On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly again attacked viewers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, calling them "dopey college kids" who must be "stoned" to watch the program. In fact, a study indicated that Daily Show viewers are consistently better informed about current events than consumers of other media, and other statistics demonstrate that Daily Show viewers are more educated and affluent than the viewers of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.
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During the June 14 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly again baselessly attacked viewers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, calling them "dopey college kids" who must be "stoned" to watch the program. In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, a study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center indicates that Daily Show viewers are consistently better informed about current events than consumers of other media, while Nielsen Media Research statistics demonstrate that Daily Show viewers are more educated and affluent than the viewers of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.
Responding to a segment on the June 13 broadcast of The Daily Show during which host Jon Stewart satirized O'Reilly's recent trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, O'Reilly suggested that Abu Bakar Bashir -- the extremist religious leader recently released from prison where he was serving time for his role in the 2002 Bali terrorist attacks -- could "bunk with" Stewart "when he comes to the USA." O'Reilly then characterized his own "program" as "serious" -- as opposed to Stewart's "comedy show" -- and asserted that while being "a smart guy," Stewart has taken to pandering to the "[d]opey college kids" who "are gonna watch him."
O'Reilly has frequently ridiculed Daily Show viewers. As CNN noted, during Stewart's appearance on the September 17, 2004, edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly told Stewart that his Daily Show viewers were "stoned slackers" and "dopey kids," and declared it was "really frightening" that Stewart actually had "an influence on this presidential election." The Associated Press reported in 2004, "Comedy Central had no statistics on how many people watch 'The Daily Show' stoned."
From the June 14 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: OK. We had uh, a little fun on today's show this morning. I'll play you that clip. Uh, I'm talking uh, the three hot stories in the news: the Iraq situation, uh, Guantánamo Bay, and uh, Ann Coulter. And uh, we covered all three of those.
We got a bunch of good uh, sound. Uh, Jon Stewart, I guess, last night uh, had some comments about my Guantánamo Bay interview. I'll play you a little of that.
O'REILLY: Image of the U.S. falls again, according to Pew Research Center. I don't care. OK. Um, the image of the U.S. is defined by a corrupt press, which is not interested in telling anybody the truth.
This is the truth. In Jakarta, Indonesia, the hard-line cleric who was believed to be behind the Bali disco bombing has been released. That bombing killed 202 people. Abu Bakar Bashir, 68 years old, served 26 months for conspiracy in that bombing. And they let him out. And as soon as he got out, he said, "I call on all Muslims to unite behind one goal. That is the implementation of Sharia law." That means we want to cut off all the heads of the infidels.
LIS WIEHL [Fox News legal analyst and regular co-host of The Radio Factor]: Charming.
O'REILLY: Yeah, he's a good guy. Glad he's out, huh? Hey, Jon Stewart, maybe he can bunk with you when he comes to the USA.
O'REILLY: OK. I, the Jon Stewart clip, you guys cut it down. You didn't take the real offensive stuff, or do you have it all together? 'Cause he said some real offensive stuff, here. Um, all right. Let's roll what we have and then, and then I'm gonna roll on the offensive stuff. Roll what you have on Jon Stewart.
[begin audio clip]
STEWART: Now, it's unclear whether the prisoners committed suicide as a political statement or simply because they'd lost the will to live. There is, however, a third explanation.
O'REILLY [clip]: Just hours after I left the prison at Gitmo last Friday, three detainees committed suicide.
STEWART: I can't believe they lasted that long after an O'Reilly visit! Yes, apparently this weekend Bill O'Reilly took a visit to Guantánamo to see what all the fuss was about, even going so far as to talk with some of the inmates and to do a little research for his new book, The O'Reilly Factor for Kurds.
[end audio clip]
O'REILLY: OK. You got the rest of that available? All right. Then he goes on and uh, I have to, I have to slap him around. That was pretty good. That was pretty good. So we'll get the other uh, thing queued up and then I'm gonna have to slap Stewart around. 'Cause Stewart is, you know, now becoming a uh, he's not quite in the Air America category, but he's get, he's inching closer. And I'm gonna have to -- for his own good, 'cause I'm looking out for Jon Stewart -- bring him back.
Do you know who Jon Stewart is?
WIEHL: I do, I do. And I usually like him --
O'REILLY: Have you ever watched his program?
WIEHL: I've seen the program. I usually --
O'REILLY: Have you watched it --
WIEHL: Yes. From start to finish? Maybe not.
O'REILLY: No. It's hard to get through --
WIEHL: That's right
O'REILLY: -- unless you're stoned.
WIEHL: Right, and I'm never stoned.
O'REILLY: If, if you're stoned you can watch.
O'REILLY: And that's, when I, I, I, I told uh, him and his audience. I said, "Listen, you know, uh, stoned slackers love you --
WIEHL: -- can do it, right.
O'REILLY: -- but everybody else has got better things to do."
WIEHL: They do. I kind of flip. But, but he's usually pretty funny. This isn't, this isn't funny, though.
O'REILLY: Yeah, he is, he is. But he's really getting out of control, and we'll, we'll prove that in a moment.
O'REILLY: Now, we're a serious program. He's a comedy show. He's a smart guy Look, I like Stewart. I admire his talent. But he has gone deeper and deeper and deeper into the far-left morass because he knows that's where his audience is. You're not gonna watch him, Beth. The Factor people aren't gonna watch him. Middle America is not gonna watch him. The soccer moms aren't gonna watch him.
Dopey college kids are gonna watch him. See, he knows that. So he has to play to that.