Is Jim Cramer playing the market or playing his audience?

As the Jon Stewart/Jim Cramer "battle royal" has developed, it has drawn attention to a longer-standing (if less well-known) Cramer scandal: his history of stock manipulation. While Cramer himself admits to his success in this practice, there is some evidence to suggest that he has occasionally done so illegally, and has even used his CNBC bully pulpit as a tool for controlling the market.

The internet is rife with articles accusing Cramer of market manipulation, but most reports lead back to a single source: Deep Capture. A blog dedicated to "examining the growing threat to our financial system posed by illegal naked short selling, stock manipulation, and the destruction of public companies," it is the brainchild of Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com. Byrne was apparently inspired by what he perceived as an illegitimate attack upon his stock, and her has financed what amounts to a permanent war against stock manipulators.