Saturday at 6:00 p.m. (ET) Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly will face off live from Lisner Auditorium at The George Washington University. "The Rumble 2012" will be broadcast and streamed pay-per-view, and PolicyMic will be providing live updates as well as instantaneous Facebook posts and tweets so you don't miss out on any of the action.
"The Rumble is the Air Conditioned Auditorium," a pun on the 1974 boxing match "The Rumble in the Jungle" between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, will be moderated by CNN anchor E.D. Hill, and will be modeled after a mock presidential debate with 60 minutes of conversation (between the two diametrically opposed political pundits) and a 30-minute period of questions from the audience.
The Rumble 2012 is coincidentally sandwiched between last Wednesday's first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, in which the latter was the unanimous victor, and the upcoming vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. And though neither Stewart nor O'Reilly are running for public office, their immense influence on the country's liberal and conservative audiences respectively makes this a must-followed event. Bookmark this page and refresh frequently for live updates.
UPDATES: 9:40 PM Final Reactions: 1) Major tech fail on the part of the organizers. Due to live stream trouble, many people were shut out from watching. Site crashed before the debate. Even for those who got the stream, it often was delayed, paused, or stopped altogether. At the end, the stream froze entirely before finishing up. Huge tech issues made it not very fun to watch.
2) If you had to pick a winner, it was Stewart on the merit of his ideas. But, not on his delivery and respect for O'Reilly. O'Reilly more than held his own, and demonstrated an ability to withstand Stewart's attacks, withstand the crowd being behind Stewart, and to be respectful and admirable in his responses. O'Reilly came across as more moderate than you would think -- he said he has no problem with Barack Obama and that the Iraq war was a mistake.
3) The line they'll be quoting tomorrow: O'Reilly: "We should not have gone into Iraq."
4) The biggest Twitter trend of the night: Bullshit Mountain (what Stewart called Republicans' plan for America).
5) This was no replacement for the real debates between Obama and Romney, though it was a good bit of entertainment for the weekend. Still, they should have held it at a better time (8:00 pm on a Saturday is not optimal).
9:35 PM And that's it. The debate has finished up. Recap to follow shortly.
9:33 PM What do you respect most about your opponent? Stewart: "I appreciate the fact that a man built like a Yeddi can move so fluidly."
9:30 PM Would you consider switching jobs for a week? O'Reilly: Are you kidding? I'd have to sit next to Colbert. Stewart: No way. Only way I'd do it is if someone kicked me really hard in the notes.
9:26 PM What's the biggest problem in the public discourse? Stewart: We've lost the inability to problem solve. Our conversation shouldn't be about one part of the country carring the freedom and the other undermining it. It should be about how to improve government. O'Reilly: Capitalism is the biggest problem with our discourse. If you're a hater, you can make a lot of money. You can paid if you're a hater. People get paid a lot of money for ripping things up and hating. That has blown it up. There are no rules on the internet. Not getting better, we have to live with it. Freedom of speech.
9:25 PM If you could see any man elected president, who would you choose? O'Reilly: Clint Eastwood would be my guy. Stewart does a mocking empty chair bit. Stewart: Bill and Hillary Clinton.
9:24 PM Who is the most trusted journalist in America? Jon Stewart: No one. We don't live in that kind of country anymore (like Walter Conkrite). O'Reilly: Best journalist was Mike Wallace.
9:21 PM Who is your political hero and why? Jon Stewart: Robert Kennedy. He had a passion and tenacity that I admire. He's one of the first people I remember when growing up. O'Reilly: What about Fidel, I konw you like him, Jon? For me, it would be Abraham Lincoln. He was the most hated man in the country, and it was inside that his conviction came through. We need someone like that.
9:20 PM Why should people vote for Barack Obama? Stewart: Because of Mitt Romney.
9:18 PM Jon Stewart sits on O'Reilly's lap after audience question about why Congress can't come together like Stewart and O'Reilly. Highlight moment of the debate.
9:16 PM The candidates are debating the role of government. O'Reilly: Governments might be good at military and national defense, but they don't know the first thing about health care and doctors.
9:14 PM O'Reilly zinger: "If Britain, everyone's teeth are falling out. Government can't do health care better."
9:11 PM Health care should be run by private insurance companies, not the government. But government should impose mandates on not being able to deny people coverage.
9:08 PM O'Reilly: If I could design the U.S. government, I would make a more participatory democracy. You'd have to vote, in order to vote next time. If you sit out a round, you can't vote next time. I want the folks to be more involved. "The Jersey Shore people, the Colbert watchers ... know nothing."
9:07 PM If the U.S. were burning, what famous person would you save and why? -- Question from Alison in the audience. O'Reilly -- I would save Oprah, she's worth about a hundred billion. Stewart -- Uh.. my family.
9:06 PM Jon Stewart: We should eliminate the electoral college. O'Reilly: I disagree. With popular vote, NY, California, etc. control everything. That is not right.
9:05 PM The first part of the debate closes, now it's audience question time. "What will be the biggest moment in the election?" O'Reilly: The next debate is a townhall, so it will be tough to gauge the VP candidates' beliefs. But, the next debate is going to be a really important debate.
9:00 PM Biggest quote of the night so far:
8:58 PM This question, while funny, seems pretty irrelevant to anything meaningful. Now they're moving onto immigration reform. Very scattered, no structure to the debate here.
8:56 PM Is there a War on Christmas? Stewart's hilarious response: "Just walk a mile in Hanukah's shoes," to know Christmas will never, ever be destroyed.
8:54 PM Should the government be counting calories for us? Stewart: Adults should be able to buy what they wish, but we have a health crisis in this country. O'Reilly: "What was the question again? This is not the Feds, this is Bloomberg."
8:53 PM O'Reilly: Stewart has offended every single by saying we are only as good as our weakest link. We are only as good as CNN? Are you kidding me?
8:50 PM The Lightening Round has begun.
8:49 PM Fox News is successful because it gives voice to conservatives at the same level as liberals -- says O'Reilly. O'Reilly has a professional response here, more so than Stewart.
8:48 PM Moderator: Is there media bias? Stewart: "Fox News is an overeaction to what might be a slight liberal media bias." Stewart: "You can't make money selling crap in this country." -- Referring to O'Reilly at Fox.
8:46 PM Moderator: American policy in the Middle East is to buy friends. Is that ever possible? O'Reilly: Yes. That's what Jon Stewart and I did.
8:43 PM O'Reilly: President Obama should have said to Libya and Egypt that if you attack our consulate and embassy, we're pulling out our money. That's a line that draws massive applause from the audience.
8:42 PM Hilarious commentary on Twitter:
8:40 PM Stewart is so right. Says the Republicans wanted democracy in the Middle East (and invaded Iraq) but now there's democracy in Egypt, and the people have elected the Muslim Brotherhood, and then all of a sudden Republicans don't want democracy again.
8:36 PM How would you rate President Obama's Middle East policy? Debate now shifts to foreign policy. O'Reilly praises Obama's terrorism policics. But hammers Obama for making friends with the Muslim Brotherhood.
8:35 PM Jon Stewart rightfully points out that Republicans celebrated women athletes from the Olympics at their convention, but refused to tell people that Title IX (a government program) is the reason for their success. Government is not always bad.
8:33 PM "When you get a Sandra Fluke saying I'm entitled to my birth control paid for by the taxpayer, that's ridiculous." -- O'Reilly.
8:30 PM Stewart is destroying O'Reilly right now. Outsmarting him on entitlements. Stewart is running circle around O'Reilly.
8:29 PM One nice change from the presidential debate: the two candidates are actually facing one another when speaking to one another.
8:26 PM If you're following along, who do you think is better at debating so far? Obama and Romney? Or Stewart and O'Reilly?
8:25 PM First quick reaction after the first segment of the debate. Debate could use a bit more structure. Next question: Entitlement spending. Is expansion of entitlements necessary? Are we turning into a nation of takers? O'Reilly preparing his note cards.
8:22 PM "What Bush created was a society of entitlement that we could have two wars and cut taxes at the same time. 10 trillion of the debt occurred in the Bush presidency." -- Stewart. O'Reilly says this is blatantly false. Fact checkers? Anyone? Let me know if the comments.
8:20 PM O'Reilly is angry that Stewart and Dems keep blaming Bush for the current economic problems. The crowd loves this line, which is a surprise (cause they until now have been so pro-Stewart).
8:17 PM First real question: "What is to blame for where we are economically?"
8:16 PM Very clear the moderator has no control over the debate. The two are going back and forth with little structure or clear points.
8:15 PM "Give me my money back the 800 million dollars for the Iraq War, and I'll give you the money for public television." -- Jon Stewart. Huge crowd audience for this line. O'Reilly response: "Let Bill Moyers compete on his own," meaning, he doesn't need a subsidy.
8:13 PM O'Reilly is using tons of graphics and charts. Looks a lot like Glenn Beck. The charts look like first grade charts, which seems demeaning to the university students in the audience.
8:12 PM Stewart now attacks Mitt Romney. Says attacking Big Bird is no response to the debt. O'Reilly asks, "Why is NPR getting our money?"
8:10 PM Stewart railing against Republicans. Calls O'Reilly the "mayor of Bullshit Mountain." Asks O'Reilly to talk to his people.
8:10 PM "A good portion of this country has created an alternative universe, in which the issues we face revolve around a girl from Georgetown (referring to Sandra Fluke). ... I call the place where these folks live "Bullshit Mountain."
8:08 PM "My friend Bill O'Reilly is completely full of shit." -- Jon Stewart's first sentence.
8:06 PM "O'Reilly: Poster child for the entitlement society is Sandra Fluke." We shouldn't be paying for this stuff. That's why we're in trillions of dollars of debt.
8:05 PM More reports that it's difficult to watch. If you've had loading problems, we apologize.
8:03 PM O'Reilly makes clear with first answer that this will be a light-hearted debate. First question is about whether the major issue will be about the economy. But, O'Reilly doesn't respond to it. He's talking about his own question.
8:02 PM Crowd erupts for Jon Stewart after he's announced. No audience reaction for O'Reilly. The two meet at center stage and get set to debate. Home court advantage obviously goes to Stewart.
8:01 PM Debate has begun! Moderator E.D. Hill begins with the rules. First hour will be 5 ten-minute segments. Next, audience questions in a lightening round. Also will take questions via Twitter. Audience has been told to keep cheering to a minumum.
8:00 PM 45 seconds away from touchdown.
7:59 PM The Rumble site has officially crashed:
PolicyMic will be providing updates all night, no need to worry.
7:58 PM Word on Twitter is that The Rumble site is slow and there are problems loading. No need to worry. Stay tuned here, we got you covered.
7:53 PM Here's what the stage looks like in advance of the debate.
7:50 PM Here's how Jon Stewart is preparing for the debate. He tweeted just moments ago: "Moments before the #rumble2012 starts Jon Stewart is still preppong.
7:48 PM In approximately 10 mins, the epic debate will begin. We'll be bringing it to you live, with commentary and analysis. Let the games begin. Check back for more very shortly.
11:50 am: Eight hours to "The Rumble 2012" and all bets are on Stewart who is expected to knock out O'Reilly in this epic battle of ideas and visions for America. O'Reilly is known from Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor which obviously express conservative opinions. Stewart, who is popular especially among millennials, espouses a more liberal approach on his Comedy Central show The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Many have criticized the fact that O'Reilly is a "serious" anchor that reads real news while Stewart, widely seen as a comedian, specializes in "fake" new. And there lies the irony of this whole thing.