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Jon Stewart vs. Fox News Part 87: O’Reilly And Goldberg Obviously Amused And Envious

Reported by Ellen - April 22, 2010 -

In what Bill O’Reilly aptly called “Part 87” of the Jon Stewart vs. Fox News feud, O’Reilly and guest/Stewart-subject Bernard Goldberg were obviously more amused than angry at Stewart’s last skewering of Fox and Goldberg the night before. But I think O’Reilly, at least, knew they had been bested, though he would not admit it. The evidence? He called Stewart “the point man for the left-wing media in America.” And he kept longing for a conservative version of Stewart. With video.

O’Reilly spent the first three segments of The Factor on Jon Stewart, starting with the Talking Points Memo (first video below). “A brawl with FNC gives Stewart and his 600 writers great material, just like it gives me, the sole writer on The Factor, great material,” O’Reilly said, with a twinkle. He continued, “I’m now convinced that Jon Stewart likes us. He really likes us. Sally Field told me that… A guy like Jon would be bored out of his mind watching CNN or NBC News. He’d bang his head against the wall listening to that predictable stuff. But here, HERE, we have all kinds of views, all kinds of debates and we’re not boring. That’s why Jon Stewart loves us and yes, needs us, especially Bernie Goldberg.”

OK, it’s kind of funny but nothing in comparison to Stewart’s hilarious takedown of Fox. And, I can’t help but think, it contained more than a little wishful thinking.

When Goldberg came on, he offered his own little dig, saying he was flattered that Stewart “spent half his show talking about me. Clearly, clearly, I got to him by saying that he wasn’t as gutsy as he thought he was or courageous and he played it safe too often, had a small audience and all that.” But later, Goldberg admitted, albeit somewhat grudgingly, “(Stewart) doesn’t have a big audience but he has a lot of influence with young viewers who are very, very, very loyal to him.” Goldberg also noted that that was the kind of audience that advertisers love – young and hip.

O’Reilly said admiringly, “(Stewart) is far more influential than Bill Maher, Michael Moore, all of these other bomb throwers because the print press loves him and the entertainment press loves him and he, himself, is smart. He knows how to position and to sell satire… I think this helps Stewart. His influence is growing.”

O’Reilly repeatedly brought up what he called a “serious point:” Why are there no conservative comedians with their own TV programs? “I don’t want to be racist but is there a black list?” he joked. I laughed, but not the way I did with Stewart.

O’Reilly and Goldberg blamed the liberal media establishment, of course. But they never named a single hip conservative comedian who they thought might compete with Stewart – not even Fox News’ own resident "comic" Dennis Miller who was on that very show for his regular Wednesday night gig. Surely somebody with authority in the Murdoch empire would be willing to give a break to the “conservative Jon Stewart," whoever that person might be. Unless, maybe, there just isn’t one.

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