Here, for your viewing delight, is Jon Stewart’s appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” in three parts. The interview ran over two nights, Tuesday, February 3 (Parts 1 and 2 below) and Wednesday, February 4 (Part 3 below).
The whole thing is a fascinating exercise in the current state of the media-politics-entertainment nexus and well worth the watch. If you only have a few minutes, though, the must-see segments comes in part 3.
First, at 2:40 on the clock, O’Reilly says he plans to run for president and asks Stewart to be his running mate. That is a running theme through the rest of the segment — O’Reilly turns the show into a vetting interview for the job.
Second — and this is priceless — at 4:20, they’re discussing the Iranian nuclear threat and O’Reilly suddenly says to Stewart, “You’re a Jewish guy, right?” Stewart seems utterly nonplussed for about a millisecond, like Where the Hell Is This Coming From, and then comes back with a hilarious riposte, eventually railing about the “war on Hanukkah.”
Third, at 7:33 Jon explains why he won’t be O’Reilly’s running mate.
O’Reilly and Stewart, Part 1.
O’Reilly and Stewart, Part 2.
O’Reilly and Stewart, Part 3.
Want more? Stewart followed up on his own show Wednesday night with his reflections on the experience. He airs some of O’Reilly’s weirder after-the-fact analyses of the interview and then discusses it with his therapist (played by Wallace Shawn). You can watch it on the Daily Show’s own site, here.
Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).