Sometimes listening to Jon Stewart is like what you'd imagine it would be like to listen to a great journalism professor... except you're laughing so hard you've fallen out of your chair.
In tonight's interview, Stewart makes the case for what CNBC should have been doing over the past few years: actual business reporting, instead of acting like they were an entertainment channel for the stock market.
Here's some analysis from David Bauder of the AP:
The feud between Jon Stewart and CNBC's Jim Cramer has been good for laughs — and ratings — but has also raised the serious question of whether the experts at TV's No. 1 financial news network should have seen the meltdown coming and warned the public.
Over the past two weeks, Stewart's "Daily Show" on Comedy Central has ridiculed CNBC personalities, including Cramer, the manic host of "Mad Money," by airing video clips of them making exuberantly bullish statements about the market and various investment banks shortly before they collapsed.
Stewart has charged that people at CNBC knew what was going on behind the scenes on Wall Street but didn't tell the public. He has accused CNBC anchors and pundits of abandoning their journalistic duties and acting like cheerleaders for the market.
"In a tremendous boom period, they covered the boom and people wanted to believe in the boom," said Andrew Leckey, a former CNBC anchor and now president of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University. "They didn't uncover the lies that were told to them. Nobody did. But they should be held to a higher responsibility."
And though MediaBistro's TVNewser indicated MSNBC's evening political commentators would ignore the mash-up, Keith Olbermann refuted that contention, and Rachel Maddow reported on the affair, noting both the resignation of Cramer's website CEO as well as the ratings bonanza recorded by that episode of the Daily Show: the second-most watched this year and also in the top ten most-viewed shows.