Sunday, October 07, 2012
Did any of you watch the Jon Stewart/Bill O'Reilly debate last night? Update: Now includes debate video.
To be honest I actually forgot it was on until late in the evening, but I had also decided earlier that I would not watch it because, well essentially because I pay a pretty substantive cable bill and flatly refuse to pay even more by watching anything on pay-per-view.
In other words I am a cheap bastard.
However according to Politicususa it looks like it was possibly something worth paying the additional handful of dollars to watch:
The debate contained a surprising amount of substance. O’Reilly brought his Fox News talking points, and Stewart brought facts. As O’Reilly and Stewart battled over entitlements, The Daily Show host asked why it is okay for a businessman to take advantage of tax break, but poor people can’t take advantage of program that will give them something they need? Stewart pointed to the connection between government investment in infrastructure and the success of the country.
After questions about the Middle East, the discussion turned to media bias. Stewart said he doesn’t believe that the mainstream media networks are activist organizations, but Fox News is an overreaction to perceived media bias. Stewart compared Fox News to Lupus. O’Reilly launched the standard defense of Fox News being the conservative equalizer. Stewart answered that anytime you have audience where more people believe the president is a Muslim than believe in evolution, you have a problem.
When they discussed healthcare, O’Reilly gave the standard conservative position about buying insurance across state lines, and Stewart argued for single payer.
Jon Stewart was really on his game with his messaging. O’Reilly seemed to be there to play his foil, and offer up the standard conservative/Fox News talking points. There were long stretches of the debate that were lacking in jokes, but heavy on substance. Stewart was intent on calling out the b.s. of the right and especially the right wing media.
The comedy weight was on Stewart, and it turns out, so was the intellectual burden. O’Reilly was in full bloom, and playing his Fox News character. Bill-O was there to represent the right, and he put their flimsy arguments and talking points on full display.
Wow, well that sounds fairly entertaining. I kind of wish I had seen it.
To be honest part of my hesitancy was that I thought it would be played for laughs and not a weighty enough debate about anything of substance. But it sounds like Jon Stewart took this seriously enough to use it as an opportunity to shame Fox News and the Right Wing concerning their ridiculous arguments and fact free assertions about the President. And THAT is something I wish I had not missed.
If any of you saw the debate please weigh in and let us know what your thoughts, and if perhaps all, or a portion, of it shows up on the internet at some point send me a link and I will certainly post it.
Update: Here is the debate in full for those who missed it. (H/T to cuppajava.)