Things are getting rough between Fox News Channel commentator Bernard Goldberg and comic Jon Stewart.
Stewart brought a gospel choir on to "The Daily Show" to curse the media critic out a night after Goldberg told him to "find some guts."
Round Three is scheduled with another Goldberg appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor." Goldberg said Wednesday, after watching Stewart's routine, that he found him "funny" but a "phony."
It was during an interview with O'Reilly that Goldberg, a journalist who has written books accusing the media of a liberal bias, made things personal.
Last week, a segment on Stewart's "The Daily Show" responded to statements by Fox News commentators criticizing Tea Party opponents for judging the movement based on the bad actions of a few. Stewart played tape of Fox commentators, including Goldberg, making generalizations about liberals.
Goldberg pleaded guilty. But he responded Monday by urging Stewart to be as tough on his liberal guests as he is on conservatives.
"If you just want to be a funnyman, who talks to an audience who will laugh at anything you say, that's OK with me, no problem," he said. "But clearly you want to be a social commentator, more than just a comedian, and if you want to be a good one, you better find some guts."
He said Stewart was not as edgy as he thinks he is.
"You're just a safe Jay Leno with a much smaller audience," Goldberg said. "But you get to fly the f-bomb, which gives your incredibly unsophisticated audience the illusion that you're a renegade."
Stewart came back hard the next night. He said it took a "tough man" to appear on O'Reilly's show and criticize liberal elites.
"To say that comedians have to decide ... comedians do social commentary through comedy," he said. "That's how it's worked for thousands of years. I have not moved out of the comedian's box toward the news box. The news box is moving towards me."
He said Goldberg can't criticize him for not being fair and balanced. "That's your slogan," he said, "which, by the way, you never follow."
He ran a comic tape of Leno "swearing" while showing some funny news headlines.
"If you think I'm Leno with an f-bomb, you know less about comedy than you do about politics," he said.
The segment, nearly 12 minutes long, escalated to where it ended with Stewart joined by a gospel choir who cursed at Goldberg. (Comedy Central edits out the profanity, but it's clear to anyone watching.)
Goldberg said he had no problem with Stewart's routine. Given its length, he said it was clear he had gotten under the comic's skin.
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