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Jon Stewart stepped into enemy territory on Wednesday evening, appearing on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” to discuss President Obama’s first year in office and defend past on-air critiques of the cable news network.
“I’m torn, for me I feel like I can’t tell if he's a Jedi master playing chess on a three-level board way ahead of us, or if this is kicking his a**," Stewart said when conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly quizzed the "Daily Show" host on Obama's first-year performance.
Stewart said Obama's greatest progress has been in his efforts to "reengage the regulatory mechanism," a take which prompted the Fox News pundit to quip "that was way over my head."
"And you're 6'5"," Stewart shot back.
The comedian-turned-faux news anchor's appearance is set to air in two parts, bringing the two entertainers together for the first time in more than a year.
O'Reilly got an unintentional chuckle out of Stewart when he took his usual shot at the "Daily Show" audience, describing them as "stoned slackers who love Obama."
The banter grew increasingly heated as the conversation turned to Fox News and Stewart's on-air jabs at the network's political coverage.
Stewart refused to accept that Fox News deserved the title "fair and balanced."
"Here's what Fox has done, through their cyclonic perpetual emotional machine that is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: They have taken reasonable concerns about this president and this economy and turned it into full-fledged panic attack about the next coming of Chairman Mao," he said.
Of O'Reilly, Stewart was a bit more forgiving.
"You have in some way become the voice of sanity here," he said, though he added the compliment was "like being [called] the thinnest kid in fat camp."
O'Reilly teased that listeners can expect to see Stewart vetted as a potential vice-presidential candidate in Thursday's segment.
Stewart's last and only appearance on the program was in September 2004. O'Reilly, on the other hand, has appeared three times on "The Daily Show" -- last taking a seat in Stewart's guest chair in November 2008.