Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today's Question: Can Key Messages Kill The Messenger?

It's been a few days since the "Brawl Street" special on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with John Stewart. Prior to last Thursday's episode a very public feud was brewing between John Stewart and Jim Cramer of CNBC's Mad Money for several days--and it was making its way to mainstream media like The Today Show and The Martha Stewart Show.

If you saw the episode (and even if you didn't)--John Stewart was declared the victor in the battle of wits. What I saw was Jim Cramer--a guy with a larger than life personality--reduced to a shell of a TV host--it made me wonder if he was pinned as the scapegoat for CNBC? Absent from the interview were Cramer's constant ravings, explosive body language and in-your-face jabs. His key messages were reduced to "I made mistakes" and "I was lied to"--these were the repetitive key messages that were uttered as he asked for forgiveness and vowed to become a better advisor. How could the media relations experts at CNBC allow Cramer to make such a fool of himself--unless it was intentional.

I think that key messages can kill the messenger--especially when that is their intention.


  1. Not sure on this. He came off a little unprepared to me...or outmatched. Regardless, CNBC took a dose of humility and that can't hurt anyone in today's network world.

  2. i believe that it was intentional too. he seemed like a puppy who got scolded.