On Saturday, Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly held a debate. This in and of itself isn’t anything new, but what made the event special is that it wasn’t on either The Daily Show or The O’Reilly Factor — it was in Washington DC, and the only way you could watch the “Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” was online. We sent our good writer friend Alexis Hauk, who has written for the Boston Phoenix, Time Out Boston, Washington City Paper, and the Atlantic, to cover the shindig. Here’s what she had to say.
It’s not every day that a debate can make your whole worldview shift in an instant. But folks, I’m here to tell you: the Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium did just that. And all in one measly press conference.
But first, let’s go back to a more innocent time — the “rumble” itself.
First point of awesomeness: I was seated in the midst of a healthy clusterf*ck of bros who hooted and hollered at everything that O’Reilly said, defying the expectation that everyone in the audience would be Daily Show die-hards. Lucky me! My favorite bro-quotes (or broques, if you will) of the night included:
“Doesn’t leave much room for my nuts!” – Bro 1, sliding into his seat.
Bro 1’s Brolleagues, trying to hash out some questions for Bill and Jon: “How do you spell affairs?” “A-f-f-a-r…no — i. Sh*t man, I’m drunk.”
When the guy who admonishes people to turn off their cell phones came out onstage and quipped that anyone caught heckling too much would be greeted outside by frat guys with paddles, the bros behind me chuckled, “Yeah. BEEN THERE.”
Then, when the moderator, one in the television news species of Babely Blonde Broad(caster), E.D. Hill, walked onstage, the bros (and their squelched-in-the-seat nuts, one supposes) snapped to attention.
Bro 1: “Oh yeah. I have a question for HER.”
This was followed by the bro-sensus that, given her womanly attributes, she surely works for Fox News, not CNN. They came to this conclusion via some misogynistic algorithm I’m LITERALLY afraid to explore in writing. Of course, the truth is that Hill has worked for both Fox News and CNN. So take that, sexism!
Moving on, here’s what we learned about Bill O’Reilly: