By David Bauder, Associated Press
NEW YORK — Comic Jon Stewart told Bill O'Reilly that the "no spin zone" ringleader had become the voice of sanity on Fox News Channel, although "that's like being the thinnest kid at fat camp."
The host of "The Daily Show" and Fox's kingpin exchanged some good-natured shots Wednesday during Stewart's appearance on a network he relishes mocking. Stewart tossed off jokes but also criticized Fox for being a "cyclonic perpetual motion machine" opposing President Barack Obama.
"They have taken reasonable concerns about this president and this economy and turned it into a full-fledged panic attack about the next coming of Chairman Mao," Stewart said.
O'Reilly said the Obama attacks were primarily coming from Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, who have two of the highest-rated programs on Fox. O'Reilly called Beck an "everyman."
"He just spouts," O'Reilly said. "He spouts for what he believes. If you think Beck spouts for the Republican Party, you're out of your mind."
Fox cut off the taped interview at that point, saying more would be shown Thursday.
WATCH PART I:
WATCH PART II:
Both men have appeared on each other's show before, but it was Stewart's first time back since 2004. O'Reilly annoyed Comedy Central by calling Stewart's audience primarily "stoned slackers"; on Wednesday, he amended it to "stoned slackers who love Obama."
There was even a dispute over who initiated the return visit. O'Reilly said on Fox earlier Wednesday that Stewart's representatives had asked for him to come on the show. Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox said an O'Reilly producer requested the appearance.
Fox "is the most passionate and sells the clearest narrative of all the news networks, if ... you're still referring to it in that manner," Stewart said.
O'Reilly pointed out that Fox is like a newspaper with news and opinion pages, an idea Stewart poked fun at.
"Fox in and of itself doesn't say you're a news network all day," he said. "What is it, you're news from 9 to 11, then you're opinion, then you're news again from 1 to 2:30 except for the Jewish holidays? And then on alternate parking days you're news, but Christmas, you're not?"
Stewart was asked about a Washington Post column that suggested he was becoming disenchanted with Obama. "I don't take any of that seriously," he said.
But he did criticize Obama for not taking control of his agenda.
"It allows too much room for different narratives to take hold, for instance, a narrative that might emanate from a news organization of this ilk," he said.
Original Post: Daily Show host Jon Stewart will enter the "No Spin Zone" tomorrow night when he sits down for an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. The sit down will air over two nights, tomorrow and Thursday.
This isn't the first time the two hosts have squared off. Most recently when O'Reilly went on the Daily Show right after the election of President Obama. Click HERE to watch it.
Stewart most recently went after Fox News for its handling of President Obama's Q&A session with congressional Republicans. While other networks aired the stunning exchange in its entirety, Fox News did not. Stewart believes that's because Obama's answers did not square with Fox's conservative narrative.
The last time Stewart went on O'Reilly's program was in 2004. The video is below.