Opinion Brief

Jon Stewart on 'The O'Reilly Factor': First reactions

With his controversial D.C. rally a month away, Stewart sparred happily with longtime target, Bill O'Reilly. But were the best exchanges left on the cutting-room floor?

The video: Jon Stewart and host Bill O'Reilly traded lighthearted jabs on Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor about everything from President Obama — the conversative talking head asked Stewart if he had "buyer's remorse" — to Stewart's upcoming Washington event, "Rally to Restore Sanity." O'Reilly joked that "every dope dealer within a hundred miles is going to be at that rally," claiming that he'd love to attend, but can't afford to get a "contact high." Some of Stewart's most cutting remarks were edited out for Fox's prime-time viewers, and are only available online (viewable here.)
The reaction: "[Stewart] and O'Reilly are good TV," says Richard Huff at the New York Daily News. "They know exactly how to push each other for maximum effect" to "deliver entertainment that careens between serious and silly." Sadly, though, says Colby Hall at Mediaite, Fox's cautious editing sacrificed some of the best moments, including Stewart's "mocking of O’Reilly’s 'folksiness' and blue-collar perspective," plus a "fascinating back and forth over the Tea Party movement" in which Stewart contends that O'Reilly is just as scared as he is by the nascent political force. Watch the edited version here:

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