Jon Stewart was on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor tonight, and when Bill-O tried to claim that Barack Obama is out of touch with “regular Americans,” Stewart delivered a little bit of truth to Fox News viewers when he said, “I think that sounds like a meaningless thing to say.”
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
After Stewart busted the very rich Bill O’Reilly on his bogus everyman schitck, the conversation turned to President Obama, and Bill-O repeated a favorite Fox News talking point, “I’m telling you that the President has separated himself from the folks and that is why he is having so much trouble at the polls.” Stewart replied, “I don’t even know. I think that sounds like a meaningless thing to say. You keep saying folks. What are folks?”
O’Reilly answered, “Working Americans don’t understand his thought process.” Stewart said, “That may be very well true, but he did not separate himself from working Americans. He hasn’t done enough, to he ran on the idea that the middle class was going to be his focus.” O’Reilly said, “And it isn’t.” Stewart continued, “Well he’s trying right now to preserve the tax cuts for them, and remove the ones for the people making $250,000 or more.”
Stunned by the sudden appearance of intelligence and logic on his show, O’Reilly immediately moved the goal posts by asking, “Did you get your healthcare premiums?” Stewart answered, “My healthcare premiums have been crazy for years. I pay healthcare premiums for everyone on our show.” O’Reilly claimed, “That’s a tax on the folks.”
The GOP talking point on healthcare reform is that since a law that has not even been fully enacted yet has not lowered healthcare premiums, healthcare reform is a failure. Notice that Bill O’Reilly could not handle Jon Stewart’s facts so he was reduced to spewing some nonsense about healthcare premiums being a tax on working people. The first problem with that statement is that taxes can only be levied and collected by the government. Health insurance is not government run. The rising cost of premiums is what Republicans would usually defend as the free market at work. The second problem is that parts of healthcare reform that are expected to lower premiums won’t kick in for years yet.
It was nice to see Stewart bust O’Reilly on his bogus I’m everyman nonsense. It was even nicer to see Stewart go after the Fox News talking point that Obama is out of touch with regular Americans. What was funny was how O’Reilly defended regular Americans as the people who watch his show. Interestingly, O’Reilly audience is the oldest on cable, while Jon Stewart’s is the youngest. The generational divide was on full display in this interview as Stewart tried to intelligently discuss, while O’Reilly kept feeding his audience senile half truths wrapped in the fear of the black man in the White House.
O’Reilly does have a point though. Most of his viewers probably don’t watch Jon Stewart. They are either in bed by 11, or so wrapped up in their Tea Party hate that they would never watch the Jew on Comedy Central talk about that black man who is occupying the White House. It was fascinating to watch the dynamic between the sane half of America represented by Jon Stewart, walk into the lion’s den of crazy known as Fox News. In our polarized media environment this was a rare sight to behold, and as usual facts triumphed over gibberish.