NBC prez: Jon Stewart "unfair... completely out of line"

Jeff Zucker defends his employees, including CNBC and Jim Cramer, and lashes out at the "Daily Show" host.

Published March 18, 2009 4:30PM (EDT)

Ever since Jon Stewart's public evisceration of CNBC host Jim Cramer last week, executives from the network and its affiliates had largely been maintaining radio silence -- and, reportedly, encouraging news producers from MSNBC to do the same. But at a media summit on Wednesday, NBC's president and CEO, Jeff Zucker, offered his take on the situation. In his comments, Zucker defended his employees and called Stewart "completely out of line," saying, "Just because someone who mocks authority says something doesn't make it so."

"I think Jon Stewart was incredibly unfair to CNBC and to the business media in general. Everybody wants to find a scapegoat. I’m upset that my 401(k) isn’t what it was. But to suggest that CNBC is responsible is absurd," Zucker said, according to a report at PaidContent.org. "Last year, Jim Cramer was out in front during two days in particular, when he went after Ben Bernanke. He told viewers six months ago to go to cash now... You can’t look at any singular call that CNBC or Jim Cramer makes. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done."

Zucker also reportedly told those in attendance that CNBC currently has its highest ratings in history, and that Stewart's comments are unlikely to change that.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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