Tuesday, September 28, 2004

O'Reilly v. Stewart

Bill O'Reilly did us the favor of fulfilling every stereotype we have of him, by showing himself to be curmudgeonly and out of touch when he interviewed Jon Stewart a couple weeks ago. Here's the transcript:

O'REILLY: You actually have an influence on this presidential election. That is scary.
STEWART: If that were so, that would be quite frightening.
O'REILLY: 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.

My Republican middle-aged parents (neither stoners nor slackers, they) may want to dispute O'Reilly's characterization of The Daily Show's viewership, since Stewart has a place next to Brokaw and Imus in their daily viewing. And indeed, Nielsen Media Research confirms that The Daily Show's viewership is more complex:

Viewers of Jon Stewart's show are more likely to have completed four years of college than people who watch 'The O'Reilly Factor,' according to Nielsen Media Research.

Jon Stewart's reaction?

This election is going to rely on the undecided. And who is more undecided than stoned slackers? Ice cream or pretzels? Ice cream or pretzels? What's it going to be?"


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