Jon Stewart: Bill O'Reilly Is 'Voice of Sanity' on FOX
By PopEater / Wire Services Posted Feb 4th 2010 06:24AM
Jon Stewart told Bill O'Reilly that the "no spin zone" ringleader had become the voice of sanity on Fox News Channel, although "that's like being the thinnest kid at fat camp." The host of 'The Daily Show' and Fox's kingpin exchanged some good-natured shots Wednesday during Stewart's appearance on a network he relishes mocking. Stewart tossed off jokes but also criticized Fox for being a "cyclonic perpetual motion machine" opposing President Barack Obama. "They have taken reasonable concerns about this president and this economy and turned it into a full-fledged panic attack about the next coming of Chairman Mao," Stewart said.
O'Reilly said the Obama attacks were primarily coming from Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, who have two of the highest-rated programs on Fox. O'Reilly called Beck an "everyman."
"He just spouts," O'Reilly said. "He spouts for what he believes. If you think Beck spouts for the Republican Party, you're out of your mind." O'Reilly pointed out that Fox is like a newspaper with news and opinion pages, an idea Stewart poked fun at.
"Fox in and of itself doesn't say you're a news network all day," he said. "What is it, you're news from 9 to 11, then you're opinion, then you're news again from 1 to 2:30 except for the Jewish holidays? And then on alternate parking days you're news, but Christmas, you're not?"
Fox cut off the taped interview at that point, saying more would be shown Thursday.
Both men have appeared on each other's show before, but it was Stewart's first time back since 2004. O'Reilly annoyed Comedy Central by calling Stewart's audience primarily "stoned slackers"; on Wednesday, he amended it to "stoned slackers who love Obama."
According to reports, there was a dispute over who initiated the return visit. O'Reilly said on Fox earlier Wednesday that Stewart's representatives had asked for him to come on the show. Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox said an O'Reilly producer requested the appearance.
Of course, this was no 'Crossfire' take down. But Stewart has been know to critize the state of the media. During the 2004 interview with CNN personality Tucker Carlson, Stewart criticized the state of television journalism and pleaded with the show's hosts to "stop hurting America." Stewart even went as far as asserting that 'Crossfire' had failed in its responsibility to inform and educate viewers about politics. By January 2005, CNN announced that it was canceling 'Crossfire.'
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