Lou Dobbs he aint.
CNBCs Jim Cramer rants. He raves. He paces around a TV set thats been made to look like a radio studio. He sweats profusely. He rolls up his sleeves in bunches so tight they look like a pair of tourniquets. He spits occasionally. He screeches constantly. He takes phone calls from viewers watching him on his CNBC show, Mad Money, urging them to buy stocks he likes and Sell! Sell! Sell! those he hates. He shouts questions to those callers, such as, What are you, out of your mind? And he fires off stream-of-consciousness statements like, Im not afraid of the stock market and Not all dogs have fleas. Hes also managed to appropriate ESPN anchor Stuart Scotts catchphrase Booyah! and make it his own.
So, sure, maybe CNNs Lou Dobbs has everything youd want in a typical business newscaster he has an excellent grasp of financial subject matter, a commanding onscreen presence, and he looks mighty fine in a pin-striped suit. But youre never going to compare Dobbs to Dick Vitale, the high-octane goofball who is ESPNs top college-basketball analyst. In fact, high-octane and goofball are not terms that typically come to mind when describing business journalists. But Jim Cramer, as noted, is not typical. He is, however, a goofball. And Cramers bald head, manic on-screen presence, and penchant for shouting with enthusiasm about the ups and downs of the stock market make him stunningly Vitale-esque.
Mad Money isnt typical of business-news programs, either. In fact, the show is so unusual, it almost doesnt even qualify as a financial-news program. Mad Money moves so fast at times during his lightning round segment, Cramer may run through three dozen stocks in just a few minutes, urging viewers to buy or sell, with little explanation as to why it makes you wonder whether CNBC really expects viewers to glean anything useful from Cramers manic oscillation, or whether the show is intended purely as wacky entertainment.