Jon Stewart To Bret Baier: ‘Main Thrust Of Fox News Is Not Objective News Gathering’

Worlds collided on the Daily Show tonight as Fox News’ Bret Baier took the interview seat across from Jon Stewart to talk about his work at the network and why, essentially, Stewart should respect them. With the audience as an army behind him, Stewart tried to explain why, with Baier and Shepard Smith as exceptions, he couldn’t quite get behind the rest of the network, beginning with his believe that Fox’s “main thrust is [not] objective news gathering.”

Describing Baier’s arrival on the set through his own experiences in the News Corp building, Stewart began his interview by asking Baier if he felt comfortable, and not “like a a foreign element has been introduced into the building and the immune system rises up.” Baier agreed he was very comfortable, though jokingly questioned the hospitality of the seat he currently occupied. Small talk over, Stewart dove right in, calling Baier a “human shield” that Fox News put out whenever asked if they had any respectable newspeople, and asking if he ever felt put on the spot when he was hinted at as one of the good guys. Baier took it in stride, saying he certainly didn’t feel that way and inviting Stewart on his program as an “ombudsman.” As for his position as a news person on a network that broadcasts opinion shows, he noted that there was a difference among the programs and “we respect the viewers’ ability to discern the difference between the two. I’m a news guy. I do news.” This last statement was greeted with audience laughter, and Stewart himself attacks the point.

“By the time you’re done watching [Glenn Beck], youre exhausted,” Stewart notes, adding that by the time Baier comes on the television, you think, “the world is going to end, and this guy’s going to tell me how.” The conversation then shifts to Charles Krauthammer, who Baier calls “brilliant” (also to laughter from the audience) and to the general tenor of the network (with Stewart asking “do you ever watch when you’re not on?”). He also challenges the basis of the news network, arguing that the “main thrust [of Fox News is not] objective news gathering.” To this, Baier responds with a question: “why are we the best-rated news show?” Stewart responds in snippy form: “I wasn’t aware that news ratings equals quality. But now that I know that, I’m going to reassess my opinion of Three’s Company.

The televised portion of the interview via Comedy Central below:

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