Read this interview of Jon Stewart on Bill O’Reilly. I love Jon Stewart. He’s really good at this stuff. He knows that his show is comedy, not a news source, and never takes himself too seriously even though he has intelligent things to say.
Disclaimer: I don’t like O’Reilly. Like Ann Coulter, he’s an inflammatory sensationalist in the guise of a political commentator.
While all of O’Reilly’s jibes in this are for the most part good natured, it’s clear that he doesn’t think Stewart or the Daily Show has anything to contribute to modern political discourse. He was offended that Kerry would hit the Daily Show, but not his own show, and dismisses it as Kerry trying to appear hip. He also expresses concern that Stewart’s “stoned, slacker” audience will be motivated to vote this time around, something he finds frightening.
O’Reilly is obvious disconnected from reality when it comes to the import of a show like the Daily Show. People watch it because it deals with important issues, and makes fun of them. It doesn’t take itself or the state of politics in this country seriously. It’s the opposite of Bill’s over-sized ego and the pomposity of Fox News in general. And what bill really doesn’t get, is that his own show is as much entertainment as Jon’s is. Just pushed to a different audience. While the Daily Show may be hitting a lot of “Stoned slackers” his own show is hitting right wing nutbags who are more concerned with having their own insane opinions validated than they are with receiving legitimate news or commentary. The O’Reilly factor is ironically satyrical of a real news show, instead of just being a satyrical news show. Jon, unlike Bill knows his show is a joke.
I loved this little bit.
O’REILLY: Don’t you think that these guys want to be hip, when McCain was on with you — Bush hasn’t been on with you, right? You would remember that… STEWART: George Bush? O’REILLY: Yeah. STEWART: I don’t recall the president stopping by the program. O’REILLY: But McCain’s been on. STEWART: Yes. O’REILLY: OK. Kerry’s been on, as we mentioned. STEWART: Yes. O’REILLY: I’ve been on. So you’ve had the three most powerful people beside him on. STEWART: That’s probably right.
I can’t tell from the transcript if O’Reilly was joking here when putting himself as one of the three most powerful people besides Kerry, McCain and the President, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t.