Jim Cramer, host of the 'Mad Money' show on CNBC, makes an appearance on Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Thursday, March 12, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
So, right, uh huh, Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart and whatever.
You know what kept distracting me? Cramer's rolled-up shirt sleeves. This is a deeply phony, insincere person. The sleeves in this setting are so pointless, so exaggerated, so incongruous, that you really have to ask what it all means*. This is clearly symbolic dress.
Here's my interpretation: Cramer is under fire for being too chummy with those he is pretending to cover. Stewart, especially, has accused him and CNBC of pandering to the Wall Street crowd instead of truly reporting on them. Rather than giving real advice to consumers, in other words, they're playing cocktail party with corporate interests.
So to set himself apart from the super-rich bankers and brokers, Jim's lost the sport coat (which he was surely wearing before the cameras rolled) and rolled up the sleeves to present the illusion that he's a "regular working man." He's a laborer! A serious let's-get-down-to-brass-tacks, problem-solving guy! He's not a Wall Street crony, he's A Man of the People!
Except he's not. He's a TV host. And a phony who gave a lot of bad advice which cost everybody but him and his real peers lots of money. Jon Stewart was right: Fuck you, Jim Cramer.
*EDIT: Apparently, Jim Cramer always dresses down like this (except, presumably, when he's at cocktail parties), which I didn't know because I don't watch CNBC. So it's his schtick, his phony-populist schtick. The power of wardrobe, people!