The first part of Bill O’Reilly interview with Jon Stewart aired on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor tonight, and when the topic to turned to Fox News’ balance Stewart said, “I think Fox in and of yourselves say that you are not a news organization all day…” Stewart consistently turned the tables on O’Reilly.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Stewart said, “Here’s what I believe Fox News is the most passionate and sells the clearest narrative of any news organization, if that’s, are you still referring to it in that manner? Later he continued, “I think Fox in and of yourselves say that you are not a news organization all day. Isn’t now, you’re news from 9-11 then you are opinion, then you’re opinion, then you’re news again from 1-2:30, except on the Jewish holidays then you’re not, and then on alternate parking days you’re news, then on Christmas you’re not.”
O’Reilly compared Fox News to a newspaper, but Stewart rebutted, “First of all, newspapers are a passive piece of paper that you go to and you know where the opinion is. Television doesn’t function that way, and you know it. Stewart pointed out that Fox News doesn’t clearly label their opinions. Stewart asked Bill-O if he truly believed that Fox News is fair and balanced, and O’Reilly said that the hard news division is.
Stewart was running circles around O’Reilly, who was forced to mouth the same old Fox News talking points. Of course, FNC doesn’t clearly label their news and opinion, because the two intermix on a daily basis. It’s impossible to believe that a network that has an overarching ideology is able to run an objective news division. This argument does not hold water.
As far as the separation of news and opinion is concerned, O’Reilly, Beck, and Hannity air on a network that it calls itself Fox News. The network does not call these shows their opinion bloc. They make no effort to differentiate. In fact, they promote the opinion shows as news. Stewart delivered the criticism that O’Reilly had no counter for.