Comedians John Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’s rally of reasonable people was hugely successful, drawing massive crowds to the Mall in Washington. Billed as a Rally to Restore Sanity, it was, in fact, a rally meant to boost the ratings for Stewart and Colbert’s programs on Comedy Central and to diss Fox Cable News’s and MSNBC’s credibility and, hopefully, lower their ratings.
Jon Stewart’s closing speech was a modern masterpiece of reasonableness, sanity, and news-media bashing destined to become a classic, along with Neil Postman’s <i>Amusing Ourselves to Death.</i>
Long-time blogger and CUNY Journalism School professor Jeff Jarvis went to the rally and posted an excellent account, as did The Huffington Post’s Jeff Linkins, where you can see a video of Stewart’s stirring speech. Both blogs are worth reading to get a flavor of the excitement, sanity, and reasonableness, and don’t miss watching Stewart’s speech.
One of my favorite quotes from his speech is: <blockquote>“The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we actually get sicker–and, perhaps, eczema. And yet… I feel good. Strangely, calmly, good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us, through a funhouse mirror–and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist, and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead, and an ass shaped like a month-old pumpkin, and one eyeball.”</blockquote>
But don’t forget that wingnuts are seething. Nothing could piss them off more than sanity and reasonableness and decency, to say nothing of dissing their insane, unreasonable, and indecent idols on Fox News. They are waiting to celebrate their gains in Congress after Election Day, and will mistakenly believe that the outcome will confirm their obsessive hatred of Obama, big government, and taxes.
So, thank you, Jon and Stephen, for pointing out the stupidity of the bloviating pundits on cable news and asking for sanity, even if it was basically a promotion to boost your ratings.