Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly nearly come to blows debating 'white privilege'

Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly nearly come to blows debating 'white privilege'
(Image credit: The Daily Show)

Watching two middle-aged white men debating "white privilege" may sound like a terrible way to spend nearly 13 minutes, but the two men here are Jon Stewart and his recurring sparring partner Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly ostensibly came on Wednesday night's Daily Show to talk about his new book, Killing Patton, but Stewart didn't even pretend he'd read the latest of what he called O'Reilly's "Killing Trees" bestsellers. He wanted to talk about O'Reilly's denial that white privilege exists.

There were some fireworks — this is the extended web-only version below — and lots of facts and semantics. If you watch, you'll learn that O'Reilly thinks that Oprah Winfrey is the most powerful woman in the world, that black people weren't allowed in O'Reilly's home town until after 1960, and that both Stewart and O'Reilly can agree that race is a "factor" in American society, even today. "This was a beautiful moment in healing," Stewart told O'Reilly at the end. "Your humility has moved me." He compared him to Pope Francis, only leading "the Fox fearful to a better place." O'Reilly, to his credit, laughed. --Peter Weber

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.