TUCKER CARLSON’S CRY FOR ATTENTION…. I can understand why conservative media figure Tucker Carlson harbors some ill will towards Jon Stewart. There was that October 2004 episode of “Crossfire” — on which Stewart called Carlson a “dick” — which helped lead CNN to cancel the show.

But Carlson’s new criticism of Stewart may be more than just evidence of a grudge.

Carlson, reached Friday, described Stewart as “a partisan demagogue.”

“Jim Cramer may be sweaty and pathetic — he certainly was last night — but he’s not responsible for the current recession,” Carlson told POLITICO. “His real sin was attacking Obama’s economic policies. If he hadn’t done that, Stewart never would have gone after him. Stewart’s doing Obama’s bidding. It’s that simple.”

First, for anyone who watches the show, this is a baseless observation. Just over the last week or two, Stewart has mocked and/or criticized Obama repeatedly, on everything from his reception towards British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to his heavy-handed media operation to his Iraq policy sounding too reminiscent of his predecessor’s. “Partisans” who do the president’s “bidding” don’t make these kinds of criticisms.

Second, my hunch is that Carlson knows this, but is taking cheap shots in the hopes that Jon Stewart will respond on the air. Indeed, Carlson may have noticed the attention showered on Jim Cramer lately, and come to the conclusion that “feuding” with Stewart is a great way to get on the air.

It’s kind of sad, really.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.