During Wednesday night’s episode of “The Daily Show,” host Jon Stewart confronted his Fox News frenemy Bill O’Reilly over the intensity of their focus on the Obama administration’s recent scandals, asking if there’s some kind of “sexual arousal” or “joy” in the Fox offices over the Associated Press spying and IRS scrutiny of tea party groups.
After five years of constantly being at “DEFCON 1, red alert, the president is a Marxist who’s destroying the country,” Stewart began. “You finally have a few things that really look worth investigating. Is it joy? Is it sexual arousal? What is the feeling over there?”
O’Reilly demurred, saying he’s been “too easy” on President Obama and now he’s getting criticized by his more conservative colleagues. “This is serious business [with the IRS] because it looks like the president just simply doesn’t know what’s going on within his administration,” O’Reilly said.
Stewart suggested that it seems like the administration wants Obama to have a case for “plausible deniability,” but O’Reilly countered: “The president sets the tone, like you set the tone for this program.”
He added that, in his “educated speculation,” Obama’s enforcers likely decided to “scare the tea party” after the 2010 elections by asking them more detailed questions when they applied for tax exempt status as social welfare groups, a category widely abused by political groups that engage in attack ads funded by anonymous donors.
Trying to get back on point, Stewart asked O’Reilly again, “What’s the feeling over there?” But again, O’Reilly dodged, demanding Stewart pronounce his employer’s name. “Where I work. Say the words!”
“Uh, the Savak? What is the, the Shah’s secret police organization?” Stewart joked. “So you’re over there in hell. I’ll say the organization: Sauron. The eye of Sauron.”
He continued: “There’s this sense they have been singled out purely because of their political beliefs. To be profiled like that… It’s just to be lumped in with people based solely on one fact, it’s unfair, is all I’m saying. It’d be like, if somebody committed an act of terror and we took their whole religion and we lumped them all in for special singling-out.”
O’Reilly countered that he supports profiling Muslims because they’ve committed “over 14,600″ acts of terrorism. “I’m just doing the math here, if they keep mounting up, maybe you do a little bit of profiling.”
“So 14,000 is the limit?” Stewart asked. “How many shootings are in this country?”
“I’m not quite sure,” O’Reilly replied.
“I think it’s like 30,000,” Stewart said. “30,000 deaths between homicide and suicide. Do you think we should start profiling?”
“Of who?” O’Reilly balked. “Dead people?”
“No, the people with the guns,” Stewart deadpanned. “It raises above your 14,000 threshold, is what I’m saying.”
These videos are from “The Daily Show,” aired Wednesday, May 23, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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