May 21, 2011

Backing Bill O'Reilly in a Debate: Like Rooting for a One-Legged Man in an Ass-Kicking Contest

Click image to visit the Bill O'Reilly Poll Center.
The Jon Stewart poll can be found in the archive for May 16, 2011
Last week, I noted that Jon Stewart had accepted Bill O'Reilly's invitation to debate the faux controversy over rapper Common's invitation to a White House poetry slam. Mr. Stewart had earlier completely shredded Fox News Channel's choreographed hissy fit, and revealed it for the foolish manufactured outrage it was.  My hope was that, given what appeared to be genuine frustration on the part of the Daily Show host, there would be some fireworks, and Mr. Stewart didn't disappoint.

The "debate" on The O'Reilly Factor was over pretty much within minutes. Mr. O'Reilly tried moving the goal posts several times, but was countered by a persistent, fact-based, cohesive argument that left him nowhere to go. While he certainly didn't concede anything - he never does - he quickly tried to avoid further embarrassment by abruptly shifting to questions designed to try and paint Mr. Stewart as representing the "far left". How bad was it for the Factor host? He invited the audience to vote on who had the more persuasive argument, and 79% of his own viewers came out against him.


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