Bill O'Reilly wants Jon Stewart to be President of the United States. Not really, but O'Reilly wants Stewart to put himself in Obama's place, and he wants to know why on Earth our president would have allowed the rapper Common into the White House. In last night's debate on The O'Reilly Factor, Stewart made short order of the whole affair and silences O'Reilly with one line: "If I'm the president and I'm booking my own poetry slams, throw me out of office, because I would believe as president I would have things to do rather than go over the list for poetry slams." Stewart then suggests something really nice to do for police, "Let's have us agree to promote the reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons."
The main tenor of this year's Stewart-O'Reilly spar isn't dissimilar from those in the past. O'Reilly bellows; Stewart speaks softly. Citing Bono, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springstein, as musicians who had also written songs about accused murderers Stewart made it difficult for O'Reilly to justify his argument against Common's invitation to the White House. In Common's direct defense, Stewart also suggests that the rapper wasn't celebrating Black Panther Assata Shakur's cop killing but rather suggesting that she was wrongly convicted.
Either way, the real reason to watch these two face off has always been the flirty dynamic between the two personalities. As expected Stewart and O'Reilly sparred over Fox News--or "the infection machine" in Stewart's words--and hypocrisy in the media, they also traded front-handed compliments, little love slaps hardly meant to sting. Stewart has "mad love" for O'Reilly who likes Stewart. Replied Jon, "I like you as well--it saddens me to see you wasting your time." O'Reilly to Stewart, "The thing I like about you do take cheap shots all the time but you defend those cheap shots. And you do it very well."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.