On June 16, 2007, I remarked on CNBC's Fast Money program noticing how it was produced just like an NFL pre-game show. All of these "experts" shooting the bull on stocks and telling us what to buy and what to sell, all the while taking good-natured shots at one another for the entertainment of their viewers. Of course it's entertainment. If it's on TV, even a show that's supposedly about advice is really about ratings, right? But folks take it seriously because it's presented as a show to be taken seriously. Same thing for Jim Cramer's Mad Money.
Anyway, Jon Stewart nailed it when in his interview with Cramer, he said, "I understand you want to make finance entertaining. But it's not a fucking game."* Good for him to say that to Cramer and, more specifically to CNBC, but also good for us to hear him say it. No financial advice on matters like these will be guaranteed, but getting it from a television show is likely not best place for it.
*Quote taken from Southern Beale's Dear American Media: Stop Hurting America