Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart have gone toe-to-toe on each other’s programs before, but now the television hosts are set to engage in their most in-depth debate ever with Rumble 2012, a 90-minute live event that will be streamed on the internet.
The sold-out mock presidential debate takes place Saturday in Washington, D.C., with the intention to garner some laughs and raise money for charity, The Associated Press noted. The Fox News host and The Daily Show star have a respectful relationship, though often contentious, and decided to put on the event to benefit charity.
Dubbed “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium,” the event will be live-streamed online for $4.95, with half of all proceeds going to charity.
Though the main intention is comedy, The Rumble 2012 will serve a civic purpose too, the Christian Science Monitor noted. The “infotainment” can actually breed interest in real political and civic issues for people who are otherwise disengaged politically, the report noted.
Lauren Feldman, an assistant professor at American University in Washington, D.C., noted that outlets like The Daily Show can help connect younger, sometimes apathetic people to social issues. She said this is evident in how The Daily Show viewers are engaged in issues like climate change.
“Humor and substance are not dichotomous phenomena,” she said.
Comedians and pundits have stepped into real politics before as well. Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, brought attention to campaign finance reform by starting his own satirical “super PAC” called Making A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. He also testified before Congress in 2010.
Live-streaming of the Bill O’Reilly Jon Stewart debate can be found at the website for “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium.”