I have a piece up on the fallout from Jon Stewart's interview with Jim Cramer, and also looked at whether there's any similarities between a previous confrontation by "The Daily Show" host.
Still, viewers have at times grown weary of cable television's need for heated political debate shows—most notably, following Stewart's October 2004 appearance on CNN's "Crossfire." There, Stewart told hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala that they should "stop hurting America."
"I'm here to confront you," Stewart said, "because we need help from the media and they're hurting us."
Stewart was declared the victor by many in the media after that appearance, and less than three months later CNN pulled the plug on the 22-year-old right-left shout-fest.
Upon "Crossfire's" cancelation, network president Jon Klein noted the Stewart critique, telling the Washington Post that "he made a good point about the noise level of these types of shows, which does nothing to illuminate the issues of the day."
Carlson, reached Friday, described Stewart as "a partisan demagogue."
"Jim Cramer may be sweaty and pathetic—he certainly was last night—but he's not responsible for the current recession," Carlson told POLITICO. "His real sin was attacking Obama's economic policies. If he hadn't done that, Stewart never would have gone after him. Stewart's doing Obama's bidding. It's that simple."
Begala said that "as an Overpaid TV Guy myself, I hate to see the Overpaid TV Community ripped apart in this time of crisis."
As to whether Stewart's takedown could again impact cable punditry, Begala said he had "no clue."
And simply because media pundits hyperventilate when Stewart wags his finger, it doesn't mean network executives will respond accordingly.