Bill O'Reilly will never admit that he lost, so does it matter if Jon Stewart debates him and wins?
The viewers will just have to be the judges in this case. Stewart accepted an invite to return to The O'Reilly Factor after he called the Fox News Channel host out for bashing the decision to extend rapper and actor Common an invitation to the White House.
Both guys, as always, came out firing.
O'Reilly's beef concerns the rapper's past vocal support for two convicted cop killers, one of whom he visited after she escaped from prison and moved to Cuba.
Stewart suggested that Common wasn't celebrating cop killers, but rather was of the opinion that both were wrongly convicted.
He further pointed out that a number of artists who have been to the White House—Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, in this case—have written songs about men convicted of killing law-enforcement officers.
"Are you familiar with Leonard Pelletier?" Stewart inquired, referring to a man convicted of killing two FBI agents. "Guess who wrote a song about him? Bono. And guess where he was? The White House. Boo-yah!
"That's a rap word," he quipped.
"Do I have to give [Common] a pass, then?" O'Reilly demanded, accusing Stewart of "pettifogging."
"No, just be consistent in your outrage," Stewart replied.
But O'Reilly, in his very O'Reillian way, seized on that seemingly very valid point to move in for the kill, pointing out that Common broke the mold by actually going to visit one of the convicted killers.
"I completely disagree with you that that's what puts it over the top," Stewart argued.
"That's enough for a sitting president to say, 'That's enough, this guy might be radioactive, I'm not doing it.' " O'Reilly insisted, then asked what Stewart would do if he were in Obama's shoes.
"If I'm president and I'm hosting my own poetry slams, throw me out of office," Stewart said, trying to set the conversation back on course. "I would believe, as president, I would have things to do…It's a poetry slam. Who gives a crap?"
He then asked O'Reilly if he would rally the troops at Fox News to, in honor of National Police Week, promote a reinstatement of the federal ban on assault weapons.
O'Reilly didn't appear too tickled by the idea, and then they digressed into a back-and-forth over the veracity of Fox vs. Comedy Central.
"He likes you, for some reason," O'Reilly told Stewart, referring to Alan Colmbes.
"I like you, as well," Stewart said. "It saddens me to see you wasting your time."
"Songs are not literal, you know that, right?" he added. "When the Weather Girls sing, 'It's Raining Men,' it's not actually precipitating males."
"Stop attacking the Weather Girls, they're one of my favorite groups," O'Reilly shot back.