“The winters on Bullsh*t Mountain are long and cold. And Christmas is under threat.” O’Reilly, Stewart said, is the “mayor” of Bullsh*t Mountain, but “I know you don’t live there year-round. I believe you have to leave for provisions. And you have a summer home.”
The best moments of the night were when O’Reilly and Stewart got personal. At one point, Stewart asked O’Reilly about his dad, who had colitis and had applied for disability help from his company.
“What do you do if your company doesn’t provide that?” Stewart asked.
“I don’t begrudge anyone asking for help that needs it,” O’Reilly defended.
“You’ve been begrudging all night,” Stewart snapped back. “Why is it that if you take a tax break for your company, you’re a smart businessman. But if you take something you need to not be hungry, you’re a moocher?”
“We’re an entitlement nation,” Stewart said later. “Have you ever seen Oprah’s Favorite Things?”
“If the U.S. was burning, what famous person would you save?” Bill O’Reilly said Oprah. Stewart said, “Uh, my family.”
What did they agree on? That drones and waterboarding both pretty much suck. And they can both dig on some Robert Kennedy.
Other choice quotes:
“Fox News is the Lupus of news.” – JS
“We’re only as good as the weakest link. (So) only as good as CNN.” – BO
“If you walk out of Fox News, it looks like Santa exploded.” – JS
“You won the war on Christmas.” – BO
Funniest ongoing gag: Stewart had a platform that he could raise and lower at will to equal O’Reilly’s significant height advantage.
Best uses of physical comedy: When Stewart hopped on O’Reilly’s lap, and O’Reilly responded, “What would you like for Christmas little boy?” And when O’Reilly said he thought Clint Eastwood would make a good president, and Jon Stewart knelt down to speak to imaginary Clint in an empty chair, a la the director’s bizarre RNC speech. “You want me to do WHAT? Dirty Harry…”
The thing that became most clear amid all of this verbal sparring is that, dude, these guys LIKE each other. When O’Reilly started talking about going on a “double date” with Israeli prime minister Netanyahu during the Iran/Middle East portion of questions, Stewart just about lost it. When he got called out for making a casual reference to Jerry and the Pacemakers, O’Reilly quickly changed his example to Lil Wayne.
In the end, this odd couple camaraderie was what made the 90 minutes of talk engaging—the sight of two friends who enjoy each other but have absolutely no idea how to understand the world the other inhabits (Bullsh*t Mountain or not).
The above was all that I had set to write when we finished up the Rumble. All wrapped up and ready to go.
But then we get to the press conference afterward and something crazy happened. A rumble in my air-conditioned perception of right and wrong and good and evil happened.