Jon Stewart sparred with Fox News' Bret Baier about the position of the network as a news organization during Baier's appearance on Thursday's "Daily Show."
It's not often that Fox News personalities enter the relative bear pit that is "The Daily Show"--Stewart, lest we forget, is not a huge fan-- but the conversation didn't get too heated. The main focus was Stewart's contention that Fox News is not, primarily, an objective news outlet, and Baier's contention that it is.
Stewart told Baier, who hosts "Special Report," that he always seems like "the guy they use whenever you start to criticize them about any of their programming. You're like the human shield." Baier countered that Fox News has news shows and opinion shows, just like any other.
"We respect the viewers' ability to discern the difference between the two," he said. Stewart disagreed, saying that the two were always being blended on the channel. Baier pointed to Fox News' stable of hard news journalists.
"These are journalists," he said. "That's what we do."
"Do you ever turn it on when you're not on?" Stewart asked jokingly. "...I would not say that Fox's main thrust is objective news gathering." Baier wondered why, if the station's news quality was so poor, it was the top rated cable news channel.
"i was not aware that ratings equaled quality," Stewart countered, to inevitable audience applause.