The Rally to Restore Sanity
Written Oct 29th, 2010, before The Rally to Restore Sanity:
Jon Stewart has nicknamed his Rally to Restore Sanity “The Million Moderate March”. But that isn’t what the rally really is about. It’s not about moderates, liberals, or conservatives. It’s about people who can prevent fact based issues a reality based argument, and not end up hating or dismissing arguments other who disagree with them make. That is exactly what Stewart promotes with his sign idea, “I may disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler.”
Written Nov 1st, 2010 (A video of the rally will is forthcoming.)
The day of the event was many things and amounted to little. Many of the people who went to the rally could not hear, let alone see, the proceedings. I arrived late, missed Ozzie Osbourne and Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Steven) singing together, and missed some of the early shtick. I was there in time to hear Stewart sing, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar get a standing ovation. Yes, there was nowhere to sit, but Kareem would have gotten a standing ovation if there were seats.
The part of the show I saw wasn’t any funnier than nightly shows of Stewart of Colbert, but the audience with their signs and costumes was spectacular. But the show and the rhetoric? Eh. The lead up to the rally sold his message of bringing back civil debate as much as the rally itself did. One thing to add: The message must have gotten through. With all the jostling and pushing and shoving on the Metro and at the show, I didn’t see on instance of an altercation. People really were there to get along, and I give Stewart and the audience credit for being calm and easy-going.
However, Stewart’s message fell pray to his desire to be far and balance, as opposed to Fox News. Part of the closing address to the crowd was spent on Stewart calling on the cable news media and politicians to ratchet down their partisanship on the left and on the right. He spoke as if the shouting of Keith Olbermann (which is annoying) is equivalent to Sharon Angle’s calling for a “Second Amendment Solution”. That is ridiculous, and to quote Angle, “If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are going to start looking for second amendment remedies…The first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.” http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/sharron-angles-solution-broken-congress-arm
To compare Olbermann calling Limbaugh “fat” to a Republican comparing being gay to alcoholism is silly. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/buck-compares-gay-alcoholism/ While Mr. Stewart has it right, Olbermann is guilty of name calling, he equate signs with Obama as Hitler, Stalin or a witch doctor to Bill Maher calling Delaware Senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell an idiot. Is it regrettable? Sure. Is calling a woman who is NOT even a Senator “stupid” the same as calling the sitting president a “Nazi”? No way in hell. Stewart is just being a middle of the road namby-pamby left of center douchbag a-hole attention whore looking for the affection his dad held back if he thinks insults on the left are the same as threats on the right, so there Mr. Stewart. As you going to go after Tex Shelters now? I didn’t think so, ya coward.
Back on a serious note. I am glad Stewart had the rally. He is able to do this because his network is not pretending to be a “news” organization, and he is generally correct that the issues have been lost in all the paid advertizing and so-called punditry that is more often then not gripe sessions and “gotcha” moments. However, the actual “radical left” is not only miniscule in scope, less publically visible (not having their own network), but they are also more fact-based than the radical right. The “far left”, whatever that means, is also not dependent on the Democratic Party and have abandoned them almost completely, and the radical right have nearly taken over the Republican Party. And while I disagree with his comparing the “radical left” to the “radical right”, I am pretty sure Stewart’s not Hitler.