Jon Stewart on Wednesday told Bill O'Reilly the Fox News Channel has become so extreme he's now become the network's left wing.
Chatting with the host of the "O'Reilly Factor," the Comedy Central star said, "You've been overtaken by a more extreme version of you. You are like Fox 1.0. You are the beta version."
The "Daily Show" host continued, "Fox 2.0 has jumped over you to an extent that I don't think you could ever dream of, and quite frankly, I think you fear."
"You set up your stuff there and these other people just came plowing through," said Stewart. "You are -- on this network you are left-wing" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Isn't it interesting that a couple of years ago I was like target number one. Now I'm like 15 on the list. Last time you were here you said I was the voice of reason in the fat camp or some crazy thing like that.
JON STEWART: Skinniest kid at fat camp.
STEWART: You were like the -- how else would I put that? The sluttiest nun.
O'REILLY: Yeah, no nuns are sluts so there you go.
O'REILLY: So, what happened to me? Did I lose my edge or I have I been overtaken by brighter people.
STEWART: I wouldn't say brighter.
STEWART: No, listen, you are a very bright man. You went to Harvard. You are an elite. But, the, you've been overtaken by a more extreme version of you. You are like Fox 1.0. You are the beta version. Fox 2.0 has jumped over you to an extent that I don't think you could ever dream of, and quite frankly, I think you fear. I think deep down inside you can't believe what you have unleashed. You can't --
O'REILLY: I'm responsible for all of this.
STEWART: You are not responsible for it. But what you did is you, you spread out the area. You set up your stuff there and these other people just came plowing through. You are -- on this network you are left-wing.
O'REILLY: On Comedy Central, who would be conservative? Da'da da'da. We will do the Jeopardy music here.
STEWART: It's not a news.
O'REILLY: It doesn't matter. It's satire.
O'REILLY: There are people who believe that you are the voice of news. That you are delivering information.
STEWART: No one believes that.
Actually, many people believe that including folks inside the news industry, which of course is pathetic.
Also pitiful is that people like Stewart and his ilk routinely talk about Fox being extreme as they typically give MSNBC a pass despite it being much further to the left than FNC is to the right.
An extended prime time comparison drives home the point.
At 5PM, FNC features "The Glenn Beck Show" which is right of center. This is followed by "Special Report" which even a UCLA study a few years back depicted as one of the most fair and balanced straight evening news broadcasts on television.
At 7PM is the "Fox Report" with Shepard Smith, by far FNC's most liberal anchor. He's followed by O'Reilly who is right of center and then Hannity who is certainly right of center.
Then, at 10PM is "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren whose political leaning is unknown and who appears straight down the middle in her reporting.
Add it up, and in those six hours you have three that are conservative, two that are neutral, and one that is left-leaning. In percentage terms, 50 percent is conservative, 33 percent is neutral, and 17 percent is liberal.
Compare that to MSNBC's programming at the very same time:
- 5PM "Hardball" with Chris Matthews - far to the left
- 6PM "The Ed Show" with Ed Schultz - far to the left
- 7PM "Hardball" rerun - far to the left
- 8PM "Countdown" with Keith Olbermann - far to the left
- 9PM "The Rachel Maddow Show" - far to the left
- 10PM "Countdown" rerun, soon to be "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell - far to the left
As such, for six straight hours MSNBC extended prime time programming is nothing but far-left content designed for - and often by! - the most left-leaning elements on the Internet including Think Progress, Media Matters for America, and the Netroots.
By contrast, Fox offers viewers three mostly conservative programs, two neutral, and one liberal.
Yet FNC is considered extreme and a threat to our very civilization.
Of course, it's not surprising that folks on the left and their media minions don't see things this way, for simple arithmetic is not and has never been a strong suit for liberals.