We should congratulate Jon Stewart for outstanding television, and for an absorbing interview that raised really important issues. In this sense, he is doing great journalism. But we should not assume that regular journalists could simply imitate his mannerisms and his aggressive questioning tactics and turn journalism around. Their subjects will not behave like Jim Cramer, a journalist, did. Professional journalists must abandon the bad habits of contemporary journalism, and the sycophancy, corruption, and complicity that come with them; but to do that, they also have to find some way to free themselves from much larger social and economic forces that lead to co-optation.
It was a stunning moment of journalism, but not a usable model to solve the problem it illuminates.