Celebrity death match?

Cramer vs. Stewart

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post thus characterized the latest round of this "epic battle":

Jon Stewart wasn't trying to be funny.

Jim Cramer wasn't trying to be obnoxious.

The result was riveting, if not particularly hilarious, television, with Stewart dominating all the way.

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism asks:

Why is it that the Daily Show is the only media outlet calling out CNBC on its, how shall we put it politely, less than stellar moments?

Alessandra Stanley, writing for the New York Times, dismisses Stewart by comparing him to a Congressional grandstander with a messianic streak:

Mr. Stewart treated his guest like a C.E.O. subpoenaed to testify before Congress — his point was not to hear Mr. Cramer out, but to act out a cathartic ritual of indignation and castigation.

"Listen, you knew what the banks were doing, yet were touting it for months and months, the entire network was," the Democratic Senator from Comedy Central said. "For now to pretend that this was some sort of crazy, once-in-a-lifetime tsunami that nobody could have seen coming is disingenuous at best and criminal at worst."

Congress has — belatedly and showily — gone after the leaders of banks, auto companies and insurance companies for their complicity in the financial meltdown. Mr. Stewart has always had a messianic streak to his political satire, as when he ripped into Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on "Crossfire" for "hurting America." He is now focusing on business news cable networks like CNBC, which not only failed to foresee the credit crisis, but, in his view, sided with the bankers and helped inflate the bubble.

She concludes with this gem: "Mr. Stewart kept getting the last word, but Mr. Cramer may yet have the last laugh."

Readers may judge the quality of the interview for themselves by watching the unedited version:

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