Jon Stewart | Stephen Colbert | Washington DC

BigGayDeal.com

Thousands Show Up At Rally In DC To Help 'Restore Sanity'

Stew
 
Earlier today, exactly two months after Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin held their "Restore Honor" rally on the Mall in Washington DC, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held a counter rally of sorts calling for a resotoration of sanity.

The New York Times reports on the event:

It was a Democratic rally without a Democratic politician, featuring instead two political satirists, Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert, who used the stage to rib national journalists and fear-mongering politicians, and to fake-fight each other over dueling songs about trains.

Though at no point during the show did either man plug a political candidate, a strong current of political engagement coursed through the enormous crowd, which stretched from the Capitol almost to the Washington Monument, an overwhelming response to a call by Mr. Stewart on his show on the Comedy Central network. The turnout clogged traffic, and filled subways and buses to the point of overflow.

The New York Times's Brian Stelter CTV puts the crowd estimate at 250,000. The Huffington Post helped bus 10,000 of those people from NYC to DC. Colbert himself tweeted his own crowd estimate: 6 billion.

What exactly was this rally about? At the end of the event, Stewart asked the massive crowd that exact same question. His response:

Rally This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times — not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

But unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke.

The country’s 24-hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen — or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything we hear nothing.

Watch Stewart's sane speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. Looks like a great day, too bad there won't be any celebrating after Tuesday for years. We had our chance now we'll get nothing passed. Obama will never be re-elected.

    Posted by: Name | Oct 30, 2010 9:22:04 PM


  2. Jon Stewart was born to do this. I wish I had been there.

    Posted by: JOEBLOE | Oct 30, 2010 9:34:07 PM


  3. "they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic"

    Perfect.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Oct 30, 2010 10:45:33 PM


  4. Go, Mr. Noblet!

    Posted by: DN | Oct 30, 2010 10:59:02 PM


  5. This was a mostly wasted opportunity. The emphasis on both sides being too strident, emphatic, etc. was an embarrassing mischaracterization of the current political environment. The left is not stomping heads, bullying people to death, denying families adoption and marriage, calling people Nazis or Hitler, yelling Fa* and Ni**er at people, enacting racist laws, and on, and on. To have the national stage and only tip that hat at calling this out while promoting a "we should just take turns and play well with others" myth was infuriating. If I wanted to see privileged folks telling a three hour joke through improv, I would go back to junior high drama class.

    Posted by: Mrs. Sippi | Oct 30, 2010 11:14:10 PM


  6. It was mainly a chance for people of like minds (namely fans of liberals Jon S and Steve C) to get together and realize their strength and numbers. Numbers which greatly exceeded the crowd drawn by Beck and Palin.

    Now if only that will translate into going to the polls and voting it will have been worth it.

    It puts the Tea Party with its cracked tea pot into perspective. They are loud and get a lot of coverage but they are outnumbered by the sane. Let's hope they are out voted on Tuesday.

    Posted by: Here's Hoping | Oct 31, 2010 12:04:47 AM


  7. This was weak and tired. Stewart and Colbert are funny, but they're lightweights.
    Anything that comes from commercial media is a waste of time. Their job is to create an ignorant public, so their bosses can run Washington without interferance from voters too stupid and lazy to study policy.
    They don't call it the boob tube for nothing.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Oct 31, 2010 12:56:44 AM


  8. As a person in attendance, I can't say that the rally achieved anything (though how can you achieve something when you don't have a goal?), but it allowed like-minded people to come together and realize their strength and destroy the myth that tea-partiers are the majority of Americans, they're just the loudest.

    While the left isn't nearly as vitriolic and hateful as the right (yes, I'm a liberal), we can be just as misinformed and plain ol' stupid and ignorant as the other side, and we have to realize that and grow up.

    This "Us vs Them" mentality is going to tear our country a part. And our 24 hour infonewstainment channels are accelerating the process.

    Posted by: Leonard | Oct 31, 2010 1:26:43 AM


  9. tremendous. please come in, and be normal. it doesn't hurt, but might take a little courage.

    Posted by: please vote | Oct 31, 2010 4:11:47 AM


  10. It was good to see a huge gathering of normal liberal-oriented people for a change. People I like. I wanted to hug my teddy bear again. But Jon Stewart is naive to think that the Tea-infused Republican Party will be interested in joining with the Democratic Party in "solving problems" in a way that involves the federal government.

    Posted by: Philo | Oct 31, 2010 4:34:34 AM


  11. @LEONARD>I'm so glad you got to go. What prompted me to address this comment to you is you seem to be unaware that you answer your own question. First paragraph. First sentence. And I quote,"it allowed like-minded people to come together and realize their strength", end quote. You were meant to take that home with you and reflect on it, and you did. See? Jon's goal was to just have you show up, and see for yourself that a lot of Americans do think and feel the same way, we just all arrive to the same place differently, and at different times. But we get there. See?

    Posted by: JOEBLOE | Oct 31, 2010 4:37:14 AM


  12. In german newspapers I read that Yussuf (formerly Cat Stevens) was on stage of that protests, too -- as far as I remember he supported the killing of author Salman Rushdie ("The Satanic Verses") -- but maybe he meanwhile restored his sanity?

    Posted by: Rainer | Oct 31, 2010 5:05:07 AM


  13. Yusef Islam (aka Cat Stevens) certainly was there, in a musical duel with Ozzy Osbourne ("Peace Train" versus "Crazy Train"). It was pretty spectacular.

    He has talked a good deal about the comments he made when the fatwah was issued on Salman Rushdie. In short, his contention is that he was a relatively recent convert and still very much in the 'novice' phase, and for some reason news media chose him to be "the voice of Muslims" when seeking commentary on the fatwah. The comments he made at the time were, essentially, 'this is what Islam believes, so this is what I believe'. That seems pretty typical for someone who is new to a philosophy and is only working with a framework, and has not had the time, experience, or confidence for introspection.

    Wikipedia has a node on it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens%27_comments_about_Salman_Rushdie

    You can make up your own mind about the sincerity of his words since then. Not knowing the man, I'll take them at face value since I have no reason to doubt him.

    Posted by: naughtylola | Oct 31, 2010 11:02:18 AM


  14. The pundits and public will dissect and ponder what the rally meant, for me it was summed up in the last 20 minutes. To focus on what common ground we have, to realize when the 24/7 MSM is fanning flames that they lit themselves for ratings, and to extend an olive branch, regardless if it is taken or not.

    That said, I will still call out anyone who tries to stop us from gaining equal rights, I just will not attack them personally.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 31, 2010 1:02:33 PM


  15. "While the left isn't nearly as vitriolic and hateful as the right"

    Have you met Tank?

    Posted by: asdf | Oct 31, 2010 1:38:31 PM


  16. I caught the San Francisco satellite edition of the rally, and I loved it even with its flaws. The point to me wasn't to advocate for one side or another. Attendees will be bombarded with that after the rally ended. But what the intense partisanship screamed by various media outlets make us forget is of the bigger and more common bond we all share as American citizens. Stewart wanted people to step back and remember that point.

    That said, if not all Muslims are terrorists, then not all Tea Partiers are insane homopohobic racist bigots. The question is recognizing when the stereotype is untrue.

    Posted by: Peter | Oct 31, 2010 1:45:12 PM


  17. Even if the Rally DIDN'T really accomplish anything (and I went, so I do feel it did), does it hurt to try?
    Everyone I talked to about it has a "don't try 'cause it's not gonna work anyway" attitude about it.
    And that's what's wrong.

    Posted by: Joanie | Oct 31, 2010 7:26:24 PM


  18. Stewart's closing remarks were so naive that for me they were the funniest part of the three hours.

    Posted by: Bobo | Oct 31, 2010 10:11:23 PM


Post a comment







Trending


« «News: James Marsden, DADT, Christine O'Donnell, Rand Paul« «