Jon Stewart/Bill O'Reilly Smackdown--
er, excuse me, 'The Jon Stewart and Undecided Voter Connection'
September 17, 2004
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly. In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, he is the darling of the television critics, the host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, and now has a book called "America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction" -- 'inaction,' one word*. Welcome, Jon Stewart, to the no spin zone, everyone.
JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": How are you, sir?
O'REILLY: OK. You know what's really frightening?
STEWART: Uh oh.
O'REILLY: You know what's really frightening?
STEWART: You've been reading my diary.
O'REILLY: You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary.
But it is. It's true. I mean, you've got stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night, OK, and they can vote.
O'REILLY: You can't stop them.
STEWART: Yeah, I just don't know how motivated they would be, these stoned slackers.
O'REILLY: Yeah, it just depends if they have to go out that day.
STEWART: What am I, a Cheech and Chong movie? Stoned slackers?
O'REILLY: Come on, you do the research, you know the research on your program.
STEWART: No, we don't.
O'REILLY: Eighty-seven percent are intoxicated when they watch it. You didn't see that?
STEWART: No, I didn't realize that.
O'REILLY: Yeah, we have that there.
STEWART: We come on right after, I believe, puppets that make crank calls...
STEWART: ... so we are, I think, the appropriate follow up...
O'REILLY: Yeah, and that's a great lead-in for you.
STEWART: It's a wonderful show, by the way.
O'REILLY: Puppets can't vote, but these dopey kids who watch you can.
STEWART: They actually can -- in Florida, they can.
O'REILLY: Puppets can vote in Florida.
STEWART: As long as they vote Republican.
O'REILLY: And they haven't committed a felony.
STEWART: And they haven't committed a felony, that's exactly right.
O'REILLY: But you do have some influence. Now, how do you see that? You have influence. John Kerry bypassed me and went right over to you. You're only four blocks away. He said, "O'Reilly, I don't think so. Stewart, I'm going to go talk to you."
STEWART: Well, I have to tell you -- and again, I mean no disrespect, but the snack selection backstage, quite frankly...
O'REILLY: Yeah, it's...
STEWART: You know, I don't want to shake Guantanamo Bay, but it's a little sparer back there.
O'REILLY: It's close, it's close. We want people to be hungry when they come out.
STEWART: I think that's wise. We have, what I like to call, snack-size Three Musketeers, some Snickers, some Milky Ways. If I were a presidential candidate and I had to choose, I think a place that had an energy pick-me-up might be the place I would go.
O'REILLY: Do you think that Kerry does himself any good talking to you? Because I think most of your audience is going to vote for him anyway, aren't they?
STEWART: If I thought...
O'REILLY: The stoned slackers.
STEWART: If I thought honestly that their strategy hinged upon his coming and talking to me, I would suggest that they were in some deep trouble. I don't know. I feel like, you know, we don't have an agenda of influence.
If we have influence, it is peripheral. And I don't imagine that people who watch the show are watching it to make up their minds in terms of who they think would best prosecute the war on terror. I think they watch to see who would maybe have the best jokes on the war on terror.
O'REILLY: No, here's what I think. I've been on the show a couple of times. I mean, you obviously make fun of everybody. You know, I'm making fun of your show now. But you get everybody.
STEWART: We are, in fact, crass and immature.
O'REILLY: But you are a show that your target audience is younger, left leaning, so you have to play to the choir sometimes.
STEWART: But the real estate is younger, just because it's Comedy Central.
O'REILLY: And it's at 11:00 at night.
STEWART: I don't know if it's left leaning. I mean, would you suggest that -- you know that blue collar TV show that does all the -- like Foxworthy and all that? You'd consider that a red state show -- you know, Foxworthy and -- ...
O'REILLY: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
STEWART: OK. They're our lead-in on Monday nights, and there's really no difference between...
O'REILLY: But even so, younger people tend to be a little bit more, you know...
STEWART: When you say younger, are you talking 9, 10? What are you talking here?
O'REILLY: No, I'm talking 18 to 25, you know. The people who are on your intellectual level.
STEWART: Thank you.
O'REILLY: They seek that.
O'REILLY: You ask some serious questions too.
STEWART: Very rarely. Every now and again.
O'REILLY: Well, you asked me why I was such a bad person, didn't you, or something like that? Wasn't that a serious question?
STEWART: Did I ask you why you were a bad person?
O'REILLY: Yeah, I think so.
STEWART: No, I wouldn't have done that.
O'REILLY: ... "scum of the earth, O'Reilly," I think that's the way you put it.
STEWART: No, I wouldn't have put it that way. I think it would have been, why do you have such je ne se quoi? ["zhay nay say kwa"]
O'REILLY: Yeah, some French. We're boycotting France, so I couldn't answer...
STEWART: By the way, I couldn't agree with you more about the French thing. They are such an important country, and I think really deserve a boycott.
O'REILLY: Yeah, they do.
STEWART: Because of the influence they wield in the world.
O'REILLY: Well, you know, I know you don't agree with...
STEWART: They have a variety of cheeses, and...
O'REILLY: I was just going to say, you have to have your brie before you go on.
STEWART: Do you really believe France is, in any way, worthy of a boycott?
O'REILLY: I do. I think France has really hurt the USA, to be...
O'REILLY: Yes, I do.
STEWART: More than like Saudi Arabia? You would advocate a boycott...
O'REILLY: No, I'm not going to say more than Saudi Arabia. But I'm saying we do a lot...
STEWART: So why not boycott them?
O'REILLY: France is supposed to be our friend. Saudi Arabia is...
STEWART: Since when?
STEWART: Since the revolution they haven't been our friend.
O'REILLY: OK, when you get a guy like Kerry on...
O'REILLY: ... and again, he bypassed me, so I took it personally, he went over to talk to you...
STEWART: But you and I are not competitors, let's be frank about it.
O'REILLY: Well, we're on our second rerun on The Factor -- is now at 11:00.
STEWART: I don't mean in terms of -- we're not competitors in terms of content. You're a news show, and we are a comedy show.
O'REILLY: That's true. But what do you want the audience to get out of your discussion with Kerry? Just yucks, or anything else?
STEWART: First of all, I shall rarely refer to it as yucks, and I think you should reconsider.
O'REILLY: OK, I'm sorry about that arcane term.
STEWART: "Shnicks," we call it shnicks -- shnicks and giggles.
O'REILLY: Thank you.
STEWART: All right. I am very uncomfortable going more than a couple of minutes without a laugh, because the same weakness that drove me into comedy also informs my show. So that same, what we call, neediness, neurosis...
O'REILLY: If you're not hearing the audience laugh, you're getting a little nervous.
STEWART: That would be exactly correct, because it is, at heart, a comedy show. But it's a comedy show about things we care about. So naturally, it's informed by relevant issues and important information.
O'REILLY: What do you think Kerry wants to get out of coming on your show?
STEWART: He wants to get what any politician does: access to a new constituency. He wants to get...
O'REILLY: The stoned slackers.
STEWART: ... that's exactly right, because the stoned slackers, this election is going to rely on the undecided. Who is more undecided than...
O'REILLY: Than the stoned slacker, right.
STEWART: ... the people who are high. Right now, they're thinking to themselves, ice cream or pretzels, ice cream or pretzels.
O'REILLY: Don't you think that these guys want to be hip, when McCain was on with you -- Bush hasn't been on with you, right? You would remember that...
STEWART: George Bush?
STEWART: I don't recall the president stopping by the program.
O'REILLY: But McCain's been on.
O'REILLY: OK. Kerry's been on, as we mentioned.
O'REILLY: I've been on. So you've had the three most powerful people beside him on.
STEWART: That's probably right.
O'REILLY: What do you think Kerry wanted to get out of it?
STEWART: A hug -- just a sweet hug. I'm sure what he wants out of it is, again, that access -- it's the same thing that Budweiser wants out of it. It's the same thing that Dell computers...
STEWART: No, it's access to this market that may be untapped, an untapped potential, a reserve, an ANWR, if you will. He wants to drill in an area that has previously been un-drilled. And don't make a dirty remark about that, because I see it coming.
O'REILLY: All right, your book is...
STEWART: But what do you think he wants out of it?
O'REILLY: I think he wants to be hip. I do. I think going on your show is a cachet* ["ca-shay"], and he's considered the hipper candidate than the square.
STEWART: So you think he's not looking for votes. This is middle-aged crisis?
STEWART: This is a mid-life crisis...
O'REILLY: No, he just wants to get that tag...
STEWART: ... buying a Corvette.
O'REILLY: ... that he's with it, that's all. And he probably wants to get hair tips from you. Look at that hair. It's great. All right, Jon Stewart, buy his book, here he is. And I'll see you on your show in a couple of weeks.
STEWART: You will see me on my show.
Originally posted on Faux News.