Jon Stewart and Fox News

For many liberal Americans, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is must-see-TV. Stewart's sarcasm and wit delight self-proclaimed "progressives," largely because his ridicule is overwhelmingly directed at conservatives. According to the conservative Media Research Center, Stewart devoted ten times more coverage last month to mocking Republicans/conservatives than Democrats/liberals. Sure, he'll occasionally take a shot at CNN or MSNBC, but his dietary staple is roasted Fox … on a skewer.

This week Mr. Stewart spent much of his time disparaging my interview with President Obama. After I asked the president about Benghazi, the IRS, and ObamaCare, Stewart accused me of "dipping wholesale into the faux Fox scandal grab bag." A funny line, but a farce. Echoing the president, Stewart claimed those issues have been thoroughly investigated, which is simply not true. I'm surprised he didn't declare that there "is not even a smidgen of corruption" in the IRS deal.

But in spite of all that, I think Stewart has a soft spot for Fox News. I just can't imagine his legion of writers sitting there watching the boring stuff that CNN and MSNBC put out. But I can envision Jon lapping up the vibrant debates on FNC, even on the shows he ridicules with regularity. What kind of material can he get from Wolf Blitzer or Andrea Mitchell? He gets plenty from me and Cavuto and Kelly.

Jon Stewart seems genuinely upset when ObamaCare is compared to socialism or when "global warming" is challenged. He supports a "nanny state" in which everyone, slackers included, is provided life's basic necessities. As he put it on Larry King's old CNN show, "I do believe there is some value in policies that derive from a more socialist ethos." So his political views, misguided though they may be, seem heartfelt and genuine.

As I have said before, I like Jon Stewart, a very smart and funny man, and I believe the respect is mutual. He and I raised a bunch of money for charity with our "Rumble," a debate just prior to the 2012 presidential election. USA Today called it the year's "most entertaining" debate and posed this question: "Who needs President Obama and Mitt Romney when you can get your politics with laughs from Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly?"

Stewart has visited the No Spin Zone numerous times, and I have ventured into his lion's den, where most of the "lions" are actually more like trained seals who clap and cheer after just about everything their hero says. Especially when he's ridiculing me or Fox News.

Last week President Obama asked me, in effect, what Fox News would do without him. Perhaps a better question is what Jon Stewart and Comedy Central would do without Fox News.

  • Darren Perkins

    I like The Daily show because he is funny regardless of his political views. Much the same way I have always liked George Carlin even though he doesn’t hold my beliefs in the religious arena. Funny is funny and I guess it doesn’t bother me that everyone does not think exactly like me: However misguided they are in my opinion.

    • Sheila Warner

      Finally! A reasonable comment.

  • Ksp48

    My only problem with Stewart is that so much of his comedy is mockery. Just repeat what your target said, but do so in a loud, exaggerated, “funny” voice and the audience roars. Other than that, he’s a very smart, funny guy who is taken way too seriously by his liberal fans.

  • Ksp48

    Every once in a while i happen to flick to Bill Mahre. Within moments he says something cruel, irresponsible, and truly stupid. Then his audience laughs uproariously and I switch the channel.

  • Wheels55

    While all of this is true, Stewart is a comedian dealing with politics. I think he is great at what he does – so good in fact that he makes some people think he really is delivering the news. So Bill, enjoy your time with Stewart, but don’t take him seriously – he doesn’t take any journalist seriously. Serious isn’t in his job description.

    • Sheila Warner

      Exactly right! Stewart is a comedian. I think his viewers are savvy enough to know that. Personally, as a moderate, I love Stewart. He takes the absurd and uses satire to reveal just how absurd a certain issue or position on an issue really is. I like it when Stewart challenges prominent people with his comedy. He’s clever and he makes me think. I don’t like being in a place where only the choir is preached to all the time.

  • Sheila Warner

    Bill, your very large ego is showing. And I am a fan of yours. If I see it, of course others will as well. Stop defending yourself against those who mocked your interview, and just be glad that you got the chance to ask the questions you did. Who cares if it is reported as nasty? Who cares if the libs say you went after phony scandals? Can’t you just let the interview stand or fall on its own merits? Enough, already! Not everything is all about you. Remain a simple man, and let the simplicity of your questions be what you offer.

  • 12banjo

    When discussing Jon Stewart, why is the obvious always ignored? Why, Bernie? I’ve watched you for years, I’ve read your books. Are you ignoring the obvious on purpose?

    Jon Stewart makes $30M a year. That’s about double what BOR makes. Jon Stewart has an audience of about half of BOR’s. Jon Stewart produces about an hour of content a week and he works about 30 weeks a year. That’s a million dollars an hour, Bernie. Think how much BOR produces. Think about the dozen best sellers, the constant live small-town performances.

    Can we ask if Stewart actually produces $30M worth of ad revenue? I don’t believe he really produces that with his low ratings. Then who is paying for Stewarts .01% lifestyle? The multiple homes, etc. Rachel Maddow makes about 2/3 what BOR makes. Why? Nobody watches her!! This is a money-laundering political operation. Bernie. Please LOOK. it’s not always and only about bias. But it’s always, always about the money!!

    Could it be Wall Street that’s really paying for Stewart to get out the Progressive vote for the oligarchy that includes Corzine, Pritzkers, Spielberg, Soros, Singer, Geffen…? Comcast? Who paid for Stewart’s excellent summer adventure where this no-talent lightweight got to direct a movie…who is the Commerce Secretary, Bernie?

    I regard the Daily Show as a political money-laundering enterprise, designed to get the audience (which is really made up of slacker, stoner wannabes) to put down the marijuana and turn off the porn in Mom’s Basement long enough to vote for who the oligarchy wants them to vote for. That’s how a low-talent , short, unfunny guy with hair plugs pulls in $30M a year.

    • Josh

      I’m confused.

      Did Bernie write this?

      • 12banjo

        Doubt I’d be scolding BG for ignoring the obvious if I was BG.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          He’s confused because you’re replying to Bernie when Bill O’Reilly is the one who wrote this column.

          • 12banjo

            See above, was directed in reply to you.

    • 12banjo

      BOR and BG are both involved in publishing this article. They think alike much of the time. I’m assuming BG agrees with much of what BOR would say.

      BG is a big commentator on the media. It is *his* attention I’m trying to get. It’s time to follow the money.

      BOR spends too much effort liking Jon Stewart and trying to tell us what a nice guy he is, and by extension, what a tolerant and open minded guy BOR is. Stewart isn’t nice at all. He appeared in 2008 at Northwestern in front of teenagers and snarled “f**k you Sarah Palin” several times. Jon Stewart isn’t nice at all. Jon Stewart is a terrible person.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Can’t you just admit that you were confused about who wrote this column? No one here will think any less of you.

        This website automatically posts the syndicated columns of Bill O’Reilly, Michelle Malkin, and Dennis Prager among those written by its regular contributors.

        If you want to get Bernie’s attention or figure out what he thinks about a topic, reply to one of HIS columns.

        • 12banjo

          I follow around the story to different sites. I do not know how this site works, but i do at least hope that BG reads the message boards on his own site. I just posted to myself in reply to you a few minutes ago, so it’s not like I would be that embarrassed over an error. I still want BG to read what I wrote.

          Actually, I don’t expect BG or BOR to read this. The money–the astonishing sum that JS makes for doing so very little work–must already be clear in both their minds. What I want to know is who is really paying.

    • brickman

      John Stewart’s advertisers have real products and can pay the freight for his shows. I never see ads for ambulance chasing lawyers and companies that will solve the problem of tax cheats like I do on Fox News.

      • 12banjo

        Stewarts ads are for booze, which I get–his audience is stoned most of the time. But he also has a lot of ads for luxury 1% type cars, which I don’t get at all. Unemployed boys in Mom’s Basement don’t have money for Mercedes. I’m guessing those ads are part of the laundering process to keep Stewart at $30M/yr.

        Although, if it was legal for heroin dealers to advertise, they’d pick Comedy Cetral–”Die with a needle in your arm,” etc. Great potential audience. What a hypocrite–Stewart eulogizes Hoffman, but promotes the “cool” drug culture.

        And the ad I see most often on Fox is for Wounded Warriors.

        • brickman

          Do you think you’ve done more research into who watches the Daily Show than advertisers who are spending millions of their own dollars? Maybe not all young people are living in their parent’s basements. As for me, I’m in my sixties and I watch Stewart 1-2 times a week. I also watch Fox News. I’m watching it right now. They run a lot of Tax Master ads and ads about asbestos falling like snow, and you have enough problems we’ll fight the government for your benefits. I don’t think that they’re filling their pockets with money FROM the Wounded Warriors. Oh, right now they’re running a silver and gold commercial.

          • Sheila Warner

            Trying to choose only one type of person who watches either channel/program is a crap shoot. That’s why there is a variety of ads on both.

          • 12banjo

            Frankly, I think I do. The advertisers on the Daily Show don’t really care about much except making the delivery of money to reward Stewart’s efforts on behalf of the Democrats. Sort of like how on Breaking Bad Skylar launders money through the car was…

            I doubt that the Pritzkers, who are billionaires, even feel the millions that go to Stewart. Do you know who the Commerce Secretary is?

            Maybe you find the ads on Fox to be boring because they are real ads. And I think Fox cuts Wounded Warriors a deal of some kind for ads. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if WW got the time for free.

            Considering how wrong Stewart was about Madoff, I find it amusing that he condemns people for trying to hedge some of their savings in precious metals…

          • brickman

            De de de de.

          • 12banjo

            Alum of William and Mary?

    • Reese

      12Banjo….You can’t be serious…Stewart kills Fox News, including you Mr. O’Reilly, because the so called liberal bias that you loath, is taken on Fox 10 times the other way towards the right. I think some liberal views may come out a little in their reporting because a lot of the media tends to be Liberal. But Fox is SO ACTIVELY PARTISAN that it goes beyond comprehension.

      Stewart also calls out Fox, and yes you too Mr. O’Reilly, on the BS that you pass on as fact, then call it news. He fact checks and calls the right wing propaganda machine out for its hypocrisy.

      I do give you credit though Bill. You are really the only TV personality that can match up with Stewart. I think he gets the slight edge on you (mostly because he presents actual facts) but you make it competitive. Everyone else…Stewart just obliterates. Ask Bernie…

      • 12banjo

        I don’t see how Stewart can “kill” when he gets half the ratings of O’Reilly. Stewart has a very specific audience of wannabes and hipsters, who think that just by watching and going “woo woo” along with the studio geeks (do you ever notice how little in the way of real laughter happens, just validating applause and woo-woo…) makes them as cool as that short old guy with the hair plugs hiding behind a desk and twenty writers…

        Now, this audience is highly valuable to the Wall Street Obama donors like the Pritzkers, Hollywood, Singer (now dead), Soros, Geffen… This audience didn’t used to vote, but Stewart can get them up off the smelly futon in Mom’s basement and delivers them to the voting booth.

        Maybe Bernie is having a slobbering love affair with Stewart…maybe Bernie wants to be cool. This isn’t something Gutfeld wants, to be validated by the little old man with hair plugs.

        I rarely see Stewart take on Gutfeld, BTW, the way he goes after Boling and O’Reilly. Maybe the little old man with the hair piece he stole from a Schnauzer is afraid of the Gut.

  • Rex Marvin

    Lets find out what Jon can do without Fox News…I am sure he will GLADLY take up that challenge.

    • Josh

      Jon, Media Matters, MSNBC, The Young Turks — these guys literally make a living demonizing Fox and the right wing. One might think that they wouldn’t be so brazen to constantly bite the hand that feeds, but they’ve found a market.

      And despite how ironic and hypocritical it is that these social progressives would compete in a free market to make very comfortable livings, they’re not going to stop.

      Snake oil salespeople is what they are, and they’re quite good at it — at least as it pertains to their niche. If Jon didn’t have Fox, I’m sure he could find something else to demonize and rally hatred toward. If they can do it to those with a political difference, they can do it to anyone with any sort of difference.

      • Reese

        Is right-wing really accusing progressives as rallying hate??? Josh take a look at the Republican platform and you will find all the hate that you need for two life times…

        • Jeff Webb

          >>Is right-wing really accusing progressives as rallying hate???<<

          I wasn't aware that Nancy Pelosi, Alan Grayson, Pete Stark, Harry Reid, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters, and Barack Obama were Republicans.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Jon Stewart is part of the propaganda arm of the Democratic party. Satire and ridicule are potent weapons to twist the truth around. I don’t care what his core viewership thinks, they already agree with Stewart, it’s the drivebys, especially the under 30 crowd that can easily be manipulated. A comedy show is fine, but Stewart has morped into a hybrid of mock journalist/legitimate talking head. He can switch back into “satirist” mode to attack his opponent when he’s losing the debate. The debate partner doesn’t have the same advantage. The Democratic party uses him to pull in the millinenials. If we are going to play this game, the Republican party needs to find an alternative to Stewart to get the too cool for school hipsters to hear their message and redefine “hipster.”

    • brickman

      I guess you think that Dennis Miller is not hip.

  • tarmac 492

    I like Stewart. He seems to be a less caustic version of Bill Maher. I don’t agree with Stewart’s or Maher’s politics, but, hey, it is a free country. I have always enjoyed Stewart’s and O’Reilly’s face-offs.

  • scott autry

    What is sad is many adults under the age of 40 look to The Daily Show for their hard news…

    • brickman

      They should watch Gretchen Carlson’s musings on the illegality of stores not selling cigarettes instead. Now that was hilarious!

      • Sheila Warner

        Perino’s comment was much better. CVS is banning tobacco because it values health. Perino points to the fact that those who don’t want to provide contraceptives because of values they hold, too. Not a bad comparison.

        • brickman

          Except that one is a company engaged in a free market and has many competitors. The other is a regulated market and its end customers don’t get to choose who they do business with. Other than quitting their jobs.

          • Sheila Warner

            I think that is what Perino meant. If the private company in the free market can say “no” to certain products, why not other corporations in the free market, who wish to say “no” to the mandate? Private corporations ought to be able to decide what they will or won’t supply, whether in the stores on in the insurance plans. More provisions in insurance also drive up the premium costs. When my husband worked for the federal gov’t, I had to pay for my own birth control. It was available as a generic, and I didn’t think twice about the plan disallowing coverage. It was the choice of the feds, to keep down health insurance costs.

          • brickman

            I don’t have strong feelings on this matter but I think I differ from you on who the customer is. I think you think it’s the employer. I think it’s the employee. I can go to the the Wawa or 7-11 if CVS doesn’t sell cigarettes but I don’t get to go to someone other than the insurer my employer picks. They need to be regulated more.I can change jobs but even then there’s no guarantee that my new employer won’t switch to the same insurer. And I hear leaving work over insurance is a no-no.

          • Sheila Warner

            True. Lots of companies pick which insurer for its employees. Only at one job did I have a choice.

          • Reese

            That’s why people buy these dirt cheap policies and don’t figure out that the policies cover nothing until they get sick…health policies should cover certain basic services

    • Reese

      What’s even sadder is people look to Fox News…for any News…Scott check out every pole. Fox News viewers are consistently the most misinformed viewers out there. More misinformed than people who watch no news

  • buckrodgers

    John Siewert is a comedian, who plays the role of a journalist on comedy central, so why are legitimate news outlets so concerned about the rantings of a clown, has journalism in America turned into a three ring circus, with clown quoting a clown.

    • mansiseth

      because “legitimate news channel” like fox news are so partisan when their tag line is fair and balanced.

      • Jeff Webb

        Yes, there is exactly ONE network not providing cover for liberals like NBC, MSNBC, ABC, and the rest. Still sore about that?

        Sour grapes sure do make a pungent liberal whine.

        • mansiseth

          you want news not opinions. and opinions are like a asshole everyone has one. what u wants is facts based on which u can make ur own opinion. get it

          • Jeff Webb

            If you’re talking about just newscasts, FNC’s are reliably nonpartisan, so your earlier response to buck didn’t make sense. Your response to me from 6 hours ago makes even less sense–you might cause a few headaches with grammar like that.

          • mansiseth

            hahaha that was hilarious. Faux news is non-partisan. wow. that is hilarious

          • Jeff Webb

            You really think Bret Baier’s and Shep Smith’s newscasts are slanted? Examples, please. I’ll wait patiently, since you have your work cut out for you.

      • Sheila Warner

        So, don’t watch FNC. I am assuming you do not. There is a wide array of news sources and opinion shows out there that cultivate a particular audience, whether right or left. It’s called the public arena of debate and it is good for America. All voices need a place in that arena.

        • mansiseth

          my reply is to buckrodgers who claims that jon stewart plays the role of journalist. i do not care about faux or cnn or msnbc. they are not new channel they are entertainmnent channels. go to al jazeera or bbc or pbs

    • brickman

      Stewart rips them where it hurts, their “professionalism”. The networks don’t point out the idiocy of their competition because that’s a two edge sword. Most of the time Stewart doesn’t even tell jokes. He just plays two pieces of video where the second clip rails against what’s said in the first one. What makes it funny is that it is the same person in both clips. He doesn’t have to make much of a joke. It speaks for itself.