By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
August 27, 2013

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.

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