Bill O’Reilly guested on The Daily Show last night. And the Clash of the Talking Titans—two guys who consider themselves to be politically independent, but whom everyone else considers to be partisan—was at turns funny, fascinating, and frustrating. Frustrating, because, yet again, we saw facts being used not as the bases for arguments, but as the subjects of them (O’Reilly: “Secular progressives want drastic change.” Stewart: “No, they don’t!” And so on). Funny, because the discussion was tempered by moments of delightful inanity (as when O’Reilly repeatedly referred to a teddy bear Stewart had given him as a joke—to comfort him through his oft-discussed “fear” about Obama—as a “panda”). The exchange is long for a Daily Show interview, but well worth watching.
Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.