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O'Reilly: Daily Show Viewers Are Drunken, Stoned Slackers

Reported by Marie Therese - September 20, 2004 -

Transcript of interview between Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show. Aired on The O'Reilly Factor, September 17, 2004 from 8:38 PM to 8:44 PM EDT. CLIP shown of cover of Stewart's new book, "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Inaction."

O'Reilly: "You know what's really frightening?"

STEWART (laughing): "Uh-oh. You've been reading my diary."

O'Reilly: "You know what's really frightening? You actually have an influence on this Presidential election."

STEWART: "Oh I..."

O'Reilly: "That is, that is scary."

STEWART: "If that were so, that would be quite frightening."

O'Reilly: "It's true. I mean, you've got stoned slackers watchin' your dopey show every night, OK."

STEWART: "Yeah."

O'Reilly: "And they can vote and you can't stop them."

STEWART: "Yeah. I just don't know how motivated they would be, these ‘stoned slackers'."

O'Reilly: "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 did do your research. You know the research on your program."

STEWART: "No, we don't."

O'Reilly: "87% are intoxicated when they watch it."

STEWART: "Oh, (inaudible) don't say."

O'Reilly: "You didn't see that?"

STEWART: "No. I didn't realize that."

O'Reilly: "We have that there."

STEWART: "We come on right after, I believe, puppets that make crank calls."

O'Reilly: "Yeah."

STEWART: "We are, I think, the appropriate follow up."

O'Reilly: "And it's a great lead-in for you."

STEWART: "It's a wonderful show, by the way, if you haven't seen it."

O'Reilly: "Puppets can't vote but these dopey kids, who watch you, can."

STEWART: "They actually can, in Florida they can, now."

O'Reilly: "You mean puppets can vote in Florida?"

STEWART: "They can - as long as they vote Republican."

O'Reilly: "And they haven't committed a felony."

STEWART: "And they haven't committed a felony. That's exactly right."

O'Reilly: "But you do have some influence. Now, how do you, how do you see that? You have influence. John Kerry bypassed me and went right over to you. You're only four blocks away. He said ‘O'Reilly, I don't think so. Stewart I'm gonna go talk to'."

STEWART: "Well, I have to tell you - and I mean no disrespect - but the snack selection backstage, quite frankly...."

O'Reilly: "Yeah, it's brutal, isn't it?"

STEWART: "You know, I don't want to say Guantanamo Bay, but it's a little spare back there. (The FOX crew starts to laugh in the background.)

O'Reilly: "It's close, it's close. It's ‘cause we want people to be hungry when they come out here."

STEWART: "I think that's wise. WE have what I like to call snack-sized Three Musketeers, some Snickers, some Milky Ways. If I were a Presidential candidate and I had to choose, I think a place that had an energy pick-me-up might be the place I would go."

O'Reilly: "Do you think that Kerry does himself any good talkin' to you, because I think most of your audience is going to vote for him anyway, isn't it?"

STEWART: "If I thought ..."

O'Reilly (interrupts): "The stoned slackers."

STEWART: "If I thought, honestly, that their startegy hinged upon his coming and talking to me, I would suggest they are in deep trouble. I don't know. I feel like if - ya' know, we're not, we don't have an agenda of influence. We - if we have influence, it is peripheral."

O'Reilly: "Yeah."

STEWART: "And I don't imagine that people who watch the show are watching it to make up their minds in terms of who they think would best prosecute the war on terror. I think they watch to see who would, maybe, have the best jokes on the war on terror."

O'Reilly: "But I - no - Here's what I think. I've been on the show a couple of times. You obviously make fun of everybody. You know, I'm makin' fun of your show now. But, you get everybody."

STEWART: ""We are in fact, crass and immature."

O'Reilly: "But you are a show that - your target audience is younger, left-leaning, so you have to play to the choir sometimes."

STEWART: "Well, the real estate is younger just ‘cause it's Comedy Central."

O'Reilly: "And it's at 11 o'clock at night."

STEWART: "I don't know if it's left-leaning. Would you suggest that - you know, that blue collar TV show that does all the - like Foxworthy and all that - you'd consider that a red state show. You know it's Foxworthy and Bill Engvall, OK."

O'Reilly: "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

STEWART: "They're our lead-in on Monday nights and there's really no difference between..."

O'Reilly: "OK. But even so, younger people tend to be - you know - a little bit more ...."

STEWART: "When you say ‘younger' you're talkin' nine,? Ten? What are you talkin' here?"

O'Reilly: "No, I'm talkin' 18 to 25."

STEWART: "Done!"

O'Reilly: "The people on your intellectual level."

STEWART: "Thank you."

O'Reilly: "They seek that."

STEWART: "Yes, they know the lingo."

O'Reilly: "But you do ask some serious questions, too."

STEWART: "Very, very rarely. Every now and again."

O'Reilly (laughing): "Well, you asked me why I was such a bad person, didn't you? Or something like that. Wasn't that a serious question?"

STEWART: "Did I ask you why you were a bad person?"

O'Reilly (laughing): "Yeah, I think so."

STEWART: "No. I wouldn't have done that."

O'Reilly: "'Why are you the scum of the earth, O'Reilly?' - I think that's the way you put it."

STEWART: "No, I wouldn't have put it that way. I think I would have done it ‘Why do you have such 'je na sais pas'?" (FOX crew laughs again.)

O'Reilly: "Yeah, Somethin' in French. We're boycotting France, so I couldn't answer the question."

STEWART: "By the way, I think I couldn't agree with you more about the French thing. They are such an important country and really deserve a boycott."

O'Reilly: "Yeah, they do."

STEWART: " I mean, they have..."

O'Reilly: "I know you don't ..."

STEWART: "...a variety of cheeses."

O'Reilly: " I know. I was just gonna say that you have to have your brie before you go on."

STEWART: "Honest, do you really believe France is in any way worthy of a boycott?"

O'Reilly: "I do. I think France has really hurt the USA, to be real serious."

STEWART: "Really?"

O'Reilly: "Yes, I do."

STEWART: "More than like Saudi Arabia, you would advocate a boycott?"

O'Reilly: "No. I'm not gonna say more than Saudi Arabia. but I'm sayin' we do a lot of business..... "

STEWART: "Then why not boycott them?"

O'Reilly: "France is supposed to be our friend. Saudi Arabia's ....

STEWART: "Since when?!!!"

O'Reilly: "We're a customer."

STEWART: "Since the revolution they haven't been our friend!!"

O'Reilly: "OK."

(STEWART laughs heartily.)

O'Reilly (long pause): "When you get a guy like Kerry on - and, again, he bypassed me , so I took it personally - he went over to talk to ..."

STEWART: "But you and I are not competitors. Let's be frank about that."

O'Reilly: "Well, we're on - our second rerun of The Factor is at 11 o'clock."

STEWART: "I don't mean in terms of - we're not competitors in terms of content. You're a news show..."

O'Reilly: "That's true."

STEWART: "We are a comedy show."

O'Reilly: "That's true. But what do you want the audience to get outta your discussion with Kerry? Just yuks, or anything else?"

STEWART: "First of all, I so rarely refer to it as a ‘yuk'. And I think you should reconsider...

O'Reilly: "OK. I'm sorry about that arcane term."

STEWART: "Schnicks. We call it ‘schnicks'."

O'Reilly: "OK."

STEWART: "Schnicks and giggles."

O'Reilly: "Thank you,"

STEWART: "Alright. I am very uncomfortable going more than a couple of minutes without a laugh, because the same weakness that drove me into comedy also informed my show. So, that same - what we call ‘neediness, neuroses - "

O'Reilly (interrupts): "If you're not hearing the audience laugh, you're gettin' a little nervous?"

STEWART: "That would be exactly right."

O'Reilly: ""Now..."

STEWART (interrupts): "Because it is, at heart, a comedy show, but it's a comedy show about things we care about so, naturally, it's informed by relevant issues and important information."

O'Reilly: "What do you think Kerry wants to get out of comin' on your show?"

STEWART: "He wants to get what any politician does - access to a new constituency. He wants to get ..."

O'Reilly (interrupts): "...the stoned slackers."

STEWART: "...marketers - that's exactly right, because the ‘stoned slackers' - this election is gonna rely on the undecided. Who is more undecided than people who are high?"

O'Reilly (laughing): "Than a stoned slacker? Right! That's for sure!"

STEWART: "Right now, they're thinking to themselves - ice cream or pretzels, ice cream or pretzels."

O'Reilly: "Don't you think that these guys want to be hip? When McCain goes on with you (pause) - Bush hasn't been on with you, right? You'd remember that, wouldn't you?"

STEWART (surprised): "George Bush? I don't recall the President stopping by the program."

O'Reilly: "But McCain's been on."


O'Reilly: "OK. Kerry's been on, as you've mentioned, so you've had the three most powerful people, besides him, on?"

STEWART: "That's probably right."

O'Reilly: "What do you think Kerry wanted to get out of it?"

STEWART (long pause): "A hug?

O'Reilly laughs.

STEWART: "A sweet hugh? I'm sure what he wants out of it - again - is that access. It's the same thing that Budweiser wants out of it. It's the same thing that Dell computers...."

O'Reilly (interrupts): "Just being seen?!!"

STEWART: "No. It's access to this market that may be untapped. An untapped potential, a reserve, an ANWAR, if you will. He wants to drill in an area that has previously been undrilled. And don't make a dirty remark about that, ‘cause I see it comin'!"

O'Reilly: "Alright. Your book is ..."

STEWART (interrupts): "Well, what do YOU think he wants?"

O'Reilly: I think he wants to be hip. I do. I think going on your show is a cachet and he's considered a ‘hipper' candidate than the square President Bush."

STEWART: "So you think it's not, he's not looking for votes. This is a middle age crisis, this is a mid-life crisis?"

O'Reilly: "He just wants the tag that he's "with it"."

Cover of Stewart's new book shown again.

O'Reilly: "And I'll see you on your show in a couple of weeks."


Hey, all you "stoned slackers" out there. Send Bill an e-mail telling him how you feel about this interview. Bill O'Reilly @ FOX News