The Motley Fool’s Rich Smith notes Geri Willis’ appearance on The Daily Show and then accuses Willis and Stewart of misinterpreting something that Jeff Macke said on Fast Money…
The real irony here is that Stewart actually managed to prove his point, albeit accidentally. Despite having hours, perhaps days, to parse “bald guy’s” statement, he ultimately came up with gibberish. That’s probably forgivable in a comedy host, but I’m amazed that CNN’s “Personal Finance Editor” could listen to the same statement — twice! — and still wind up getting it 100% wrong.
Kind of makes you wonder whether the talking heads on TV are a case of the blind leading the 20/20-sighted. But it does give us a pretty clear answer to Stewart’s question: Can these networks help us understand what’s going on with the economy?
Answer: Nope. Not if they can’t figure it out themselves.
[MELISSA LEE TOSSES TO CLIP FROM DAILY SHOW]
[STEWART CLIP FROM DAILY SHOW]
STEWART: I watch these business shows, right. And my brother works in the Wall Street industry, he’s very smart, he knows all this and he explains it to me. I watch these shows and I don’t know what they’re talking about. [CUTS TO MACKE CLIP: MACKE: “We opened up down 500-odd points on the Dow Jones. That was a great moment to start covering those shorts and to take a shot on the long side.”
[BACK TO STEWART]
STEWART: Is that gibberish?
GERRI WILLIS: He’s betting against the market. He’s saying “I’m betting against the stock market; stocks, U.S. economy, we don’t like it, we’re betting against it.”
STEWART: And when he says that, does he die inside?
[BACK TO FAST MONEY]:
MELISSA LEE: [to Macke] Do you die? Does just a little piece of you die?
JEFF MACKIE (one of the four “Fast Money” traders who was shown in the Stewart clip): I don’t! Far be it me to criticize the ‘Minister of CNN Financial’ or Jon Stewart who’s brother apparently works in securities. BUT WHEN YOU SAY YOU’RE GETTING LONG STOCKS IT MEANS YOU’RE BUYING STOCKS. It’s not exactly the same thing as a bet against America.”