"We're actually going to talk honestly here," he says. "With us, we'll just let it fly: This is the way I feel, this is how I see it. There's none of that censoring or calculating. That's one of the reasons I wanted to do it."
It was O'Reilly who approached Stewart with the idea
"I didn't have much of a choice," says Stewart. "First of all, how'd the guy get my number? Second of all, he just calls up and says: 'Stewart. O'Reilly. Debate.'"
The two have occasionally appeared on each other's programs since 2001. O'Reilly has called the "Daily Show" audience "stoned slackers" and "dopey kids." Stewart, a famous critic of Fox News, in 2008 created "a safe zone" on "The Daily Show" for O'Reilly to confess what scares him about Obama.
"The thing that always strikes me as surprising is when people say, 'How can you talk to that guy?'" said Stewart. "I have people in my family that make that guy look like Ralph Nader. This idea that somehow people whose viewpoints you can't quite wrap your head around are not worthy of engagement strikes me as bizarre."