FORTUNE -- Even as Apple (AAPL) and the Department of Justice exchanged increasingly testy documents regarding the proposed remedy in the e-book antitrust case ("A broadside masquerading as a brief," was how Apple characterized the DOJ's latest), CNBC used the opportunity to hammer home the theme the network has pursued for nine months now: that Apple is doomed.
The result Tuesday morning was unintentionally comedic, as CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin did his best to put words in the mouth of Daniel Ernst, Hudson Square Research's Apple analyst.
Ernst would have none of it.
If you don't have time to watch the video, here are some excerpts:
Sorkin: This decision -- and they lost this case on the e-books -- means what to them ultimately?
Ernst: Well, actually, ultimately, I don't think it matters to them at all.
Sorkin: Let's just talk about the implications... If they get into the TV business, then they partner with others on content, you are now having the government have minders literally sitting in Cupertino watching over them [see Note below]. How difficult does that make their ability to pursue some of these options?
Ernst: I think that would be more difficult for the parents of CNBC at Comcast if the government has to come in there and say "you have to carry this channel and you have to carry it at this price."
Sorkin: Every six months every analyst says TV is coming, and yet here we are. What's the problem?
Ernst: The TV is easy... But the only way that's an interesting product for them is if there's a full suite of content on it, and that's been a tough nut to crack.
Sorkin: It's going to take a force of personality. We'll see if Tim Cook can do it.
Note: For the record, the judge in the e-book trial had already rejected the DOJ proposal of an court-appointed antitrust compliance minder with a broad mandate to monitor all of Apple's content deals, although at a hearing Tuesday she said Apple's e-book negotiations would have to be overseen by the court.
Technically, it was Hudson Square's Daniel Ernst. But we have a few caveats.
Eyebrows were raised in October 2010 when Daniel Ernst hiked his 12-month Apple (AAPL) price target from $300 a share to $500. But perhaps drawing attention to himself was the point. The senior analyst at Hudson Square Research is now a regular contributor on CNBC and his current price target -- $700 -- is once again the Street's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 11, 2012 6:15 AM ET
Goldman Sachs, Needham and Hudson Square Research issue new notes
You can tell you're getting close to an Apple (AAPL) earnings report when the analysts start dusting off their spreadsheets and issuing new estimates. At least three came in on Monday.
Needham's Charlie Wolf made the biggest adjustment, hiking his earnings estimate to $10.85 from $9.55 on Street-high sales of $41.15 billion, up more than $3 billion from his previous estimate. He MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 9, 2012 12:57 PM ET
A spot check of retail sales a week before Christmas raises an interesting question
In a note to clients issued Monday, Hudson Square Research's Daniel Ernst reported on the results of a pre-holiday scouting trip he took to retail stores in New York and Connecticut over the weekend -- only a handful of shopping days before Christmas -- where he found "floor traffic up materially, but lines at checkout short."
Demand for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 19, 2011 10:25 AM ET
But an amateur -- a Romanian mathematician teaching in Paris -- nailed the numbers
This story never gets old.
An army of Wall Street analysts, backed by the computing power of some of the world's richest banks and brokerage houses, have once again been out-foxed and out-analyzed by rag-tag bunch of bloggers, amateurs and independent investors.
A glance at the chart at right, which lists the 48 analysts we polled in advance of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 20, 2011 4:19 AM ET
Mean analyst estimate: 7.9 million. The amateurs, as usual, are more bullish than the pros
Apple (AAPL) is scheduled to report its fiscal third quarter earnings on July 19, a week from today, and in preparation for our quarterly earnings smackdown we've been gathering estimates from the small army of analysts -- profession and amateur -- who follow the company.
The biggest mystery this quarter -- and the biggest discrepancy in unit MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 12, 2011 6:15 AM ET
College PC purchases are down for the 4th year in a row, but the Mac's share is growing.
Apple (AAPL) products play an oversized role in the small survey of college campuses (seven schools, 212 students) released Monday by Hudson Square Research's Daniel Ernst.
Although spending patterns were mixed -- fewer PCs and MP3 players, more TVs, mobile phones and digital cameras -- "Apple's share of student spending," writes Ernst, "increased materially."
Specifically, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 13, 2010 10:45 AM ET
|2 million students missing out on college aid|
|The medical marijuana ad that never aired, despite contrary media headlines|
|Boeing reports wing cracks on Dreamliners|
|The bull market at 5: Not old yet|
|Boeing to end pension plans for non-union employees|