The Daily Show's Stewart responds to O'Reilly's misleading attack

Video ››› ››› JOE BROWN

Daily Show host Jon Stewart took Bill O'Reilly to task for his misleading use of a year-old Daily Show clip (noted December 6 by Media Matters for America) to demonstrate what O'Reilly claims to be an ongoing "war on Christmas."

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On the December 7 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, host Jon Stewart took Fox News' Bill O'Reilly to task for his misleading use of a Daily Show clip (documented by The Brad Blog weblog here and by Media Matters for America here). During the December 2 broadcasts of O'Reilly's Fox News talk show The O'Reilly Factor and his Fox News radio show The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, O'Reilly used a year-old video clip from The Daily Show to demonstrate what he claims is an ongoing "war on Christmas" by secular forces. However, O'Reilly falsely told his radio listeners the clip had aired the day before and left his cable viewers with a similar misleading impression.

To demonstrate O'Reilly's deception, Stewart invited Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee, who was featured in the December 2004 segment O'Reilly excerpted, onto the show. Bee, who is pregnant, and according to a November 13 New York Times article (subscription only), is due in January, compared her current appearance with the one shown in the clip, pronouncing it "unmistakable" that the clip was in fact "from last December". She cited as evidence "[m]y highlights." Bee then excused herself, saying "my water just broke."

Following Bee's departure from the stage, Stewart stated satirically: "[A]pparently, we liberal secular fags here at Comedy Central ... have fired a devastating year-old six-second-long joke that doesn't barely even make any sense to us anymore across the bow of Christianity." He later added:

STEWART: Mr. O'Reilly also objects, obviously, to the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" as anti-Christian, although, for some people, there is also a -- a celebration of the New Year. So Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays, so there is a plural, which in the English language necessitates the use of the letter "S." Now, I suppose you could say "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" but you probably have (expletive) to do.

In concluding the segment, Stewart stated:

STEWART: If Bill O'Reilly needs to have an enemy, needs to feel persecuted, you know what? Here's my Kwanzaa gift to him. Are you ready? All right. I'm your enemy. Make me your enemy. I, Jon Stewart, hate Christmas, Christians, Jews, morality, and I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's homo-abortion-pot-and-commie-jizzporium.

From the December 7 edition of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

STEWART: I want to begin with something a little more personal than usual. As many in the audience know -- that are out there watching -- there is a war on Christmas.

[laughter]

STEWART: It's been devastating -- don't even know if there will be a Christmas this year. My guess is yes. But what you may not know is who's been waging this war on Christmas. Well, as it turns out, it's me.

[laughter]

O'REILLY [video clip of December 2 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor]: Predictably, the opponents of public displays of Christmas continue to put forth counter-arguments on 'Secular Central.' I -- I mean, Comedy Central. They said this:

SAMANTHA BEE [video clip]: Christmas: It's the only religious holiday that's also a federal holiday. That way, Christians can go to their services and everyone else can stay home and reflect on the true meaning of separation of church and state.

[laughter]

O'REILLY: And a Merry Christmas to you, Jon Stewart.

[applause]

STEWART: Well, thank you. And let me say to you, Bill O'Reilly, and the entire O'Reilly clan: "Feliz Navidad." Although I'm sure you're concerned that that's getting too prevalent as well in this country. Secondly, you mentioned here at "Secular Central" -- or as I call it, "Godless Central" -- that we keep putting forth counter-arguments against Christmas. But I don't recall that clip that you showed there, but, you know what, I'll ask Samantha Bee. She was in that clip. Sam, can you come out, please?

BEE: Hey, Jon.

STEWART: Hey! Samantha Bee, everybody. Let me ask you a question: Do you -- you filed that report on Christmas.

BEE: I did.

STEWART: Do you remember when we did that?

BEE: Well, let's see. Can we take a look?

STEWART: Do you want to take a look at the clip? Sure.

BEE [video clip]: It's the only religious holiday that's also a federal holiday. That way Christians can go to their services and everyone else can stay home and reflect on the true meaning of separation of church and state.

STEWART: You see, I mean, is that -- is that recent? Was that last week?

BEE: I got it. You know what? That clip was from last December.

STEWART: Now, how do you know that?

BEE: Well, it's subtle but it's -- it's unmistakable, Jon. My highlights. You see those there? Those are honey. These, clearly, caramel. Apparently, Mr. O'Reilly thought that nobody would notice. So -- Oh! Oh, my goodness! My water just broke.

[laughter]

STEWART: Oh, OK. All right. Sam Bee, everybody. I didn't -- didn't realize --

[applause]

STEWART: By the way, if that baby in there turns out to be Jesus, somebody owes somebody an apology.

[laughter]

STEWART: But apparently, we liberal secular fags here at Comedy Central --

[laughter]

STEWART: -- have fired a devastating year-old six-second-long joke that doesn't barely even make any sense to us anymore across the bow of Christianity. When you think of liberals, your thoughts naturally turn to others who are fighting against Christmas like the Puritans: the first white Americans who banned Christmas celebrations for 22 years in Boston because they deemed all of them unseemly. Godless pricks.

[laughter]

STEWART: Mr. O'Reilly also objects, obviously, to the use of the phrase "Happy Holidays" as anti-Christian, although, for some people, there is also a -- a celebration of the New Year. So Christmas and the New Year are actually two holidays, so there is a plural, which in the English language necessitates the use of the letter "S." Now, I suppose you could say "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" but you probably have (expletive) to do.

[laughter, applause]

STEWART: You shorten it to "Happy Holidays."

[laughter]

STEWART: Not everybody who says that is anti-Christian, but for those of you who don't feel like you want to be idiots walking around starting on November 27 saying "Merry Christmas" to people, knock yourself out. You know what, it's OK. If Bill O'Reilly needs to have an enemy, needs to feel persecuted, you know what? Here's my Kwanzaa gift to him. Are you ready? All right. I'm your enemy. Make me your enemy. I, Jon Stewart, hate Christmas, Christians, Jews, morality, and I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's homo-abortion-pot-and-commie-jizzporium.

[applause]

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