Jon Stewart has never been one to mince his words about the state of CNN, recently characterizing it as watchable only when "your flight's been cancelled." But his sniping at the troubled network doesn't seem rooted in outright dislike. (That's reserved for a certain News Corp. entity.) He just seems flabbergasted by the incompetence he sees at the troubled network.

Still, it's not every day that on CNN's Larry King Live, Stewart tells the host point-blank: "You're terrible!" For his part, King takes the Comedy Central personality's blunt editorializing in stride, and cautions: "We've been around a while so you should be proud to be here." In the course of the lengthy interview, Stewart explains why he really picks on the network (24:35 in the video below):

I think CNN has a -- an opportunity to be a real arbiter. But being a real arbiter means taking a stand, not just having people on -- you're on the left, you're on the right. That's like having people on in the cola wars. You're from Pepsi; you're from Coke. What do you think? I think we taste great. I think we taste great. That's all the time we have.

You know? It's about being authoritative, about earning credibility. CNN, more than anybody, has the infrastructure to be able to accomplish that. And instead, they make a holographic Jessica Yellin and they just make her come up as a holograph on election night. Do you remember that?

Yes, unfortunately we do.