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Stewart and Colbert Announce Rallies: A True Moderate Gathering or a Leftist Assembly?

Posted on September 18 2010 5:00 pm
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Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have just announced that they are holding dual rallies on October 30 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., meant as a rebuttal to the Glenn Beck rally and the angry displays at the Tea Parties they’ve so ridiculed. This actually wasn’t their idea—it came from their fans who demanded that it happen. My personal opinion is that they’ll surpass the audience of 25,000 they said they expected when applying for the permit.

Stewart has named his event as the “Rally to Restore Sanity,” describing it as a “Million Moderate March” with the organizers providing signs like “I disagree with you but I don’t think you’re Hitler” and “9/11 Was an Outside Job.” Honestly, I like this idea and agree with Stewart that an angry minority of 15-20 percent seem to  dominate the political process, particularly in the media. I’m a big fan of the discussions I’ve seen on The Daily Show and think it benefits the country (even if I frequently criticize Stewart for his other segments and the arguments he uses).

Colbert has named his event the “March to Keep Fear Alive” and it’s a mockery of the hysteria we often hear. I am concerned about this one a little bit as there are things we should genuinely be very concerned about, like radical Islam, and those who speak out about it are often laughed at as demagogues and panic-stricken maniacs. Watch the two comedians’ separate announcements and more of my thoughts after the jump:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Recap – Week of 9/13/10
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
March to Keep Fear Alive
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election Fox News

The idea of the more even-toned moderates coming together in a show of force appeals to me, but let’s be realistic—80-90 percent of the audience will be leftists. When Stewart showed the clips of the political hatred he wants to fight, almost every clip was from the anti-Obama crowd. Stewart does a good job of challenging those calling Obama a “tyrant” or other rhetoric painting him as the Antichrist, but I don’t remember him doing it nearly as often (or ever) under Bush. He had Michael Moore on without voicing a word of opposition, for God’s sake.

So is this a rally that will truly showcase moderates or a rally that will bring together leftists who think of themselves as moderates only because they view the Tea Party as the true extremists?

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