Two men. Two podiums. One air-conditioned auditorium. That's how promotional materials are billing the 90-minute mock debate between The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly of FOX News, properly titled "O'Reilly vs. Stewart 2012: The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium."
The showdown between the two media personalities will take place on October 6 from Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University, streamed live on the internet for a modest fee of $4.95 with a DVD to be released at a later date. According to the Rumble 2012 website, half of the profits will be donated to charitable causes as "O'Reilly and Stewart will take an entertaining and comedic approach to today's pressing political issues in an attempt to find the best direction for America."
The site also says that viewers who pre-order this must-see event by October 1 will be able to suggest a question that Jon and Bill "may answer" during their faceoff. CNN Newsroom anchor E.D. Hill, formerly of FOX News, is set to moderate the debate, which will center on topics including the national debt, gas prices, and American relations in Muslim countries.
Although Stewart and O'Reilly hold diametrically opposed political viewpoints, they have appeared on each other's shows and appear to have some kind of mutual respect. In his Talking Points Memo on The O'Reilly Factor, bloviating Bill promoted the upcoming clash by promising that he and his pal Jon might not be buddies anymore after they "debate man to man, eye to eye – well, not really, he’s a tiny guy."
This could either be a brilliant satire of American political debate or a shrill, unfunny trainwreck. Which do you think it will be?