“Apparently Rick Santelli,” said Mark Silva in the Chicago Tribune, “should have shown up on The Daily Show.” Instead, Santelli—famous for his rant on CNBC against President Obama’s mortgage bailout plan—canceled, and Daily Show host Jon Stewart took Santelli and his cable business channel apart by replaying a long series of horribly wrong predictions by CNBC commentators. (Watch the video)

Jon Stewart’s savaging isn’t “entirely fair,” said Verne Gay in Newsday. But, unfortunately for CNBC and Santelli, it’s “great TV.” CNBC blew it by keeping Santelli off Stewart’s show. In doing so, CNBC bigwigs committed the “sin” of letting someone else define them.

The error was especially bad, given Stewart’s definition of CNBC as a clueless bunch of big-business suck-ups, said Ryan Chittum in the Columbia Journalism Review. It was priceless, from the clip of CNBC star Maria Bartiromo lobbing softballs at “the now-disgraced John Thain,” to CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla asking now-exposed Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford whether he likes being a billionaire. “In the annals of business-press criticism,” there has never been anything better than this “utter beatdown.”