For those not familiar with the recent Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer feud, you can read all about it in the Financial Post.

In short: CNBC, a financial news network, has been Stewart’s target as of late. Stewart accuses Wall Street insiders of manipulating stocks by spreading rumours and to drive the price up or down. Further, he believes the financial news industry feeds this game; that CNBC is “not just guilty of sins of omission but sins of commission” by cheer leading ordinary investors to sell sell sell on Monday, but buy buy buy come Wednesday. Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC show Mad Money, became the face of CNBC through this controversy due.

It is fascinating stuff, and many have drawn parallels to Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire. On CNN’s home turf, Stewart accused pundits like Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson of being “partisan hacks”; that the show was “helping the politicians and the big corporations” rather than having an honest debate about American politics.

I think Stewart is best when he deals with the absurdities and failings of the media rather than of the politicians. In many ways the failings of the fourth estate are more damaging for democracy than the failings of our politicians (incidentally, I believe many members of the media would like to do a better job holding politician’s feet to the fire, but no one wants to be the first to “jump” and risk alienating political contacts).

But Stewart is often criticized for not asking tough questions to politicians who appear on his show, to which he always replies that, as a comedy show, it’s not his responsibility. While a fair response to a certain point, it seems like Stewart’s trying to “have his cake and eat it too” as he walks the line between commentary and humour. He would be better served to stop pretending he’s just a “comedy show”, as it diminishes the commentary that informs his best satirical bits.