In a long, strangely shocking, profile of CNBC anchor Jim Cramer appearing in this month’s Esquire Magazine, Scott Raab peels back the curtain on the life of Cramer, from his personal crusade against a high school girls field hockey coach to “tipsy” discussions about art history.
An unnamed CNBC VP of PR is as much a part of the piece as Cramer himself, constantly at his side, contributing to the discussion or shutting it down if it drifts to certain topics. “Oddly, though, folks close to Cramer at CNBC seem wary, worried,” writes Raab. “His executive producer and the public-relations VP both tell me, ‘I’m fiercely protective of Jim’ — word for word — as if they speak of a bear cub or baby seal, not the fearless wampum warrior who, in the network’s own ad, ranks with Orwell as a truth-teller.”
Then there’s the part about the hotel bar, Johnnie Walker and “I am a deeply flawed guy who comes out every night to try to do a show — and obviously completely tortured.” And the art history.
As for the high school field hockey coach, click continued for the full exchange…
(image by Asger Carlson for Esquire)
Cramer sighs. “Look, I’m a TV guy. And it is just hysterical how much and how little power I have. I have a seventeen-year-old girl, and she’s playing field hockey at a pretty good level at Summit High. And she has a trainer — she plays on this club team that’s going to go to the national finals. My daughter said, ‘Please ask the athletic director whether he can be the trainer for the [high school] team.’ So I call the AD, and he says, ‘He can be on the sideline, but you have to pay for him. You have to get the parents to pay.’ I said I’d commit that the parents would pay.
“So the coach from a rival high school team has been after me ever since. She has just attacked me, and the e-mails are horrible. She’s going to sue me. At one point I sent her an e-mail: ‘Look, I have to try to figure out whether I should go after Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson and Chris Cox or should I go after you. And you know what? I’m going after you, because those other guys I can’t do a thing about. I’m out there every night trying to save this thing, and I’m failing, and you’re attacking me and you know what? I am going to concentrate on you, because I cannot win the other stuff.’ ”
“And she comes back — she says, ‘Bring it on.’ And I am completely embroiled in this thing, and I can’t even win there. She says, ‘Bring it on,’ so now I’m scrambling. I’m getting a lawyer — she says I broke the law by asking this guy to be the trainer. The whole thing is just crazy. I can’t stop Coach Linda. So I’m a nothing. I’m nothing.”
“I am in a schizophrenic world where I am allegedly powerful, and the reality is I cannot even stop some coach who’s trying to defeat my daughter’s team. I find myself in a bizarre vortex where I’m not that powerful anywhere, but there are people who think that I have a hold on things.”
Cramer cackles. The VP unfreezes: “Let me take Scott away,” he says, adding, “just because I know you need to prepare a little bit.”
“Yeah,” says Cramer. “I got to finish writing this. Now I got an up-300 day. I got to juice it again. Oh, God.