Not to be outdone by Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart has announced a DC rally on the National Mall October 30th. Entitled the "Rally To Restore Sanity," it is aimed at people who normally don't attend rallies (people with "shit to do," he explains). Not to be outdone by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert has also announced a DC rally on the same day, cheekily dubbed "The March To Keep Fear Alive." The moves, evidently calibrated to combat Glenn Beck's huge "Restoring Honor" event last month, also are conveniently timed a few days before election day 2010. Not only do Colbert and Stewart cash in on the political fever before the midterms, they can perhaps even make a political statement or two while lampooning. Critics call it a savvy move.
Pre-Announcement Buzz Melissa Bell at The Washington Post details the build up to the announcement: there were "a number of 'pre-announcement announcements' on the show and an online campaign started by Reddit.com. The users on Reddit called for Stephen Colbert to match Glenn Beck's 'Restoring America' march with one for 'Restoring Truthiness.' They even raised $239,075 for schools on Colbert's behalf. Stewart said the date of the show has no significance--a reference to Glenn Beck's rally falling on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's speech."
Stewart's Event Seems Like 'A Direct Response' to Beck observes Michael O'Brien at The Hill, who notes that Stewart described it as a "million moderate march" against ideological extremists in both parties. But both Stewart's and Colbert's rallies, "ostensibly have the purpose of mocking some of the more strident rhetoric members of both parties have employed in political debates over the past decade."
Is It a Comedy Rally or a Rally Against 'Extremism'? The New York Times Bill Carter hedged, "The rally will clearly have some comedy elements (as well as likely guest stars, Mr. Stewart said), and his partner on the Comedy Central cable channel, Stephen Colbert, appeared on the show in his usual conservative blowhard persona to threaten to infiltrate the rally. Mr. Stewart also promised to supply the crowd with signs if they did not bring their own, including as examples, 'I Disagree With You, But I’m Pretty Sure You’re Not Hitler,' and 'Take It Down a Notch, America.'"
'It's Unclear If the Rallies Will Actually Take Place' reports Aliyah Shahid at The New York Daily News, "but Stewart will be in D.C. that week to host his show on Oct. 25-28. And he insisted on the show that he had already reserved a spot on the National Mall, declaring 'the forms have been filled out, the checks have been written.'"
- The 'Timing and Message Are Undeniably Political' writes The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder. "I'd imagine that these rallies will draw counter-rallies, and that smart conservative folks will try to incorporate them in a way that helps Republicans as well....Depending on how the media covers the run-up to these rallies, Stewart and Colbert could generate interest and enthusiasm among the type of voters who have so far been turned off by the independent conservative resurgence."
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Rally to Restore Sanity|
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|March to Keep Fear Alive|