TODAY | October 08, 2012
>>> stewart and bill o 'reilly have a lot to say and over the weekend they squared off in a spirited online debate. craig melvin has more on the showdown. craig , good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning. organizers called it the rumble in the air conditioned auditorium. for 90 minutes jon stewart and bill o 'reilly traded jabs over the serious and substantive, but much of the night was spent on silliness and chtik.
>> virtually challenged candidate.
>> the altitude is really rough up here.
>> reporter: across the ring the face of fox news who took along a few props.
>> it's boring.
>> reporter: a night tailor made for laughs.
>> my friend bill o 'reilly is completely full of [ bleep ].
>> two personalities such as yourself, who are almost polar opposites , politically, share a willingness to come together when congress can't? what advice would you give congress?
>> and what would you like for christmas, little boy ?
>> reporter: but after the lap dance , some fire and substance about so called entitlements.
>> they advertise on the radio for food stamps , are you kidding me?
>> why is it that if you take advantage of a tax break and you're a corporation you're a smart business man, but if you take advantage of something that you need to not be hungry you're a moocher? what kind of business is in a?
>> they also sparred over health care .
>> the free market has failed us in this instance.
>> you can have government regulation of it. just don't have them run it!
>> reporter: one rare point of agreement, iraq .
>> should not have gone to iraq . afghanistan we had to.
>> bill o 'real, we should not have gone into iraq .
>> reporter: outside and online there was anger not over what was being said but over the snail's pace of the live stream. after paying 4.95 thousands moved to facebook to complain.
>> thank you for coming out to see us.
>> reporter: after the debate o'riley and stewart apologized for the technical glitches and offered refunds and then in a show of surprising and unprecedented restraint no victory dance around the ring.
>> i don't think you can look at these things, you know, of this idea it's a match and there's a winner and the winner takes all.
>> the display that you saw tonight is why america is america, you know. robust, creative, no holds barred.
>> get off.
>> reporter: half of the proceeds of that event will be going to various charities choosen by o'riley and stewart . one historical note here, savannah guthrie , probably the first time in the history of debates that martin van buren and lil wayne have ever been referenced on the same stage.
>> let me google that just to make sure. craig melvin, thanks so much.
>> i think the lincoln/douglas debate.
>> like how they did the post-debate debrief, like a sporting event .
>> their rival is very interesting.
>> bipartisanship on tv.
>> they can do it.