Stewart and O'Reilly @ #Rumble2012

Saturday night, Daily Show frontman Jon Stewart and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly took the stage before an audience of 1,500 at George Washington University and went toe-to-toe on domestic and foreign policy.

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  1. The event had its comic moments but the two also tackled serious issues, from social security and entitlements to spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. 
  2. The event was not televised but was live-streamed and available to view or download for $4.95, with half of that going to charity. Unfortunately, demand exceeded supply.
  3. The debate was a feast for political junkies. For example, in the spirited give-and-take on the federal budget and deficits, Stewart lamented that the U.S. is "weeks from becoming a failed state or worse Greece." The solution? "Kill Big Bird," a reference to Mitt Romney's remarks at the first presidential debate earlier this week. 
  4. Although the two disagreed about the nature and cause of the deficits -- and there was a bit of confusion or slip of the tongue about deficits and debt on Stewart's part -- O'Reilly and Stewart agreed on support for military servicemen. O'Reilly also asserted that the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq, putting him on the fringes of the Republican party.
  5. O'Reilly argued that health care should be "run by insurance companies not the government." Stewart argued, instead, that we should decouple health care insurance from employers, and "the only way we can do this is through a single-payer system."
  6. And although he objected to what he sees as an entitlement society, O'Reilly supports Social Security.
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