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What Tension? Bill O’Reilly Shares Tough Love (And Laughs) With Glenn Beck

Besides the lengthy, professorial takedown of Arianna Huffington‘s comments about him, Glenn Beck also had Bill O’Reilly as a guest on his show last night for the first time (although Beck on the Factor happens every week).

The two star FNC hosts were jovial (they’re currently on tour together), but they also delved into some interesting current topics in the news – and O’Reilly displayed some tough love in his frank assessment of Beck.

“You know Bill, I come to your studio, you’re down the hall,” joked Beck to O’Reilly, who appeared live from his studio. “No, I’m afraid you’re slaughtering people or something in there,” said O’Reilly, ribbing the 5pmET host back over Huffington’s comments.

Beck first spent time to fact-check, Professor-style again, what Joe Klein said on The O’Reilly Factor Monday night. And yeah, as we pointed out, Beck was right and Klein didn’t cite any real evidence. But it also followed a very personal (albeit funny) 15-minute attack by Beck on the Time columnist. Said O’Reilly:

You give an opinion, I give an opinion, so what?! He gives his opinion every week. You know, you don’t like the opinion you say you don’t like the opinion, why demonize the messenger?

Needless to say, this is a pushback of Beck’s tactics. You could make the same argument about many who Beck takes on personally – Anita Dunn, maybe, or even Van Jones. The difference is that Beck thinks being a wine-sipping liberal is the worst Klein is, while his thoughts on some in the Obama administration are far more sinister. “You’re a guy who Fox News hired, and CNN hired before that, to give your opinion as an ‘every man’-type of guy,” said O’Reilly. “Remind me not to have you ever write my resume?” said Beck at one point.

But the discussion ranged farther than this week. O’Reilly specifically citing the poll putting Beck’s ‘popularity’ ahead of his, called out the Huffington Post report about “angst” withing O’Reilly’s camp over Beck.

Didn’t Arianna Huffington by the way say I threw a fit when you were named #2 most popular TV guy?…If you got the Huffington Post and you’re expecting accurate information about anything, it’s ridiculous.

The two joked about it – but the implication was clear: all is just fine between the two biggest stars at the biggest cable news network on TV.

And while the two shared laughs, there was another point that became obvious – O’Reilly was positioning himself as top dog, mainstream, against Beck who was slightly outside of that. Beck mentioned how he and O’Reilly could never even go on ABC News, a point which O’Reilly denied. “I could get on there, sure,” he said. “You, they would never let you.”

O’Reilly’s right – he appears semi-regularly on GMA. And it’s not like Beck never shows up on the traditional news outlet (he was a “fascinating person” last year). But Beck’s status has changed – while his star has shot up during his year at FNC, he no longer has the potential to be a regular contributor to ABC, like he was at one point when he still had his HLN show.

There was much more. “You and Sarah Palin are in the same soup bowl,” says O’Reilly at one point, which could be taken a lot of different ways. There’s also a lengthy discussion about the merits of Jon Stewart, who will be interviewed on The O’Reilly Factor tonight and tomorrow. Just like “Presidential Question Time,” the O’Reilly/Beck Show should happen a lot more.

Here’s the multi-layered first and second segments between O’Reilly and Beck:

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