Calling Out the Cleveland Plain Dealer
This article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which mentions Mad Money, was just brought to my attention today, though it's dated June 18: "Cleveland-Cliffs' run shows no signs of slowing."
The title is pretty self-explanatory: The article is all about the tremendous multiyear run in Cleveland-Cliffs , a stock that we've been recommending on Mad Money since May 11, 2007, over a year ago, when Cleveland Cliffs was trading at a split-adjusted $36.80. We gave the stock a whole segment on May 30 of that same year, with the stock at a split-adjusted $40.77.
But when Peter Krouse (wasn't he the guy in Six Feet Under, which is surprisingly not available on Apple's iTunes now that they have shows from HBO?), the article's author, mentions Jim's sponsorship of the stock, he writes, "among those fueling takeover speculation is Jim Cramer, the bombastic host of CNBC's "Mad Money" stock-picking television show. He often touts Cliffs on his show." Can we do a little close reading here?
I can't help but feel like the phrase "fueling takeover speculation" has a negative vibe. Am I just being touchy? Most people don't tend to attach positive connotations to the word "speculation." But what really burns me is the fact that in the last six months, I don't think Jim has mentioned Cleveland Cliffs on the air more than three times, most recently on May 20 of this year. At the same time, we get zero credit in this story for liking the stock for over a year. The bombastic Jim Cramer fuels takeover speculation, never mind the fact that he also recommended this stock, which closed at $105.50 on the day this article was written, giving anyone who listened to him gains of 186% and 158%, respectively, on his aforementioned 2007 calls.
And let's take a little trip back in time. When we recommended Cleveland Cliffs on May 30, 2007, the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a story the next day titled "Cleveland-Cliffs soars on Jim Cramer's say-so," where they wrote, "Shares of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. are taking another leap -- up more than 8 percent today, to $88.29, before slipping slightly in after-hours trading. And it's based on rumor, speculation and Jim Cramer ... which may be redundant." Again, I'm feeling that negative vibe. The same Peter Krouse who wrote the latest article dissing Jim, also slammed hm in the one from over a year ago for suggesting the stock would go higher based on the natural takeover speculation that occurs when an industry is consolidating.
Let's see, Cramer gets criticized for recommending Cleveland Cliffs on May 30, 2007, at $40.77, then after the stock goes to $105.50 on June 18, 2008, giving anyone who bought on his recommendation a 158% gain, he gets criticized by the same journalist for "fueling takeover speculation" again? Why won't this guy just give us a mea culpa and move on? Maybe because if you listened to the Cleveland Plain Dealer in May of 2007 you didn't make a dime, but if you listened to Mad Money, you've got huge gains.
Could this be a case of profit envy?
Cliff Mason is the Senior Writer of CNBC's Mad Money w/Jim Cramer, and has been that program's primary writer, in cooperation with and under the supervision of Jim Cramer, since he began at CNBC as an intern during the summer of 2005. Mason was the author of a column at TheStreet.com during 2007, which he describes as "hilarious, if short-lived." He graduated from Harvard College in 2007. It was at Harvard that Mason learned to multi-task, mastering the art of seeming to pay attention to professors while writing scripts for Mad Money. Mason has co-written two books with Jim Cramer: Jim Cramer's Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich and Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer). He is 100% responsible for any parts of either book that you did not like.
Mason has also had a fruitful relationship with Jim Cramer as his nephew for the last 23 years and will hopefully continue to hold that position for many more as long as he doesn't do anything to get himself kicked out of the family.
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