Jon Stewart slays the dragon

By Jim Stanford on February 4, 2010

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Last night “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart went into the dragon’s den and confronted Faux News talking head Bill O’Reilly.

Stewart showed no fear as he intellectually jousted the fire-breathing O’Reilly, in the first part of a two-night interview.

Because we would never tune in Faux News, here are YouTube clips of the exchange. Catch round two later tonight on Gawker.

It’s odd to hear Stewart delivering sharp one-liners without laughs and cheers from the audience. It’s odder still that a comedian is the most trusted newscaster on television.


Posted under Democratic Party, Entertainment, Humor, Politics, Republican Party

7 Comments so far

  1. dswift February 4, 2010 2:46 pm

    O’Reilly likes to repeat that only “stoned slackers” watch the Daily Show.

    Stewart hasn’t taken the bait — yet — but the joke goes without saying: most of Bill-O’s fans have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

  2. DAVE February 4, 2010 3:47 pm

    come on ds and js, the interview went just fine. stewart and bill o were respectful of each other. they each asked good questions.
    when the questions got too tough stewart would spin out and hide behind his comedy routine.

    why do you have to find something wrong whenever the banter isnt party line maddow/olberman?

    i thought the exchange of opposing ideas was very similiar to obama vs republican caucus. thicker skin needed here.

  3. js February 4, 2010 5:14 pm

    DAVE, I thought it was an outstanding exchange, which is why I posted the video.

    Nothing wrong with some good intellectual jousting.

    The reference to O’Reilly’s fire-breathing is more his reputation (and track record), rather than this civil debate.

  4. Clint February 5, 2010 8:17 am
  5. dswift February 5, 2010 9:29 am

    The second night was much better. Why, it was a microcosm, I tells ya. Bill defended the standard Fox territory: We vouch for the excellent work of terrorists. They’ve gotten all of us absolutely terrified. Along with: The government wastes my tax money so they shouldn’t be given any. But they’d better spend every penny we have, and then some, pursuing elaborate and endless war schemes against scary Arabs.

    Stewart, meanwhile, pointed out that we have nothing to fear but fear itself, and that proven traditional American methods of solving problems should remain a critical source of our strength if we want to prevail in the long haul.

    Calm logic. Crappy TV.

    Above all, this “intellectual jousting” displayed the hoary horribleness of modern TV political debate: stereotype, then dehumanize. (Stewart years ago pegged TV’s liberal-v-conservative “debate” as Pepsi and Coke debating beverage reality.) Bill, the big lovable lug, is the master of this. He seems to think that if a person from San Francisco suddenly comes face to face with a person from Wasilla, surely someone must die.

    Stewart, his mental eyes rolling, offered a revolutionary thought along the lines of “people are individuals everywhere you go,” a remark that can’t be allowed to hover too long because if taken seriously, it reveals that 95% of TV punditry is but a series of attacks on straw men designed to temporarily thrill the hard-of-thinking.

    Which it is.

  6. dswift February 5, 2010 9:41 am

    And after watching The Daily Show last night, Jim, you might want to consider your “slays the dragon” hed. No mythical creatures were killed, I’m afraid.

    I think the serious person’s logic prevailed but the other guy tried too hard to be entertaining to notice.

    (Seriously, Stewart’s piece on kneejerk fabulist blog headlines was Pulitzer material.)

  7. js February 5, 2010 12:55 pm

    I saw that piece, too! hilarious. I was hoping he would notice mine.

    at least “slays the dragon” is a little more imaginative than the usual sensationalized “destruction” diction.

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