I’m one of those strange people who’s a fan of both Bill O’Reilly and John Stewart. Liberals tend to brand Bill O’Reilly as a demagogue. Conservatives tend to brand Stewart as a socialist. The irony is, 99% of the people who attack either man are people who’ve never seen more than five minutes of who they’re attacking. And the truth is, both men certainly sit on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but I find that both are fair. The one thing both have in common is that they hate hypocrisy and unfairness, and are not shy about calling them out where they see them.
I think I appreciate both the O’Reilly Factor and The Daily Show because I share something in common with both Bill and John–I’m from New York. Stewart’s studios are not too far from my office in Manhattan, and O’Reilly hails from a city not too far from where I live in Long Island. What I love about New Yorkers (real New Yorkers, not spoiled college kids who move in and then proclaim Manhattan as “their city”) is that they speak their mind, they’ll even shout at you, but at the end of the day they’ll give you the shirt off their back if they need it. I think both Stewart and O’Reilly fall under that category.
On Saturday, October 6, you’ll be able to view a debate between both men, John Stewart representing a more progressive mindset, and Bill O’Reilly representing a more traditional one. There are sure to be some jabs, some great humor, and if the viewers are open-minded enough, something to learn from both sides.
Both men are doing something interesting, and dare I say something brilliant. Instead of broadcasting the event on Comedy Central or Fox News Channel, they’re streaming it online for $4.95. One half of the net profits will go to charitable causes supported by O’Reilly and Stewart. When you consider the enormous audiences of both men, that money is going to help an awful lot of people.
The debate will take place live on Saturday night, and people who pay the $4.95 will be able to access the show by streaming later on. Since the proceeds go to charity, viewers are being discouraged from passing the video around.