Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s attempt to get back at The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart on Wednesday mostly backfired, as his colleague Martha MacCallum couldn’t disprove part of Stewart’s defense of legalized marijuana.
O’Reilly, who has argued that Chinese teenagers outperform their American counterparts because they are too busy with schoolwork to indulge in text messaging or using the Internet, took issue with Stewart citing a July 2010 Los Angeles Times report stating that, in fact, “The Chinese do more text messaging than anybody else in the world, perhaps because it is an inexpensive way to communicate and because the Chinese language can squeeze a lot of information into a small space.”
The Times also reported that a survey of 2,072 young people showed that 83 percent of respondents said they had begun having difficulty remembering certain written characters, a phenomenon linked to the increasing use of smartphones and computers.
Unfortunately for O’Reilly, MacCallum — who admitted she had never even been to China — couldn’t shoot the theory down, alluding to unspecified “data” indicating that Chinese children were spending more time online in school and “one measure” showing they texted more.
“Socially?” O’Reilly asked.
“They do have addictions to web surfing, chatting,” MacCallum replied. “And those are the things that have people sending them off to camps.”
“I can’t imagine,” O’Reilly scoffed, before telling MacCallum he had “spent some time” in China and gushing about the country’s academic performance.
“These kids — I mean, they’re just regimented,” O’Reilly said. “They don’t have any free time to just text.”
“Well, we know that the Chinese are fascinated with technology,” MacCallum responded. “They are spending more time studying.”
“They’re not talking about their shoes with Pamela,” O’Reilly continued.
“I’m sure that there’s a fair amount of that happening,” MacCallum retorted. “However, what they’re doing in school is showing that they’re performing much better.”
The two then blamed American kids for being “obsessed” with social media and reality television, leading O’Reilly to declare, “Once again, I’m right and Stewart is wrong.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Wednesday, below.