A Better Debate Than We’ll See All Month

If, like me, you were frustrated with the first Presidential debate last week, then block off 90 minutes of your time and watch the “Rumble” between Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart. Somehow, it manages to be substantive, showcasing a clash of ideas, while still being funny… and I managed to sit through the entire thing late last night without falling asleep (which was saying a lot after a long day).

And consider donating $4.95 to the group that put it together — half the proceeds go to charity.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Allon

    This was a great debate as Reilly focused on the republican talking points complete with posters yet it was Stewart who explained bullshit mountain like clinton at the DNC.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=698681810 Fergus Gallagher

    “half the proceeds go to charity.”I was wondering if that really meant that all the proceeds go to charity, half to each side.

  • http://kaleenamenke.blogspot.com/ Kaleena

    “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Straight Talk, Inc./Busboy Productions, Inc..”
    :(

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Linked to a different version. Let’s see how long that’s up.

      • http://kaleenamenke.blogspot.com/ Kaleena

        sweet! thanks!Just watched it and loved it. I totally agree. That was way better than the presidential debate.

  • guest

    As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney squared
    off in their first debate, Democracy Now! produced a three-hour special,
    Expanding the Debate. We aired the Obama/Romney debate and paused after
    questions to include responses from two presidential contenders who
    were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and
    Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

    The special broadcast also featured interviews with George Farah,
    founder and Executive Director of Open Debates about how the Republican
    and Democratic parties secretly control the presidential debates;
    Vincent Harding, friend, colleague and former speechwriter of the Rev.
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Miriam Peña executive director of the
    Colorado Progressive Coalition.

    http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/10/4/expanding_the_debate_watch_democracy_nows_full_three_hour_special

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    BULLSHIT MOUNTAIN!!!!

    • Gus Snarp

      This is the only way to debate with a liar like Bill O or Romney. Call them out on it, constantly.

  • Gus Snarp

    Is Bill O on drugs here, or does he really think these bits are funny?

  • Gus Snarp

    It was painful to see O’Reilly nail Stewart for mixing up the debt with the deficit. Stewart blew that one. Which is especially painful because O’Reilly did the same thing only moments earlier.

  • INtheCloset

    This was awesome to watch! I agreed, much MUCH better than the prez debate! I loved Stewart nailing O’Reiley and faux news for the war on xmas ;)

  • Gus Snarp

    I wish I had watched this and live-blogged it. I could go on and on. Last one: I love when Stewart brings up Levittown. He’s dead on there. I would go a step further with that one: why is it only “means tested” aid that O’Leilly has a problem with here? It’s only bad to help people if they actually need it? Some of that means tested aid Bill O talks about surely includes Section 8 housing, the particular hobgoblin of racist right wingers in inner suburbs across America, certainly in my neighborhood. You know, it puts roofs over the heads of low income people. Mostly elderly folks, contrary to what the suburban racists want you to think. But here’s the thing, it’s a tiny amount of money in the Federal budget. The single largest housing expenditure of the U.S. government is the mortgage interest deduction, which overwhelmingly benefits wealthier Americans. The richer you are, the better it is for you. Now some real deficit hawks are willing to address this. I’d have put Bill O on the spot on that one.

    And the scornful look on Bill O’s face when Stewart says he grew up in subsidized housing. Like he’s just been associated with those people.

  • amycas

    O’Reilly offered a new reason why he believes in god: because everybody has a talent.

    • Edmond

      It’s too bad that people who say this kind of thing can’t realize that they’re speaking from their fat-bellied, over-privileged American perspective, and that they live in a region where more people have the OPPORTUNITY to seek out their strong points.  This ignores the huge swathes of humanity that live in slums and disease, across Asia, Africa, and in this country as well, where hundreds of thousands of children live out shortened, miserable lives, with no opportunity to develop a talent any more profound than begging or stealing.

    • Jessica

      Yup, that was my biggest eye-roll of the debate (and there were many of them).  What a nonsense phrase.

  • Gus Snarp

    OK, sorry to spam your comments, but one more: at 53:30ish O’Reilly flat out lies about complaints about nativity displays, claiming that the ACLU went after nativities that were displayed alongside menorahs and other symbols. Pretty sure that what the ACLU (if it was actually the ACLU) complained about were nativity displays on public facilities without symbols of any other religion or group.

    • amycas

       I like you spam comments here :-)

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

       I noticed that, too. What grounds could the ACLU stand on if other displays were present as well? It makes no logical sense whatsoever, and I got the distinct impression that O’Reilly knows it doesn’t.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    At 1:21:30, Bill O’Reilly realizes he’s making the case for NPR and PBS… doesn’t he??

  • Foster

    O’Reilly may be climbing BS Mountain, but Stewart did confuse the deficit with the debt (at 21:25-22:00), which makes me question whether he really has a handle on the critical facts.  Thanks for the link, Mehta.

    • amycas

       O’Reilly did the same thing only a couple minutes earlier. Watch it again. Stewart didn’t catch it because he made an honest mistake. But we know O’Reilly knew the difference and he switched them up anyway. So, who should we trust? The guy who made an honest mistake (but otherwise was solid)? Or the guy who knew the difference and switched them up anyway?

      • Foster

        I need a more precise time to watch than “couple of minutes” since I’m really not sure what you’re talking about.  Also, your mind-reading abilities are impressive.  Perhaps you can teach me some time to infallibly tell an honest mistake from an intentional one.

        • amycas

          Really? You need a more precise time than a couple of minutes before Stewart made that mistake? Sorry I don’t have the time stamp for you.

          As for mind-reading: we don’t need to. O’Reilly correct Stewart on the mistake, while himself using the same figures a couple minutes before to bolster his argument. You can’t say “A = B” and then tell your opponent “A =! B” without looking like a liar or an idiot.

  • Nordog6561

    Better debate?  I don’t know about that.  I thought the Romney/Obama debate last week was darn awesome.

  • Jennifer

    O’reilly lies about the ACLU lawsuits against manger scenes on public property @ around 53:50 when he states that it was multiple scenes with other symbols. He totally fails to acknowledge the FACT that Atheist organizations were prevented from displaying their own seasonal message. To my knowledge, the additional items were only added after the lawsuits were filed and/or decided in favor of the ACLU.

  • Brian Macker

    Bill O’Reilly is a moron. Why would I want to watch a comedian debt a moron?