Last night, Jon Stewart fired a bouquet of flowery words over Fox News' bow. In an attempt to wade through Trump's still confusing doubts about Obama being born in the United States, Stewart begged for a beacon of clarity, and he found it emanating from an unlikely source:
When we're this deep into the crazy hole it's very tough to climb out. Can anyone throw us a rope? [Cue Bill O'Reilly clip.] That's right bitches. O'William Jedediah O'Reilly used his bully pulpit to refute not just the birther bullshit but all the Obama-based internet bullshit. [Cue slow clap.]
The full clip is actually fairly dull until about the three-minute mark:
Serving as Stewart's punchline in the birther segment, the tip-of-the-hat to the Fox News powerhost might just read like a thank you note to a O'Reilly's complimenting Stewart's treatment of Obama last week. Like many pundits, Stewart harped on Obama's 2012 campaign for their uncharacteristically uninspiring announcement video, and Bill O'Reilly thought that was a great thing to do:
You know, he's smart to do that. Even though his audience is primary stoned slackers who will vote left no matter who's running. Stewart is smart to do that because it broadens him out a little… You know I think Stewart's probably the smartest of the left-wingers on television in the United States right now.
Bill! How far you've come from that one time when you interviewed Jon Stewart for 42-minutes and then chopped out all of Stewart's most salient arguments. Stewart, the good frenemy that he is, is becoming more and more frequent with his half-praise of Bill O'Reilly's intelligence which generally reads as "You can do better, Bill!"
Here's a funny idea. According to a 2008 study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism concluded that the content for The O'Reilly Factor and the Daily Show are actually pretty similar. Where as Stewart makes his points with jokes and puns and O'Reilly makes his with a stern baritone, the shows invite about the same mix of conservative and liberal guests, and they share similar content that sometimes ignores big events in order to focus on commentary. So why not just start the Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly show?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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