From March 11, 2008 to March 17, 2008 they showed that Jim said to BUY BSC on March 11, 2008. It was not until my video broke that that they pulled that BUY call from their site. Also, Jim’s revisionist history on Monday, March 17, 2008 was flat-out false. On Monday, March 17, 2008, Jim said he told people to avoid “the common stock” and that his comments on March 11, 2008 were aimed at “hedgies” which would be “bailed out”, thus, your money would be fine at BSC. Those comments from Jim appear nowhere in his March 11, 2008 Mad Money show. Further more, Mad Money displayed a STOCK CHART of BSC right after he said to keep your money in Bear Stearns. So, you might be right that Jim’s original comments were not about the “common stock” but you have to do a serious mental gymnastics to arrive at that conclusion. That, though, is what it takes to be a member of “Cramerica” in the first place.

  17. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 25

    Barry, your argument supporting Cramer has affected your credibility with me. Even if you believe Cramer’s claim he was telling the viewer not to take their account from Bear (a laughable point given his show is 100% about picking stocks), Cramer screamed “BEAR STEARNS IS FINE”. A more inaccurate statement has never been uttered on television. Your secondary (or primary?) role as media analyst who must appear on CNBC to increase your relevance makes you an imperfect messenger (to borrow your phrase) of a defense of Cramer.

    ~~~

    BR: Um, wrong on just about every account.

    I saw the clip (posted here), and that’s how it reads to me. (I don’t watch the show)

    You can disagree with my interpretation, but if you think my view is based on the incorrect assumption that I am buddies with Cramer, you got another thing coming. I have no obligation to defend Cramer. He is a big boy, and can do that for himself.

    As to my media appearances, I have no clue what you are referring to.

    You should consider switching to decaf.

  18. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 25

    Don Harrold,

    Rock solid analysis…I just signed up for your newsletter.

  19. Dumpster commented on Mar 25

    “but in all fairness to Cramer, he was advising the caller not to pull their account from Bear Stearns, and was not (as is somewhat implied by FBN ad below) advising them to buy or keep BSC stock.”

    Absolute nonsense Barry.

    Since when did BSC have a retail brokerage division that manages accounts for the the individual investor. Oh, that’s right they don’t. Cramer absolutely referring to the common stock.

    Oh, wait a minute Barry, maybe the question was from Steve Cohen over at SAC Capital….NOT!!!

  20. Finance Monk commented on Mar 25

    Honestly, I think I’m starting to like Fox news. Every time I see or hear anything Fox puts out I can’t help but think it’s really funny, and the people that are writing this stuff are secretly being ironic. If I were writing a farce about the media I wouldn’t change a word. People seem to take them too seriously.

  21. cathompson commented on Mar 25

    Its the closet fascist against the goosestepping cadres. An Armageddon of hot air. You’d be better off picking your nose and then trying to read the boogers.

  22. Mother commented on Mar 25

    I remember watching a show with Cramer fall 2007 about the credit crunch and how hard it was for banks and investment banks to get liquidty, in retrospect Jim Cramer knows what he is talking about. He was raving “mad” at that time as well when he urged FED to help out fast, the show, which can be viewed on youtube, is very much cramer but a little bit worse, screaming “they have no idea what’s it like out there, no idea”.

    I get the feeling FOX is discrediting Cramer here, all he wanted was that people should not panic and withdraw their accounts from their banks, that would put a lot of unnecessary pressure on an already strained financial system.

  23. surferdude commented on Mar 25

    br support of the comments by cramer and bove all within the last week does shake the foundation. on this one, comments by don harrod, dee leverage, and dumpster are all on the mark. traders know when to exit a losing trade and it is time to dump cramer and bove.

  24. B.B. commented on Mar 25

    Don Harold,

    I have been watching your video’s for awhile now (some of the older ones are a bit overproduced, but very good history). Your post above is spot on. But, I do beleive Cramer was talking about money and not common stock. It’s irrelevent. He has been advocating buying BS the whole time. And just using this as a scapegoat.

    CNBS personalities: Eric Bolling, Tim Strazzini, and even J. Macke have and were pretty good. Joe Batapaglia, Gary Schilling and our own B.R. have been spot on. I daytrade full time, so most of this info isnt much use to me. But I enjoy watching the shows just to see who is in touch.

  25. Bob A commented on Mar 25

    The path to sane investing:

    Make sure your financial future either dresses up in clown costumes, or looks like Pee Wee Herman.

  26. brig commented on Mar 25

    Seriously what was he suppose to say? “Quick get you money out while you still can?”

    He might of actually believed that, but there’s no way he could say that on national TV. If did he, could have triggered a bank run. One that could cascade into something real bad.

  27. The Financial Philosopher commented on Mar 25

    JustinTheSkeptic is on the right path…

    Something just as interesting (and disturbing) as the presence of noise makers such as Jim Cramer is the presence of seemingly intelligent people discussing his relevance, which apparently is quite significant — otherwise, why discuss him?

    I only know of Jim Cramer and other talking heads from reading The Big Picture.

    Thanks, Barry, for reminding me of why I do not have cable TV and why my “core holding” in my “portfolio” of information sources is books…

  28. Dave L commented on Mar 25

    I was planning to say something appropriate about Fox Business News (remember, Rupert Murdoch wanted it to be less hostile to business than CNBC!!!), but I can’t do better than Bluestatedon:

    “Your average $20 street hooker has more credibility and integrity than any of the numbskull shills on Fox/Pravda.”

  29. brokenotbroken commented on Mar 25

    Seriously what was he suppose to say? “Quick get you money out while you still can?”

    Yep, that’s EXACTLY what he should have said. It’s been so long since someone spoke the truth, we forgot what it sounds like.

  30. BDG123 commented on Mar 25

    Did Cramer really just say not to take your money out of the company? How many of his viewers (retail investors) being managed by BS? Very few. Your buddy Don Harrold put a Youtube post up after the BS fiasco and he’s got some rather supportive data that Cramer was recommending on buy BS. Like……a post of Cramer’s picks on TheStreet.com……. That was up for four or five days but then pulled after the collapse.

    Hmmm…….pulling posts or rewriting history? That’s mighty convenient. Would they have pulled the post if BS had not gone bankrupt? Cramer’s act is a clown act. He’s really bullish right now. REALLY bullish. There’s no rally point yet even for a trader. Let alone this gibberish about the bear market potentially being over as he seems to be now espousing from headlines I read. To be fair I haven’t read his opinions but I have other more fun things to do. Like having my toenails pulled out. I’m still confident of my prediction that his show will be off the air by the time this cycle is over.

  31. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 25

    Seriously what was he suppose to say? “Quick get you money out while you still can?”

    He might of actually believed that, but there’s no way he could say that on national TV. If did he, could have triggered a bank run. One that could cascade into something real bad.
    ___________________________________________

    If this was a problem, why did he chose to answer that question? Realize that the very questions he choses to answer is a way to influence people. Anyone wonder why no caller has ever said anything negative to Cramer on the show? Is the show tape delayed? How does one actually get through?

  32. Dave commented on Mar 25

    Even if one accepts Cramer’s spinning defense BSC was perhaps minutes from filing Chapter 11. Any way you slice his comment it is horrible, foolish advice. This round is Rupert in a walk over.

  33. Joe Klein’s conscience commented on Mar 25

    Northern Observer:
    Why are you worried about whether Faux Business Channel is being fair to Cramer? They both deserve to pound the crap out of each other. Let them race each other to the bottom.

  34. Florida commented on Mar 25

    I saw a clip from Fox Business yesterday. They were discussing their favorite breakfast cereals. I was like WTF?

    Guess that’s why I only watch Bloomberg if I have a choice.

  35. shillem commented on Mar 25

    I’m kind of surprised that they used an example that shows the enemy network as too optimistic. They must know that the economy is the most important factor in their electoral prospects. Maybe they figure that once they’ve undermined the competition they can twist the news their way.

  36. Royce commented on Mar 25

    Barry, I know you’re tight with Cramer but when I saw the clip on youtube I never heard the caller talking about his account with Bear. Cramer’s show is about stock picking, and when Cramer was talking about BSC he had a shot of the stock chart up there. He never mentioned anything about SIPC or anything regarding client assets.

    I respect your loyalty, but come on, dude.

    ~~~

    BR: Where did this thing about me & Cramer come from?

    For the record: I respect what he accomplished with Thestreet.com.

    We are no buds. He fired me 6 years ago when I freelanced for them (and had an editor do it), and I was VERY pissed about it. (They rehired me a couple of years ago once the new editors recognized the madd skillz).

    When I write something about him, I try to be fair & balanced. But note that I have repeatedly taken Cramer to task here — much more than any other site I am aware of that is not obsessed with him.

  37. Howard Veit commented on Mar 25

    Giving Cramer the benefit of the doubt, he was shooting off his mouth without a script. He may have MEANT your money was safe at BS but there is no doubt that he left the impression that the “stock” was safe. I used to be a broker and we “sold” over the phone, BUT it was company policy to follow a script just so that the Cramer type of faux tip couldn’t happen. Another point is that touting any stock to go down and advising a mass audience to sell right now can be a serious violation because an unwarranted “run on the stock” can (and has) to take place. I believe Cramer was busted big time for telling his client list to sell stock (on the air too). The company filed complaints and he was sued and fined.

    Re; Cramer in general, he gives an ignorant public some very good market evaluations on all world markets, their corruption, idiosyncrasies, manipulations, and methods to understand them. His remarks about the public knowing “jack” is absolutely correct. I was a broker for twenty years and my clients not only didn’t know “jack” but they were arrogant in their ignorance and absolutely stupid opinions. I cannot tell you how many times I warned them all about the dot com bubble two months in advance, and a week before Barron’s warned the world, and was told that I didn’t know what I was talking about because they were trading on their own and making a killing and all I wanted was commissions…..needless to say none of them called me to thank me for the good advice they refused to take. In fact at least 60% claimed they got out and made money.

  38. JL commented on Mar 25

    They forgot “Mission Accomplished”

  39. Flic commented on Mar 25

    Fox…credible?? Isn’t this the same network that has Mike Norman and that Michael Bolton look-a-like ReMax guy that is a supposed ‘financial expert’??? Fox is a joke….as is CNBC.

  40. Larry commented on Mar 25

    Reminds me of a movie poster. Just need Ralph Wiggum singing the 20th Century Fox song.

  41. Barry Ritholtz commented on Mar 25

    If I edit a response into your comment, it usually means I respect your views, but want to correct something or defend myself. (This is a good thing)

    On the other hand, if you write something really obnoxious, and then I reread your prior comments, I may decide that you add nothing to the conversation here. So I toss your comments aside — delete — at least the really obnoxious and/or dumb ones, and throw your IP address on my do not disturb pile.

    You are free to be a troll or a flamer or merely an asshat — just not here . . .

  42. dave54 commented on Mar 26

    Both KUDLOW & Co and MAD MONEY are thought provoking, entertaining, educational and (I suspect) influential programs…Want/need higher quality investment advice? Then dive into the data yourself (for decades) or pay the price to work with others who have.

  43. Babe’s Ghost commented on Mar 26

    Funny to hear everyone plugging Bloomberg Television. Back when I worked there, particularly in the run up to the bursting of the tech bubble, I was disturbed by the cheerleading going on. While we occasionally had the voices of sanity, there were far more people predicting DOW 36,000! and rah-rah segments for each ‘milestone’. There was also a definite unspoken understanding that the purpose of BTV was to sell terminals, and that provoking the potential customers/guests by questioning their spiel too aggressively was not the best career move.

    That said, there were some pretty excellent, smart people there, and there was nothing like the complete willful divorce from reality that you see at Fox.

  44. Dee Leverage commented on Mar 26

    Barry, your argument supporting Cramer has affected your credibility with me. Even if you believe Cramer’s claim he was telling the viewer not to take their account from Bear (a laughable point given his show is 100% about picking stocks), Cramer screamed “BEAR STEARNS IS FINE”. A more inaccurate statement has never been uttered on television. Your secondary (or primary?) role as media analyst who must appear on CNBC to increase your relevance makes you an imperfect messenger (to borrow your phrase) of a defense of Cramer.

    ~~~

    BR: Um, wrong on just about every account.

    I saw the clip (posted here), and that’s how it reads to me. (I don’t watch the show)

    You can disagree with my interpretation, but if you think my view is based on the incorrect assumption that I am buddies with Cramer, you got another thing coming. I have no obligation to defend Cramer. He is a big boy, and can do that for himself.

    As to my media appearances, I have no clue what you are referring to.

    You should consider switching to decaf.
    ___________________________________________

    BR:

    I don’t drink coffee…maybe I should start LOL. I never said you are buddies with Cramer…I do feel that you like to appear on CNBC (so would I) and somebody who were to trash Cramer, a CNBC star, may have less opportunity to do so. This is not a problem with you…it is a problem with CNBC. As such any comment you make about Cramer may give the appearance of a conflict of interest. We all know, the appearance of a conflict doesn’t prove one exists. Is Bear Stearns fine? That is the basis of what we should be talking about regarding Cramer’s recommendation. Cramer is a big boy…he has to know he is going to be open to criticism with all the calls he makes.

  45. Todd commented on Mar 26

    Jim Cramer has repeatedly pumped the investment banks over the last year. The most shameless was towards the end of January when he did a segment on his show highlighting Bear Stearns as a great buy at $89. *I never heard him say sell on the way down. Naturally, today he said the only financials he’s been rec’ing were JPM, GS and Hudson City.

    Last June on TheStreet.com TV, Cramer called Goldman and Bear ”terrific opportunities for investors and that they should defy the conventional wisdom and buy the stocks.

    You can watch that here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6KeSgAdqUw

  46. xav commented on Mar 27

    I thought Barry was just sucking up to CNBC. Apparently he appears to be serious, which in some ways is even worse.

    How can anybody with a brain believe Cramer on this? Does Barry think that the guy asking the question about BSC was a hedge fund manager writing to Cramer for advice? LOL

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