Jon Stewart and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly have long been formidable political opponents. Each has traded shots during visits to the other’s show. Last Saturday night this rivalry culminated in a 90-minute long political debate. Stewart on the side of the Democratic/Liberal Platform and O’Reilly on the side of the Republican/Conservative Platform.
The thing many people on the left are quick to point out is how annoying and high and mighty O’Reilly is. It’s very evident that O’Reilly understands this portrayal of himself and he plays on it, with humor.
O’Reilly’s first words in response to a prompt of whether the upcoming election is “the most important in a generation” are fitting with the persona that precedes him: “I don’t care.” He then pulls out a number of signs with various mantras that he wants to repeat in varying from: “Buy your own,” a message directed to Sandra Fluke, to “Bush is gone.”
When O’Reilly finishes, the crowd quiets in anticipation and bubbles forth in enthusiasm as Jon Stewart raises a platform behind his podium trying out various heights to match his “hobbit-sized five-foot seven inches” to O’Reilly’s domineering six-foot four inches. After a couple of bobs up and down and an extended arm presentation to Mr. O’Reilly on his right, he states, “My friend Bill O’Reilly…is completely full of shit.”
While both debaters got laughs and applause the majority seemed to favor the host of The Daily Show.
“Give me the money back from the Iraq War and it’s rubbers for everyone on me,” Stewart says in response to O’Reilly’s argument that women should buy their own birth control.
While talking about foreign policy and the recent attacks on the embassy in Libya, Stewart bashed, “the idea…that if Barack Obama talked more like a cowboy and was nicer to Israel, somehow the Arab world would go, ‘Oh I had no idea you guys would get mad at us for that.’”
In response to the question, “If the U.S. were burning what famous person would you save?” Bill O’Reilly says “Oprah.” Great answer right? Everybody loves Oprah. Nothing wrong with that. Until Stewart comes out with: “Uh, my family.”
And probably the best zinger of the entire evening came when Stewart said: “Why is it that if you take advantage of a tax break and you’re a corporation you’re a smart business man, but if you take advantage of something that makes you not be hungry you’re a moocher?”
The moderator, CNN news anchor E.D. Hill, mostly let the two run wild and diverge at their own will. Occasionally she would ring a small bell to try and bring the hysteria down or change topics so that the entire debate didn’t revolve around birth control pills and food stamps. On several occasions she was drowned out and interrupted, but she maintained an affable spirit about her and at the very least neither one of the debaters ever said they were going to pull her funding a la Mitt Romney to PBS’ Jim Lehrer.
The debate lasts 90 minutes not including credits and half of the proceeds are going to charity. I doubt you can write it off on your taxes, but maybe you can feel like a better human inside? At the very least it’s funny and it talks about real issues without being drenched in political rhetoric coming from two candidates with memorized talking points.
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About the Author: Nate Rankin writes Comedy Reviews and Fiction because no one taught him any better. His fiction has been featured by Workers Writes, theNewerYork! and Used Gravitrons and is forthcoming in The Green Blotter. His work can be seen here: http://iamseamus.tumblr.com/writing You can find him on the Tweety Box @CommanderSeamus If you'd like to submit a review inquiry please send to nrankin22[at]gmail[dot]com