Mad Money: Profits, Not Politics
On Mad Money, we usually make an effort to stay as apolitical as possible. The show, as we often say, is about profits, not politics.
Washington needs to do something particularly egregious before Jim will start vocally supporting a political position on the show. Looking back, aside from the frequent semi-sarcastic jokes about our government of, by and for the corporation, we haven't gotten all that politically engaged until very recently. But Mad Money isn't becoming more political, it's the federal government that's become more ridiculous.
First there was Congress, the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission (and still the FCC) hemming and hawing about the perfectly legitimate Sirius-XM Satellite Radio deal. We made that into a crusade.
Then this ridiculous ethanol mandate. And by the way, as someone to the left of Karl Marx, I was shocked to find myself agreeing with nearly every word Kay Bailey Hutchison said when she came on the show earlier in the week to talk about ethanol and our latest political cause, offshore drilling. Or as Jim put it (I consider him a Nixon Democrat, at least when it comes to economic policy, but that's just my take) during the interview, “I’m an environmentalist. She makes sense to me.”
After a week of describing how clean exploration, drilling, and production of offshore oil is possible thanks to the innovations of the companies Jim featured in his offshore series – CGV, Oceaneering International, FMC Technologies, Smith International, and Hornbeck Offshore – I don't understand how someone could still in good faith oppose offshore drilling on environmental grounds. The ethanol issue, at least, is one where we understand that few politicians honestly support the mandate, but every presidential candidate has to pander to Iowa if he (or she) wants to get elected. And with the Sirius-XM merger, you could chock the political opposition up to the power of the terrestrial radio lobby.
But opposition to clean offshore drilling when it doesn't do anything like the environmental damage that it used to? All I can do is fall back on Keynes and paraphrase to Congress, as someone who formerly opposed offshore drilling but was convinced by the data, "when the facts change, I change my opinion, what do you do sirs?"
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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