OK, let's try to timeline this Cramer thing.
March 11th, 1:19 he has this video up titled "Bear is Solvent" on theStreet.com, clearly extolling BSC the stock. I document it in this post, with quotes such as "my sources indicate the Bear is totally solvent" ....."my understanding,very firmly, is that Bear is not in trouble." ........."Bear I understand is not in trouble, i want to make that point vociferously".......... "Now Bear is one of those companies that is selling way below book. Normally when i see that in a brokerage, I want to buy ITM calls".......... "I am like everybody else, so gun shy at this point, .....that i know that i would buy a small position in Bear options. it's too low, it fell too fast"......... "Everyone has to recognize you can rumor stocks down, but it's harder to rumor them down when you're -8 on the oscilator"
March 11th, 6:30ish PM On Mad Money, he answers the email heard around the world and discounts any notion of Bear having liquidity problems. There is some dispute whether he is saying the stock is safe, or is just saying money held in accounts at Bear is safe.
March 14th 9 AM: Fed and JPM announce Bear bailout.
March 14th 12:39 PM On Street TV, he (correctly) points out that to speculate on a Bear takeover, you should play it with Bear debt. He incorrectly says that BSC stock will probably be taken out unch. and JPM stock is not a buy.
March 14th, 2:40 PM He reiterates much of the above on Stop Trading, but does note Bear's stock "could" be worthless in a deal. Keep in mind at that point, BSC was already down 50% from the open and this interpretation was getting popular. TradelikeMike had this to say over an hour earlier " I’m looking at the stock trading around $35 and I think it might be a short sale here. Even with a bailout, what’s the company worth? Almost nothing! "
March 16th 8 PM "Ex-Squeeze me"? Yes, BSC has been bought out for $2/share? That has to be a misprint. Um....no.
March 17th, 10 AM The video of Cramer's horrible BSC call from 3/11 goes viral. My first glance at the vid. is thanks to a comment here by Puck. It shows up on Drudge, meaning approximately 3 billions viewers have now seen it.
March 17th, 2:40 PM Victory is declared. Yes, CNBC has this headline on their Stop Trading recap, " Cramer Was Right About Bear Stearns". He is "cross-examined" by Erin Burnett with much the same rigor of an infomercial and it is determined (by Cramer) that last Tuesday, Cramer was refering to money held at Bear, not stock itself. So he called it to a tee in Bizarro World: Bear was taken over and money deposited there is still safe.
March 17th, 11PM Daily Show runs his call from March 11th, you know the one where the entire world outside the CNBC bubble is pretty convinced he was plugging the stock pretty hard while it was still trading $62. Another billion or so will see this clip.
A commenter here, Bryce, sums it up pretty well. "As straightforward as he customarily is on TV, if he really meant money held at BSC, in whatever capacity, he would have stressed that he meant that over common stock. He *HAS* to be clear about that distinction, since most of his audience is listening in for stock tips... the fact that he didn't draw that line suggests to me that he meant common stock to begin with."
And I would add that's even if you give Cramer benefit of the doubt on the above, in holds no water, He very clearly makes a bullish case for BSC, the stock, on the Street video at the top of the timeline.
And I would also add that if you are bit distrustful of Big Media to begin with, CNBC puts another huge brick in the wall with that "Cramer is Right" piece. The percent of people who get their information solely from TV and/or a newspaper dwindles by the second; you really can't create your own truth any more and expect to maintain any sort of credibility.