Bill O'Reilly Meets Jon Stewart, Not Much Hilarity Ensues -

Bill O’Reilly Meets Jon Stewart, Not Much Hilarity Ensues


The appearance of Jon Stewart on Bill O’Reilly’s show, which began last night and will continue tonight (then the unedited interview will be posted) is making for pretty interesting TV, as James Poniewozik explains. There are no real fireworks, because O’Reilly and Stewart genuinely like and respect each other and also because, weirdly, O’Reilly has become kind of the mellow guy at his network. I don’t know if this is because he just looks more mellow compared with Beck and especially the Colmes-free Hannity, or because he really doesn’t hate Obama all that much. (Ever since 2008 it’s seemed like his view of Obama is closer to his boss Rupert Murdoch’s than that of his other boss, Roger Ailes.) But as Stewart said, O’Reilly is now “the voice of sanity at Fox News, which is like being the thinnest kid at fat camp.”

This means that their discussion was quite substantive, with Stewart playing the role of the guy who wants to be a cenrist but can’t find where the center is in a world gone mad, and O’Reilly mostly concerned with defending the honour of his network as a news organization, and trying to argue that Stewart’s “cyclonic perpetual emotional machine” is only driven by a couple of guys on the network. It really does seem that this is the only criticism that stings at Fox News, which has gone out of its way to argue that its news shows are separate from its opinion shows. (I think this doesn’t really wash if you’ve watched most of their news anchors, apart from Shepard Smith. The m.o. of many Fox News anchors is to report the news in such a way as to provide talking points for the “opinion” shows. And in any case, opinion shows on cable news tend to present themselves as news sources.) The fact that Stewart is more respectful of O’Reilly than he was of Crossfire is interesting, though not surprising. He really does seem to like O’Reilly, whereas nobody likes Tucker Carlson.

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Speaking of Fox, the recent emergence of Roger Ailes from his cocoon is a puzzling thing to me. Ailes has always been a behind-the-scenes kind of guy, yet recently he’s been going out for publicity; first he gave that interview to the New York Times he and his viewers loathe, and then he was part of the panel on ABC’s This Week, arguing with Paul Krugman and Arianna Huffington. (The fact that a panel would include Ailes, Huffington, George Will and George Stephanopolous Barbara Walters at one time is as good an explanation of why I can’t bear to watch Sunday morning news shows. That’s one horrifying group of people.) Why he suddenly wants to be a public figure, I’m not sure; either he wants to be taken seriously by the evil mainstream media, or he’s trying to shore up his position at Murdoch’s company in case of shake-ups.

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Bill O’Reilly Meets Jon Stewart, Not Much Hilarity Ensues

  1. While O'Reilly is still a caricature on valium, and Stewart is too clever by half as to his "relative importance", this is some good television and I would welcome more of it.

    Their past exchanges were funnier, yes, but there was a little meat on the bones here.

  2. I have to agree that Fox, and MSNBC seem to create their own news. Reporting, and creating talking points of what the other opinion shows are talking about. I don't know how many times O'Reilly, or Glen Beck have been nominated as Keith Olbermann's worst person in the world. These people are all in it together to keep themselves gainfully employed and to sell comercials! Infotainment at it's worst. The sad thing is that you see people take these characature's opinions and verbal diahrea as news.

    Something else that grosses me out is that the CBC seems to be taking a page from Fox, and other's play book with that Lang, and O'Leary exchage. Do we really want Canadians to become more dumb? Take that crap off, and stick to the facts ok.

    • Good point regarding 'Lang and O'Leary', what an insufferable lout for a man.

    • Anyone who quotes Keith foaming at the mouth Olbermann's opinion criticizing anyone else for being over the top is part of the left crazy brigade.

      • I agree with you, but he's there to country the crazy right. Did you ever see the parody that Ben Affleck did of Keith on an SNL skit, it was brilliant.

        Here's the link

  3. As long as Shepard Smith works at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly can never be considered "the voice of sanity" at that network.

  4. Respectfully, the Sunday panel you are referring to didn't include George Stephanopoulos, it was hosted by Barbara Walters.

    • Yipe. The sad thing is I actually watched it, but who would believe me now? Oh, well. Thanks.

  5. Stewart respects Fox news because it has a strong partisan view and does not hide it. The other networks (and ours are the same) pretend to be fair and balanced while being anything but.

    • I agree generally, however, I would point out one thing.

      While all the other networks may be "pretending" to be fair and balanced, it's ironic that the one which you claim "has a strong partisan view and does not hide it" uses as its motto: "Fair and Balanced". Fox News even trademarked the phrase. So, if the other networks claim to be "fair and balanced" they're actually violating Fox's trademark.

  6. Srewart "respects" Fox Noise ?? are you kidding me ? He`s used that republican talking points center for TONS of material.It`s not like Fox Noise is an actual news outlet.It`s a provocateur soap box for republicans.Any one can see that.CBS,NBC and ABC 1/2 hour capsules are STILL the only real "news" reports ,with CNN still doing some.To even consider Fox Noise with is a joke.And that`s what Stewart does REAL well,make jokes,with the material provided.And nothing better than….

    • "Fox News had its best January in the history of the network, and was the only cable news network to grow year-to-year."

      "A new poll released shows that Fox News is the most trusted news network among the American general public and largely ahead of CNN, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News."

      "Fox News is believed to make more money than CNN, MSNBC and the evening newscasts of NBC, ABC and CBS combined. The division is on track to achieve $700 million in operating profit this year, according to analyst estimates that Mr. Ailes does not dispute."

      • Does it really matter that the general public trust FOX News? Does that make it less of a propagandistic lie factory?

      • Hmmm, I find that polling outfit a touch suspect and would like to see those results replicated by a couple of reputable polling agencies. And since when did profitability = respectability?

        • I think the polls have been backed up elsewhere, but what they seem to demonstrate is what's already known: Fox News is trusted by conservatives, and the other media outlets are not trusted by much of anybody (certainly not liberals, since the other media outlets are not at all liberal).

          • "show that Republicans trust a Republican-friendly network, and also demonstrates that the rest of the media is not liberal"

            I agree with first half of sentence about Repubs but I think you are wrong about msm not being liberal. MSNBC ratings are dropping and it's clearly a liberal channel. There are rumours that Olbermann is about to be canceled.

            I think smaller group of people trust cnn, nbc, cbs … etc because Repubs think they are liberal while progressives and other lefties think msm not liberal enough so they call it 'right wing' when it is nothing of the sort. So 50% (Repubs), 15-20% (??? progessives – Pelosi wing) of American viewers are suspicious of msm but that does not mean it is not liberal.

          • Hmmm good food for thought. It's kind of funny that most conservatives seem to think of themselves as more skeptical than most liberals yet will be so willingly fed a diet of what they want to hear by a media outlet.

      • You're absolutely right that Fox News is consistently the ratings leader in news.

        And American Idol usually leads the ratings too.

        And Avatar has made about 15 times the money that The Godfather Part II made.

        Generally speaking, people are dumb.

    • and your uninformed comments reveal why FOX is THE most trusted source of news in America. No other network even comes close

  7. He really does seem to like O'Reilly

    I don't know. What I've never seen, and would like to see, is how Stewart would handle a full-on rage-gasm of the type any one of these celebrity wingnuts is more than capable of. Of course, they're usually reserved for hapless nobodies who stumble into their sights, not other celebrities.

    I have no interest in watching Stewart try to rehabilitate these cretins. They are irredeemable.

    • "They are irredeemable."

      Hey. that reminds me of someone, Ti-G*y.

  8. If Fox was truly fair and balanced there would be more comments, guests and advocates from the Democratic side of the isle. Panels on Fox always seem to parrot each others attitudes and comments. I never feel I hear a counterpoint to their slant on issues. And their slant always follows the thinking of the Republican leadership.
    Passionate, yes. Fair and balanced, hardly.

  9. "Ailes, Huffington, George Will and George Stephanopolous Barbara Walters"

    Weinman You left Krugman off list of horrifying people: on purpose or mistake? I can't stand Krugman.

    I don't have opinion on Ailes one way or other but I would swap Will for Krugman. From what little I've seen of them on tv, Krugman and Huffington have 'butter wouldn't melt in mouth' demeanors and both get me wound up beyond any sense or reason.

  10. All the liberals on this thread seem to think stating their opinion or parroting someone else's lib talking points repetitively is an acceptable substitute for evidence. It is not.

    Out of all the major news networks, Fox is in fact documented by disinterested observers as closest to "fair and balanced".

    The 2003 UCLA (not exactly a hotbed of conservative views) study of media bias (Groseclose & Milyo) found Fox News Special Report and the Drudge Report were the most centrist. Among the top 200 media outlets, only the Fox News Special Report was to the right (and then only slightly) of the average member of Congress. Virtually every other "mainstream" media outlet was found to have views closer to the average Democrat than to the average member of Congress as a whole.

    Mere repetition of liberal assumptions doesn't make them true, though it works great as a brainwashing technique for those whose critical reasoning faculty is missing.

    • Well, I think that even the american Dems are a fairly right leaning party, especially compared with Canadian parties. I would go so far as to say that our own conservative party, before it became mostly Reform was more akin to the Democrats then the Republicans. So what is left and right, really it's only perspective. Don't believe me, look up Bill Clinton's track record, he's one of the best republicans that the dems ever had. What I find sad is that as soon as you talk about wanting to end war, feed people, and make sure they have the basic necessities of life you get labelled a socialist/communist down there. Hell they've even referred to Canada, as Canuckistan. Which I have to admit gives me a bit of a chuckle.

      • I think it's time you did some research to see where TODAY'S Democratic Party stands. With the exception of "so-called Universal Health Care", Canadian Social Programs don't even come close to many of the ludicrous welfare schemes in the U.S.

      • You are sadly mistaken about the present composition of the Democrat Party which has been taken over by its far left fringe (like the NDP and Bloc taking over the Liberals here)

        Bill Clinton was reined in by a Republican Congress whom Americans, who are centrist elected to do just that. Clinton returned to the center from leftist loony land because he was a pragmatist who wanted a second term. That's the American system of checks and balances at work.

        Obama just got the Massachusetts early bird harbinger of what's going to happen to Congressional Democrats in the November elections. They will be replaced in large enough numbers to put a brake on the left most President ever elected on the basis of a false centrist campaign.

        Obama is an ideologue and his response so far, unlike Clinton is to stay the far left course that is as unamerican as he is (and I do not refer to technicalities of birth but to his red diaper baby upbringing and 100% leftist mentors including a domestic terrorist).

        It remains to be seen how many Democrats are willing to go over the cliff with him lacking the parachute he has of loyalty from black voters and die hard lefties no matter what he does.

        • What is the "Democrat party?" I've heard of the "Democratic party."

          • Hi Jamie."Right" or "left" has very little to do with the choice to go to War in 2003. In 1990 there were zero American casualties when the choice was made. In 2003 there was already over 2500 dead……. Mostly civilians of course. To not choose war could have been politically risky for the Dems given what was known at the time. I also believe that they felt what they did was right.

            Nixon was often regarded as having a very liberal domestic policy…..Thus his plan. Wasn't it Truman that fought a losing war on poverty? It's probably a good idea to move to the right of Truman.

    • I agree. When looking at the Drudge Report, I can link to a variety of "leftist" sites………Even Hillary thought that Fox was the most fair of all the networks during her run with Obama.

  11. If Fox news was really "Fair and Balanced" they wouldn't have to say this. These statements like this and "compassionate conservative" are specifically used because they aren't but they want people to think they are.

    They are also not the most trusted news source as Ailes said on TV and no one challenged him. They are the most trusted new source by those who watch Fox as compared to those who watch other media.

    Suprise, suprise, mostly conservative watch Fox – Duh – maybe that is why they have a higher trust factor.

    If you repeate a lie loud enough and long enough, it can become the truth to those who only listen to the liar and not the rest of the commentators.

    • I agree, rayboyusmc!
      Indeed, I recommend that everyone, and especially Minaka, read Al Franken's book "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them". The book is probably in your local Library; it is beautifully written with considerable humour (Mr. Franken was a former comedian afterall). Al's book exposes the Right, the lies told to get elected and their typical, low-brow tactics. Sadly, the Left are not entirely immune to telling lies, either – they just dont seem to have a rabid glee club whose raison d'etre is the dissemination of party BS.

      Mr. Franken, is an elected senator from Minnesota (D) now, and he takes the Right's 'Lying Liars' to task (ie the Bush Administration, Ann Coulter, Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly etc.). Franken's footnotes are easily verified by any Right winger with a sufficient attention span to check them out. Franken's book will help lead these poor Right wing souls, who possess a unreasoning fear of anything resembling a social conscience…toward the light. Yes, even the unquestioning Rightist rabble, fed on a constant diet of invented news and the rants of idiots, have a chance to find the path with heart and reason. Read on!

    • (FAIR) is "a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City", according to Wikipedia, itself a leftist biased source so what a surprise that FAIR denies liberal media bias.

      Quote a study with good methodology by faculty in a conservative university that says there is no liberal bias in the media. That would be the equivalent of what I gave above in the UCLA study by Groseclose and Milyo.

      • Yup. Funny how that happens.

        sure is a lot of leakage from over the Steyn Thunderdome.

        • You have this quiet little corner to yourself usually, do you?

  12. The funny thing for me was the comment of Denis Miller ( I use to be a big fan) afterward, can someone explain to me what the hell happen to Denis Miller, he was the original that led to Jon Steward and Bill Maher. Now he seems like a publicity hungry guy kissing up to O'reilly for some air time. Ans it is quite sad to see.

    He even looks like one of those fat kids at the fat camp that Steward was talking about.

  13. Small minds haggle about one or two letters when they know very well what was meant because they think it weakens someone's argument and makes themselves look superior. It just makes you look like someone who's not sure they can argue the substance so they drag out a technicality.

    You must be the only person in North America who thinks the Democrats have moved right, especially recently. The proof will be in how many of them jump ship in November from Obama's Pelosi's and Biden's hard left course and return to the fake centrist platform that got them elected.

    I very much doubt you have even read the 2000 page mess of a Health Control Bill (mislabelled Health Care Reform Bill) that is a moving target changing daily and your authoritative tone placing it to the right of previous attempts is unjustified and a joke really. The present Frankenstinian monster of a bill is just meant to be a stalking horse anyway. If they can sneak in just a sliver of government controlled health care, they plan to expand it to starve out the private sector. You of course think that's a good thing but note how they aren't honest about it with the American public. It's wrapped in 2000 pages of misdirection.

  14. "Democrat party" is a term invented as a sort of schoolyard insult, so it's not haggling over two letters to think that the term is a bit immature.

    And your evidence that Democrats have moved left appears to be that you think their current centrist policies, which again are considerably to the right not only of Truman and Johnson but also of Nixon (for that matter, of the days when the U.S. had 90% tax brackets and great prosperity), are a "stalking horse" for something else. But of course if you assume that actual policies are a secret mask for something else, you can re-interpret anything to be whatever you want. But on the level of actual policy, tax levels, gun control and so on, there's no comparison; the Democratic party is considerably to the right of where it once was.

    The other evidence is that legislation is long. But of course legislation has to be long if it is not to be a stalking horse for something else. A big bill has to incorporate every contingency, which is why big bills are long. If they wanted a bill to be a stalking horse for a secret agenda, they would write a short bill and let the courts re-interpret it.

  15. Fair and balanced? Rather fairly delusional.

  16. Fox News commentators usually identify themselves as libertarian and yes, conservative. The network is very popular with independents, conservatives and even some Dems. At least they identify themselves as what they are, instead of saying they are *apolitical* like the other networks who are anything but. People are desperate to hear something to balance the drivel of the *mainstream* networks. At least Fox has some reporting that can make you think. I don't agree with all I see on Fox but they do talk about things that no one else is covering.

    • …And perhaps Fox talks 'about things that no one else is covering'…because their 'news' is largely unbalanced and invented crap! The other networks are easily far closer to being 'apolitical' than Fox. I'm not aware of anything, in (what you label) the liberal media, that even comes close to the vacuous morons infesting Fox; morons like Hannity, OReilly, Beck and the rest of them who typically spout BS and call it news…or balanced opinion. You admit that Fox tells you they're biased, and still you choose to watch them. Clearly, Fox news has a rightwing slant…well, its actually less slant than precipice…and despite their open bias, you faithfully tune in and continue to eat up all the crap they pour into the unquestioning and empty bowl that passes for your head; such a brilliant choice on your part.

      Geez Val, did you not find it at least a little peculiar that such a loud rant against Obama was heard when assessing his first year in office!? Unreasoning bias is the province of the Right. Fact is: Obama inherited the biggest mess that any incoming president EVER had to deal with, a mess that took 8 years of the Bush league's best efforts to build into monstrous proportions…and the 'reasonable' Right expect it to all go away in the FIRST year of Obama's 4-year term! Wow. Funny…I must have missed the tights and cape that Obama apparently campaigned in. In my opinion, if Obama can clean up most of the Bush mess by the end of his 4th year, it will be nearly miraculous! Then, given another 4 years, I think the man will be remembered as one of the better US presidents in recent memory.

  17. Perhaps the US media are realising that if you want bipartisanship and not vitriol from your politicians then you need bipartisanship and not vitriol from your journalists as well. It seems like a potentially good start to what hopefully becomes a trend.

  18. Bill O'Reilly is an egotistical Republican that as part of Fox "news" simply divides the USA more than ever… does Fox "News".
    I say "News",since it is very Partisan.
    I am Canadian….Liberalist is now what I hear you all saying….far from it….but you Americans need to think less Insular,and more Global….you will get fucked up in the end,unfortunately.
    Look beyond the Box Americans !