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At the Stewart and Colbert rally, define 'sanity'...

The first words Jon Stewart spoke at Saturday's Rally to Restore Sanity captured the uncomfortable tension that defined the event. "Who's ready to restore SANITY???" he screamed to cheers, his tone self-consciously unhinged. The rally was supposedly a contest of "sanity" versus "fear." Of course, no one was there to cheer for real fear -- just the ironic kind. But, then, how did the rally's participants define sanity? There were those -- such as Stewart -- who took part in the rally to promote moderation, polite debate, coming together, a national chilling out. And there were those who misused the event to equate sanity with an array of lefty causes and preoccupations -- along the way associating the fear part with the right -- undercutting the whole point of the rally.

Stewart, who from the stage pointedly criticized the cable-news fuming of both left and right, acknowledged this tension. "I'm really happy you guys are here," he told the crowd. "Even if we don't really know why."

There were dozens of signs about "civil discourse" and "common sense." One read: "I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler." Chatting with spectators, I found many to be utterly sincere about civilizing the tone of public debate. A painstakingly illustrated poster read: "Take it down a notch for America." Right on.

But there was a constant, nagging sense among sections of the crowd that, for some, much of that rhetoric was subterfuge -- my politics are reasonable; others' aren't. At a rally about eschewing fear, how ironic it was to overhear people talking animatedly about how Sarah Palin makes them afraid. At a rally during which the message from the stage was about getting over petty disagreements, how out-of-place to see a poster the read, "freedom fries -- never forget." Or a sign that read: "Glenn Beck, show us your high school diploma." Palin and Beck deserve plenty of criticism. But I thought the point of the event was to encourage people to calmly explain why, not to make cheap attacks.

There were also activist types who made little use of pretext. MoveOn, an organization that once ran a full-page newspaper ad that read "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" brought large beach balls. The pro-pot lot was all over the rally. A group advocating a 2 percent asset tax -- not an income tax, an asset tax -- apparently thought that a rally about promoting moderation was an appropriate venue in which to advertise their rather unmoderate tax scheme. Or what about the dozens of lazily anti-corporate signs hyperventilating about how multinationals maliciously direct everything, everywhere? Why is all that at a rally about restoring reasonable debate?

The theme that seemed to unify nearly all was distaste for the Tea Party -- the rally was a showcase of varying reactions, healthy and unhealthy, to the Christine O'Donnellism on television. There's value in pushing back, as long as it's measured. From the stage, Stewart lampooned overheated fear of the Tea Party about as much as as he did scare-tactics operating in the opposite direction.

Taking it down a notch is a great idea. But I found that, for some at the rally, being reasonable meant being liberal. They probably aren't cynically trying to hijack the terminology -- they probably just believe that. And if the goal is really a collective simmering down, that's just the sort of dismissive thinking we need to avoid. I can only hope Stewart's message changed a few minds -- in the crowd at his own rally.

By Stephen Stromberg  | October 30, 2010; 6:05 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Next: The coming clash between Obama and the GOP

Comments

I really hope the rally was a success with a HUGE turnout ! Lots of libs and leftists !

I hope they party hard and have a nice hangover Sunday.

Those of us who stayed home and campaigned for the Lefts defeat Tuesday... really appreciate the clear field... this weekend.

Party hard and celebrate ! We Tea Party types will celebrate... Wednesday !

Posted by: pvilso24 | October 30, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

This opinion piece is sheer nonsense. I felt Jon Stewart erred big time in creating a false equivalency between Glenn Beck (certified wacko) and Keith Olbermann and others on the left. Stewart bent over backwards (too far in my opinion) to be fair.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | October 30, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Leftists will go to any lengths to cover for the flaming disaster in the White House..

Posted by: wewintheylose | October 30, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives openly claim that anyone who is a liberal is really a socialist. And anyone who is a socialist is really a communist. And anyone who is a communist is really a traitor.

How do I, a liberal, have a sane conversation with conservatives who start from a position that I am a traitor?

Posted by: joseph_rich_tx | October 30, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Lots of Tea Baggers trolling here tonight. Enjoy your "victory" Tuesday. Next weekend the polls will show you where you're going...down, down, down.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | October 30, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

So only liberals have an obligation to be reasonable? Have you noticed those people screaming about Obama being an evil foreign Muslim socialist antichrist? Do you think they consider liberal points of view to be equally reasonable? But they get a pass, I guess, since they never claimed to be sane.

Posted by: Glassyeyes | October 30, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Would you be just as surprised and distressed to know that every rally draws people who are at different points on the continuum of political beliefs? Glenn Beck is not responsible if other then the intellectually challenged, lemming minded, paranoid fanatics he calls fans attended his rally. Neither to blame are Mssrs. Stewart and Colbert if a few of the more recently insulted egalitarians harboring some residual resentment against the saber rattling on the right slip through the idealistic curtain of pseudo sanity they tried to cordon themselves off with.

In the words of a famous unknown; lighten up a little will ya?

Posted by: DCreamer1 | October 30, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

When the nation finally gets it's collective rear-end out of the sand and realize that they may have voted to re-elect the same chimpy/darth flunkies that got us into this pit of lunacy in the first place... Then, you better hold onto your hat..it's gonna get REAL ugly..

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | October 30, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Liberals at the rally? Really? Gosh, who would have thought that Stewart's core audience would be interested in attending?

I guess this gathering wasn't so "moderate" after all...

Posted by: jd5024 | October 30, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The last paragraph should be read over and over by all the folks it described:

"...But I found that, for some at the rally, being reasonable meant being liberal. ...they probably just believe that..."

Spot on.

You wouldn't have caught me dead at Beck's rally. Neither Stewart's. The added layer of the pervasive self-delusion that today's rally was about bringing people back from the brink was a self-serving myth. It was simply the left striking back and enjoying a big group hug. If you're going to do it, have fun...it's a free country. But don't lie to others (or yourselves) about the underlying rationale of the gathering. It makes you look foolish.

Posted by: dogwolf | October 30, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Stewart's idea of being reasonable is having a old-time former US citizen who believes in the fatwa against Salmon Rushie? Cat Stevens supported the assassination of a writer because he wrote about the prophet Mohammed.

This is as reasonable as the MSM pretending Stewart adn Colbert are moderates, and ignoring far-left Arianna Huffington PAYING 10,000 NYers to attend. Oh, and Oprah also paid to astroturf the place with her audience.

The left-wing media is nuts.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | October 30, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

A serious question for all you hard right christian zealots. Was Christ any kind of socialist? Any kind?

Posted by: DCreamer1 | October 30, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I have worked with my neighbors in united front against a toxic waste dump - our politics covered all political views, including libs and present-day tea-partiers. Reasonable behavior is certainly an option for people of all political stripes. This one rally won't solve the problem, as evidenced sadly by the partisans who have commented on your forum. It is the tiny, personal voice inside of each of us to do a moral right that is not always effective partisanship. Will each of us - safely cocooned inside our private home and offices - listen to that voice? Will we choose to engage in conduct that is worthy. Will we do the right thing? Politics that will no longer demonize the opposition? Bipartisanship to serve the nation? We will rediscover an obligation of service toward each other?

Posted by: daytoncapri | October 30, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

looking at that sea of humanity all I could think was "now this IS America"

Posted by: bozhogg | October 30, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll define insanity for you. Voting for Republicans even though they are the ones responsible for the financial trouble we're in and blaming the Democrats for trying to fix it. Believing that the Republicans have a plan to help average people. And the greatest insanity of them them all - supporting nutball tea party candidates like Angle, O'Donnell, Paul, Paladino, and liking Sarah Palin.

Posted by: harrumph1 | October 30, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I see Strom missed the point entirely. Stunning.

Posted by: Furious_Frank | October 30, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this must've been a tough piece to write. Let me guess, you wrote it yesterday, went to the rally, wrote two quotable lines to insert and turned it in.

There are two things you're missing. First, the rally was about how unreasonable YOU and the national media have been in failing to frame any story as anything but a contest between left and right (congratulations, you've done it again). Second, the "insanity" is coming primarily from one direction. You're seriously going to compare people who want a 2% asset tax (you know, like a property tax) or want to legalize a drug that is less harmful in virtually every way than alcohol to people who ask for Obama's birth certificate, scream about non-existent death panels, and call climate change science a hoax?

Get real. And get a different job because the way you're doing this one isn't serving anybody.

Posted by: trevorlovell | October 30, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah... liberals are sometimes "my politics are reasonable; others' aren't" but for conservatives anyone who disagrees with them is unpatriotic and/or immoral. Stromberg is just another sanctimonious gas-bag.

Posted by: yatest | October 30, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Clown shoes for EVERYONE at the fake rally.

Posted by: carlbatey | October 30, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Republicans win by muddying the waters and screaming "Fire!!!" in a full theatre when there is in fact no fire. You clearly missed the point if you think it's your "politics" that are the issue. The point is the way you go about your politics, not what you believe, if you in fact believe anything. If republicans gain control of the House or Senate, they'd better be ready to lead from the front and not the upper deck. If you guys had a mandate, the elections would'nt be as close as they are in every major race, even with the republican "enthusiasm gap."

Posted by: nsu1203 | October 30, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The author of this piece obviously didn't see the prominently played video montages of TV commentators of both the left and the right predicting doom and gloom for the country. Olbermann was in the montages spouting fear just the same as Beck was. It was equal opportunity for both extremes.

Posted by: fakedude1 | October 30, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I really hope the rally was a success with a HUGE turnout ! Lots of libs and leftists !

I hope they party hard and have a nice hangover Sunday.

Those of us who stayed home and campaigned for the Lefts defeat Tuesday... really appreciate the clear field... this weekend.

Party hard and celebrate ! We Tea Party types will celebrate... Wednesday !

Posted by: pvilso24
---------------------------------

Perhaps you have forgotten Proverbs 16:18

Posted by: areyousaying | October 30, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

The author says, "not to take cheap shots," well there were no "inspectors" who examined signs...this is an example of the thoughts of someone who is paid to write and the rally goers who were not paid...in fact they paid to get there! The media oldtimers just do not get it! But, money is money so one has to say something?

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | October 30, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's the difference:

Jon Stewart has conservatives on and honestly engages them in good faith in a effort to have a productive debate. Watch his show and you'll see that.

Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh scream lies and propaganda and demonize their opponents as enemies of America.

There is a simple, obvious difference, and if you can't see it you're not being intellectually honest.

Posted by: dmblum | October 30, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The author says, "not to take cheap shots," well there were no "inspectors" who examined signs...this is an example of the thoughts of someone who is paid to write and the rally goers who were not paid...in fact they paid to get there! The media oldtimers just do not get it! But, money is money so one has to say something?

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | October 30, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

This is brilliantly written and ABSOLUTELY spot on.

Posted by: couwnt | October 30, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

There is no truth and there is no right (as in correct) in these matters. It seems but, we can’t be sure that:

There are those who get more from the government than they pay for and those who pay through taxes for far more than they receive.

There are those who will get more from a “redistribution” of wealth and those who will end up with less.

There are those who have spent all they have and saved nothing, and there are those who have saved and set aside funds for their old age.

There are those who have purchased a home and made the payments and continue to do so and those who don’t own anything and even lease their automobile.

There are those who have been prudent and careful and have made wise and cautious financial decision and those who have chosen to be spendthrifts and lived big now with no care for tomorrow.

There are those who have always taken care of themselves and their families, and there are those who need and want the government to take care of them so they don’t have to.

There are those who have spent the time, effort and expense to acquired education, training and skills and will always have a job, even if they have to become self-employed, and there are those who have not and need the government to provide them employment.

There are those who will get better healthcare in a government run system and those who will get less than they have now.

There are those who have saved all their lives and will suffer from low interest rates, high deficits and rampant inflation, and there are those who have bought everything on credit and will get to pay back their debts with cheap inflated dollars.

There are some who embrace “Christian” values, and there are those who despise or fear Christians. (You can substitute Muslims, Jews, Hindus, atheists for Christian)

There are those who think smoking pot is doorway to the real world, and those who do not.

There are those who have no alternative to Social Security and Medicare and want even more, and those who have planned ahead and are not totally dependent on either, and may not believe they will get either.

What we can be sure of is that there are those who will vote for the Democrats because it is best for them, and there will be those who vote for the Republicans because it is best for them, and it is clear which categories each appeals to.


Posted by: droberts57 | October 30, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm John "Stewart," I'm not actually Scottish, I'm Jewish. I'm bankrolled by the same banksters who own and control the U.S. President and Congress (with money). Although I call for "unity" and "coming together" I am used to promote a tearing apart of the American fabric. I'm one side of the Hegelian dialectic where the goal is to divide and conquer. Most Americans are too stupid (or high) to have any clue what the banks are doing. They control the money printing machine and won't let go of it without a fight.
Thats fine with me because I make a lot of money and since I have no ethics/morals I'm fine with the destruction of the USA. Hey, I've got a nice place in the south of France so I can leave this country very easily.

Posted by: shred11 | October 30, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm John "Stewart," I'm not actually Scottish, I'm Jewish. I'm bankrolled by the same banksters who own and control the U.S. President and Congress (with money). Although I call for "unity" and "coming together" I am used to promote a tearing apart of the American fabric. I'm one side of the Hegelian dialectic where the goal is to divide and conquer. Most Americans are too stupid (or high) to have any clue what the banks are doing. They control the money printing machine and won't let go of it without a fight.
Thats fine with me because I make a lot of money and since I have no ethics/morals I'm fine with the destruction of the USA. Hey, I've got a nice place in the south of France so I can leave this country very easily.

Posted by: shred11 | October 30, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, the rally was boring and hokey. Not terribly funny. The Democrats were pinning their election hopes on this "Rally to Restore Smugness". Does anyone really believe this moved the needle?

No one honestly believes Glenn Beck's rally was bipartisan. Let's not pretend this one was either.

But Beck's was a success in terms of firing up the right. Stewart's was a failure.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | October 30, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I was there, and OF COURSE there were mostly left-of-center types attending. But being left-of-center doesn't mean that you believe that political discourse has to consist primarily of shouting at each other. Personally, I'm pretty tired of that, and evidently a lot of other people are, too. The biggest cheers came from Stewart's decidedly moderate comments about throwing out the invective and working together to solve real problems like most non-politician, non-pundit people do every day, whether they're politically in agreement with each other or not. It wasn't a Move-On rally by any stretch.

Posted by: A_Reader | October 30, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

The most telling point to me was that fact that Beck had to tell his dupes to leave their signs at home - least they come off as a pack of ignorant, racist red necks.

On the other hand, Stewart and Colbert could encourage their crowd to bring signs and freely express themselves.

Posted by: Miss_Fedelm | October 30, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, when you are as far right as Gingrich, Rove, Beck, and Limbaugh, everyone IS left of you and seeinginly liberal.

This rally brought together people from across this country, from different walks of life, and different generations -- all united by their being neither conservative or liberal - but politically centered. I lean left on some issues and right on others. But I don't have to demonize those who disagree with my opinions and I expect the same from others. Why is respecting eachother so hard to understand?

Posted by: wallersl | October 30, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, when you are as far right as Gingrich, Rove, Beck, and Limbaugh, everyone IS left of you and seemingly liberal.

This rally brought together people from across this country, from different walks of life, and different generations -- all united by their being neither conservative or liberal - but politically centered. I lean left on some issues and right on others. But I don't have to demonize those who disagree with my opinions and I expect the same from others. Why is respecting eachother so hard to understand?

Posted by: wallersl | October 30, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Stromberg:

While these are valid points, the fact is, Stewart and Colbert didn't sell tickets, and the event was open to everyone. And the motto for the event - if you watched episodes leading up to the rally - was "Don't be a d*uche."

The Thursday episode, in fact, featured Samantha Bee talking to representatives of extreme liberal groups. She calmly informed them that it hadn't been announced, but the rally was being moved to Cleveland, so they should be sure to go.

That the liberal left embraced this rally as literal anti-Glenn Beck rally doesn't take away from the fact that Stewart obviously wants to have reasonable discourse in politics. Many people I know who went (or wanted to go) are similarly inclined. Mostly, we're centrists with left or right leanings, but we're just as dismissive of the extreme left as the extreme right (and the Tea Party, wherever it stands). It's dogma - with the inflexibility that comes with it - that has people frustrated, not particular left or right policies.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 30, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Stromberg should have brought a sense of humor with him to the rally.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | October 30, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Taking it down a notch is a great idea. But I found that, for some at the rally, being reasonable meant being liberal. They probably aren't cynically trying to hijack the terminology -- they probably just believe that.

===========================================

From what I saw and read the rally was filled with leftists who believe themselves to be sensible and moderate and everyone else is extreme.

I give Stewart a lot of credit with keeping the rally nonpartisan. The best line was at the closing comments when he said that people who believe all Muslims are terrorists AND people who believe all Tea Partiers are racist are an insult- to real bigots and, I think, to the rest of us.

Posted by: bbface21 | October 30, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

the whole point was "Real Patriots can handle different opinions".

how can anyone find a problem with that

unless of course they miss the whole point of Patriotism

Posted by: lndlouis | October 30, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

The Tealiban can fu@k themselves!

Posted by: markcheslold | October 30, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Clue in people, the rally wasn't even John Stewart's idea. It was spawned from the internet site Reddit.com to be a mock Tea party rally in late September. The jokes on you angry Tea partiers claiming tainted media. The only way the rally was even started even happened is because people donated 500K to help school children in the US, that's why Colbert did it. Not some dark liberal cabal.

Don't believe me? Read for yourself.
http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/09/14/reddit-campaign-for-colbert-rally-breaks-charity-records/

Posted by: stikyfingas | October 30, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Before we can look at whether we want to follow a liberal or a conservative path, perhaps we should select a destination. Where do we want to be, as a nation, 20 years, 50 years, and 100 years from now?

Posted by: sundaug | October 30, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

nazi signs everywhere

all white crowd

you could swap the photos with the beck event and never know the difference.

Posted by: docwhocuts | October 30, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

>> But there was a constant, nagging sense among sections of the crowd that, for some, much of that rhetoric was subterfuge -- my politics are reasonable; others' aren't.

You are the reason so many people travelled so far so attend this event.

Posted by: tedh2000 | October 30, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

So, liberals should be "measured" in pushing back? You're kidding, right? After all, the right wingnuts & teabags have certainly been "measured" in attacking anything they don't believe in - measured for straitjackets.

The right has no respect for anything "measured." Don't you listen to Boner, McConnell et al?

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | October 30, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

There is a difference between sanity and insanity. Sanity is believing that the president of the United States is just attempting to carry out the agenda that a majority of voters elected him to carry out. Insanity is believing that he's an agent of a foreign power, carrying out an evil agenda, first concocted by Woodrow Wilson, to enslave white people. Do you see the difference?

Posted by: DaveHarris | October 30, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

WOW the Practicing Republican Racists are jealous of such a successful Rally.

Everyones a Liberal..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | October 30, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse


MODERATES THIS IS YOUR ELECTION!!! YOU WILL DECIDE IF THIS COUNTRY GOES BACKWARD OR FORWARD!!! YOU MUST VOTE DEMOCRAT IF YOU WANT TO GO FORWARD!!! BLACKS AND OTHER MINORITIES MUST SHOW UP AT THE POLLS IN EQUAL OF GREATER THAN NOVEMBER,2008!!!!


Posted by: demtse | October 30, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

What DOGWOLF said!

Spot on, mi amigo.

Posted by: MDDem1 | October 30, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"freedom fries -- never forget." Or a sign that read: "Glenn Beck, show us your high school diploma."

Oh come on, that was 0.01 percent of people at the rally. Sheesh.

Posted by: Wadsworth1 | October 30, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Good thing ther Ojay's showed up for a number or two or the brothers would have been shut out completely today. By looking at the pics, this was as LILY WHITE a shindig as it gets. I guess the brothers didn't feel that inclusiveness thing was happening.

Next time I hear a complaint about the Tea Party being a racist group, I'm sending out links to the pictures of this rally for balance and an instant reality check.

Posted by: MDDem1 | October 30, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Good thing ther Ojay's showed up for a number or two or the brothers would have been shut out completely today. By looking at the pics, this was as LILY WHITE a shindig as it gets. I guess the brothers didn't feel that inclusiveness thing was happening.

Next time I hear a complaint about the Tea Party being a racist group, I'm sending out links to the pictures of this rally for balance and an instant reality check.

Posted by: MDDem1
==========================

Tea Party is RUN by Racists..
THe Tea Party LEADERSHIP who had the Raccist NAZI signs printed..

WE know who you are dude!!

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | October 30, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

So nice of Stewart to collect the Coalition of the Smug in a single place.

I hear that several of the participants require emergency medical treatment after throwing out their shoulders while patting themselves on the back.

Posted by: ardelion | October 30, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Great rally for all Americans and yes, civility can be for all people regardless of opinion...which is exactly what was said over and over and over today. It seems disrespectful of the many conservatives and staunch Republicans who attended today's rally for you to denegrate this as a leftist gathering. I was there and saw thousands of people representing conservative issues all around. There are three tests if something is worth saying or writing: Is it true? Is it respectful? Will it make a positive difference? You are 0 for 3. At the rally I was glad to see tolerance and decency make a comeback!

Posted by: ViaMedia | October 30, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

How frequently does someone on the left accuse someone on the right of hating America and plotting to destroy it? Or of being Hitler? When was the last time someone on the left threatened armed revolution if their political will didn't play out in the election? The rally was a reaction to the hateful tone of our current politics that did start primarily with the right. Instead of engaging on issues, that side has stood on rhetoric, dismissed ideas that they originally developed once they found that the president supported them, and made it their stated top priority to bring down the president (above even solving our problems). Personally, all I want is to see both sides get past the slurs and soundbites and have fact-based discussions of pragmatic solutions to our problems. Compromise needs to not be seen as a bad word. THAT's what's meant by "moderate" and "reasonable"- being able to discuss ideas you don't agree with and not start screaming or hurling insults - to use facts and reason to make your argument, not fear. I challenge both sides to show us that they're capable of this! And for the American public to reject hyperbole as fact and hold their media accountable for a higher level of journalism.

Posted by: NatinFallsChurch | October 30, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

At least Colbert and Stewart did not arrogantly hijack phrases that belong to all Americans, such as "We the People" or "Don't Tread on Me".

Posted by: chucko2 | October 30, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

No "truthiness" here folks. ... Move along...

Posted by: deepthroat21 | October 30, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

@stikyfingas:

While Stewart and Colbert thought it was wonderful there was a lot of support from the Reddit community (and were very thankful for all the funds they raised), actually, they conceived of this much earlier this year.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/10/30/rally-to-restore-sanity-press-conference/

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 30, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

This rally is nothing compared to the hated Glen Beck rally.
Stewart is an A hole.

Posted by: nychap44 | October 30, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"..Tea Party is RUN by Racists..
THe Tea Party LEADERSHIP who had the Raccist NAZI signs printed..
WE know who you are dude!!
ISA Posted by: vettesport.."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yep .. restoring sanity obviously missed some posters here and the civility thing never had a chance at all with the moron above. It died in the crib at vettesports house.

I did neglect to mention the wonderful Mavis Staples as possibly being the only other African-American in attendance besides the Ojays not wearing a uniform. And I certainly hope she did her song "You Are Not Alone" with Jeff Tweedy as it is top notch. What a great entertainer though she must have felt like a piece of coal that somehow landed in the middle of a freshly powdered ski slope, but I'm sure she soldiered on and gave a great show.

Posted by: MDDem1 | October 30, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Progressive should remember not to wrestle with Right-Wing Pigs. It wastes Progressives' time and amuses the Right-Wing Pigs.

Posted by: angelos_peter | October 30, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

This rally is nothing compared to the hated Glen Beck rally.
Stewart is an A hole.

Posted by: nychap44

-----------------------------------------
And you want to be on top, don't you, nychap44?

Posted by: angelos_peter | October 30, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that the author or anyone else posting here gets it. It was an entertaining afternoon poking fun at the fringes of our society. And look... here they are. Its like this is the punch line of their joke. To read through all of this nonsense just makes me sad. If I wanted to read a bunch of partisan talking points I would go to the source, MSNBC or Fox News... At least they try to be entertaining.

Posted by: SF37 | October 30, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

400,000 took the Metro system today. Even if 1/4 did not go to the rally, there was 300,000 at the rally. On a Saturday in late October, there is no way 100,000 take the Metro when one can drive into DC. The rally today makes all of those teabagging get-together look like total jokes.

Posted by: fishman2 | October 30, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I love the all "white crowd" comments. Were you there? Obviously not. Walking or more squeezing through the crowds reminded me of my walk to work in the city every day: White, Black, Indian, Asian, Latino, All Americans.

If you only "see white people" then the photographers failed to catch truly catch the diversity of the crowd.

Posted by: powerja | October 30, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

How do I, a liberal, have a sane conversation with conservatives who start from a position that I am a traitor?

Posted by: joseph_rich_tx

========================================

How does conservative start a conversation with a liberal is you start with the position, you are every "ism" in the book.

Posted by: FredKnowsBest | October 30, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

It drives me nuts when bloggers/commentators do not have the necessary background to bloviate. Most obvious here, the author draws attention to certain signs carried by rally-goers, seeming to have no idea that those clever slogans were suggested by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

"I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler," was my favorite -- a joke from Stewart that landed well weeks ago. And this blogger writes: A painstakingly illustrated poster read: "Take it down a notch for America." Right on.

"Take it down a notch" was the sub-title for the rally when Stewart first announced it.

My point is simply that this blogger obviously doesn't watch The Daily Show, and obviously didn't even watch recent episodes promoting the rally. So his perceptions of what he saw failed to appreciate the context. Which means I didn't need to bother reading the rest of his posting.

Posted by: MLinVA | October 30, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

The media is intentionally missing the point. Of course, its major players weren't in attendance (as Stephen Colbert made point of in a rather hilarious fashion) for fear of being labeled bias, so they can afford to take blame for their ignorance of the event.

The point from John Stewarts perspective, is that the media plays to its bottom line, which is a huge violation of the public trust. Media apparati are still public institutions insofar as they are trusted to accurately relay the activities of the world and promote fact-based discussions of said events. There are hardly any men or women in this country who can garner any kind of perspective or knowledge of current events without first having to tune into the media.

Like Stewart said;

"If we amplify everything, we hear nothing"

and

"The press is our immune system. If it over-reacts to everything, we actually get sicker(...)"

Time to tune out the anonymous web boards and actually deliver opinions that aren't watered down for fear of retribution.

Posted by: cleverrevolution | October 30, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay Mr. Stromberg, I'll try to explain it to you.

Since the very beginnings of government (anywhere) there has been an argument about the size, reach, scope and role of government.

It is a good argument.

The reason neither the liberal view or conservative view of has scored a decisive victory in this argument, is that neither works perfectly all the time.

In other words: both philosophies are valid. They will never go away.

Mr. Stewart is simply asking this of us: accept that the other side will never go away, never be vanquished, never be eradicated from the political landscape, and treat them like that.

The view that the opposing philosophy is the enemy rather than the opponent is: a)wrong, b)silly and c)useless.

So, argue, yes. Passionately, yes. But behind it all, know that the only victory worth having in debate is that of holding your tongue when you want to say something unkind.

That is what Mr. Stewart is asking of us.

Posted by: mbus | October 30, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"..love the all "white crowd" comments. Were you there? Obviously not. Walking or more squeezing through the crowds reminded me of my walk to work in the city every day: White, Black, Indian, Asian, Latino, All Americans. If you only "see white people" then the photographers failed to catch truly catch the diversity of the crowd. Posted by: powerja..."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OK. Who are you going to believe: ME or your lying eyes? Right???

Now, I did not go to the rally today as I had to work and saw it only through the pictures on the Post and other sources. Sorry, no brothers apparent except for those on stage and wearing uniforms. I did attend the Beck rally (not a fan, just curious) and did see plenty of diversity there but YOU would never know it from the comments and stories written after that event. So, bottom line: the pendulum swings both ways. So SHOW ME THE BROTHERS or prepare to wear the LILY WHITE label. Life is a beatch.

Posted by: MDDem1 | October 30, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Humor has liberal bias.

But then again I think Glenn Beck is a dork.

Posted by: mickster1 | October 30, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Stromberg... Are you just jealous because Jon's rally was 20 times the success of Glenn Beck's?

And Beck doesn't think his politics are better than everyone else's???

Come now, Stromberg... Let us reason together!

Posted by: gmoore40 | October 30, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Stromberg... Are you just jealous because Jon's rally was 20 times the success of Glenn Beck's?

And Beck doesn't think his politics are better than everyone else's???

Come now, Stromberg... Let us reason together!

Posted by: gmoore40 | October 30, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

The liberals fail to realize how far left they shifted with the election of Obama who deceitfully ran his campaign as a moderate, thereby receiving many votes from the center. The leftist shift to the far out left struck a warning bell for conservatives and moderates alike. It made them realize how dangerous it can be to flirt with liberalism. They now see that the president is cut from the same cloth as Venezuela's Chavez and that liberals want to push entitlements to the minorities and citizenship to illegal aliens to win their permanent vote and seize power to set the country on a European socialistic path. Our ancestors left Europe because they did not like European ways. The lefties have been outed and most Americans intend to take action to see that they are ousted.

Posted by: johntu | October 30, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Either Stromberg is being disingenuous or he is stunningly naive. A few innocuous and generally harmless signs by liberals making fun of the Bat-S^*% insane Glenn Beck is hardly equivalent to Beck's foaming at the mouth followers. There is a big difference between satirists and storm troopers, just look at the conservative trolls posting here.

Posted by: ElectricBill | October 30, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Stewart created a career out of lampooning Bush, and now we are supposed to believe he is for moderation in politics - please. You libs are going to get your heads stomped on tuesday, and this stupid rally isn't changing that at all.

Posted by: AlvinYork | October 30, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Every time Palin opens her mouth you should be afraid... of the kind of ignorance her made in America "school teacher" father produced. I can't fathom how a he could raise someone so clueless about history, science, English, and social studies.

Posted by: AverageJane | October 30, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart's speech at the end was one of the best speeches I have heard in years. To bad most of the people who work in the building behind him while he spoke will ignore the message.

Posted by: powerja | October 30, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Groan- the Post bring us yet another anti-rally piece from some unknown conservative who misses the point completely: the voters are being manipulated by messages of fear and hate.

The GOP is using the worst parts of the human psyche to con people. It's all fear, all the time. Be afraid and hate minorities, Muslims (well, anybody who isn't a Christian), gay people, unions, and the list goes on and on...

This is how they are able to keep peddling the disastrous, disproven "trickle down" economics and get middle class voters to fall for it again, after decades of using it to shrink the middle class and transfer the wealth on up to their beloved top two percent.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | October 30, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I feel sad, sad because I genuinely like watching the John Stewart show... I always thought he was fair and laughed at both sides. Now I see that he's nothing but a whack job Leftist in dreg.... I cant watch his show anymore.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | October 30, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

~


Stephen Stromberg wrote:
"There were those -- such as Stewart -- who took part in the rally to promote moderation, polite debate, coming together, a national chilling out."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ummmm, Mr. Stromberg? Though I'm not totally surprised, after reading your humorless article, you've completely missed the entire premise behind the event:

E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N-M-E-N-T


~

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | October 30, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Stromberg,

You just don't get it. Obviously people of all stripes, mostly left, are going to show up. It seems the rally was a success because it communicated the need for civil discourse. And that's all that is needed for success.

Posted by: william29 | October 30, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Stephen, it looks like you and I are the only sane ones here---and I'm not really sure about you!

Posted by: allamer1 | October 31, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

This writer should so some background research before sitting at his computer. Where is his editor?? It is obvious he has never seen the show. Stewart and Colbert make fun of every news show both right and left. They esp. like to skewer those 'teaser' lines that insinuate that if you don't watch our news show then your dog will catch fire and explode or your house will sink and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT because you didn't stayed tuned. Fear sells. And many people in the media know this. Which is why they sell fear without facts.
This writer also seems to be unable to differentiate between a controlled environment (what's happening on stage) from an uncontrolled environment (what is happening off stage). This ain't hard stuff, Folks. Tsk. Tsk.
As for the comments that there weren't anything but 'white people'? Not where I stood. But, rest assured, we've collected lots of DNA and we'll get back to you on that one.
Come on Dude. These are comedians. And I'm positive come Monday they will be back to work doing what they've been doing. Putting on a comedy show. Nothing more. Nothing less. And come Monday the news shows will be giving them more new material. It's what they do best.
Now excuse me...I have to put my dog out.

Posted by: HokieBabe1 | October 31, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

To compare what I witnessed with my own eyes and ears with what the News Corps, WP, NYT, and FOX "report" happened, was like viewing the birth of my child and then reading a report about it - Newborn in the Middle Blood Bath. If cable news and the mainstream media were lampooned at Steward's rally, it's because both have deserved it. Your article, sir, is as bent as a corkskrew.

Posted by: nunezcabeza | October 31, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

After witnessing the rally with my own ears and eyes and then reading what News Corps, the WP, NYT, and FOX (Faux) News said about the same rally was like witnessing the birth of my child and then reading a report about it - Newborn Enters World in Blood Bath. If your newspaper and mainstream media were lampooned at Steward's rally, it is because you deserve it. Your article, sir, bears little resemblance to the reality I witnessed.

Posted by: nunezcabeza | October 31, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

After witnessing the rally with my own ears and eyes and then reading what News Corps, the WP, NYT, and FOX (Faux) News said about the same rally was like witnessing the birth of my child and then reading a report about it - Newborn Enters World in Blood Bath. If your newspaper and mainstream media were lampooned at Steward's rally, it is because you deserve it. Your article, sir, bears little resemblance to the reality I witnessed.

Posted by: nunezcabeza | October 31, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

After witnessing the rally with my own ears and eyes and then reading what News Corps, the WP, NYT, and FOX (Faux) News said about the same rally was like witnessing the birth of my child and then reading a report about it - Newborn Enters World in Blood Bath. If your newspaper and mainstream media were lampooned at Steward's rally, it is because you deserve it. Your article, sir, bears little resemblance to the reality I witnessed.

Posted by: nunezcabeza | October 31, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

After witnessing the rally with my own ears and eyes and then reading what News Corps, the WP, NYT, and FOX (Faux) News said about the same rally was like witnessing the birth of my child and then reading a report about it - Newborn Enters World in Blood Bath. If your newspaper and mainstream media were lampooned at Steward's rally, it is because you deserve it. Your article, sir, bears little resemblance to the reality I witnessed.

Posted by: nunezcabeza | October 31, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

After witnessing the rally with my own ears and eyes and then reading what News Corps, the WP, NYT, and FOX (Faux) News said about the same rally was like witnessing the birth of my child and then reading a report about it - Newborn Enters World in Blood Bath. If your newspaper and mainstream media were lampooned at Steward's rally, it is because you deserve it. Your article, sir, bears little resemblance to the reality I witnessed.

Posted by: nunezcabeza | October 31, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the multiple posts. I kept getting the message, "error in transmission."

Posted by: nunezcabeza | October 31, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

a very catty column- this columnist needs a bit o sanity him own self

dave in baltimore

go green party

Posted by: 14141414 | October 31, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Stromberg wrote,"Taking it down a notch is a great idea. But I found that, for some at the rally, being reasonable meant being liberal. They probably aren't cynically trying to hijack the terminology -- they probably just believe that."

Is there anyone who can honestly look at the past two years and not conclude that far more hyperbolic rhetoric, demagoguery, and purely partisan political behavior has come from the right?

Need I remind you of the behavior we saw at town hall meetings in 2009? How about the birther movement? How about "death panels" claims? How about the absurd adjectives used to describe Obama? How about the unprecedented level of purely partisan obstruction in Congress?

Any given liberal might believe the right is crazy on strictly partisan grounds. But that doesn't change the objective truth of the matter.

Posted by: tunkefer | October 31, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I was unable to go the the rally but did watch it on television. It was a reminder for all of us that the majority of voter's in the United States are reasonable and decent people. I think that the rally was necessary to underline the real fact that the new media has been reporting on only the ugly, racist, ignorant portion of our country (the Republican Tea Part folks) without real coverage of which organizations are funding them. Every country has ignorance, bigotry and hate-filled people but the way that the news media (particularly A.M. Radio and FAUX News)has been reporting on this minority of the voter's in the United States, one might have thought that they were in the majority. I think that Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert did a great job in bringing to the forefront the fact that there are many more reasonable people our country than what the news media has been projecting.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | October 31, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Exactly gilbertpb40. Our process has been hijacked by both sides. And the media pounces on this since they can sell more papers/TV spots/whatever.
And then these loud, brutish clowns write 'books' and hawk them to people who are hooked on all this hype. Not to mention the 'speaking' fees.
These creatures polarize their own country men all for the sake of making a buck. And this columnist fell for it too. Hook, line and sinker.
Let's hope the real people get out and vote.

Posted by: HokieBabe1 | October 31, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Mr Stromberg,
Was Mr Colbert not there?

Posted by: joejunque | October 31, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

you all realize that the author will never read these posts....that you are all writing to/for each other and yourselves?

Posted by: joejunque | October 31, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Stromberg did not attend the Rally to Restore Sanity; Stromberg watched the rally on TV. Come on and admit that you watched the rally on television, Stromberg.

Posted by: polk2 | October 31, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"The pro-pot lot was all over the rally."

No they were not, Stromberg. I walked around the rally and saw one single sign from one guy. You are painting a false image, purposefully distorting who went to the rally, finger-pointing to make the attendees appear immoral because some people want to legalize or decriminalize cannibis.

Posted by: polk2 | October 31, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The Rally was about restoring sanity *IN THE MEDIA*. I am progressive, and I watch Keith Olbermann. But I assure you *I* don't talk like Olbermann. I understand that it's a performance. Stop associating the viewers with the cable news hosts.

We everyday people who are not pundits do not generally go around scolding people for their political views. My neighbors are conservatives but we're not having a civil war or even condescending to each other. Get a clue!

If the call for sanity attracted more progressives than conservatives, that's not the attendees fault.

Posted by: GrrrlRomeo | October 31, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This question from joseph_rich_tx is reasonable:

"How do I, a liberal, have a sane conversation with conservatives who start from a position that I am a traitor?"

But he must understand the corollary:

How do I, a conservative, have a sane conversation with liberals who start from the position that I am a racist, a sexist, and that I hate the poor--even if I don't know it.

That conversation doesn't get very far either.

Posted by: Roytex | October 31, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The purpose of the rally was to tell Americans to "watch Stewart instead of watching cable", and this is Dangerous.
Obama's been demonizing the cable stations, and Americans should ask yourselves why he's trying to do this.
When a leader/dictator tries to stop freedom of speech...Watch out., the red flags should be going up.

Posted by: ohioan | October 31, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

This piece is trying too hard to prove its objectivity. Okay, great, you want to prove you didn't drink the kool aid by pointing out that moderates (liberals) can have a narrow viewpoint. Terrific. But are the left and the right equally culpable and does the solution to our political mess begin with the left reducing sail and giving ground to the right? C'mon. The right is completely unhinged right now and the media are doing everything they can to legitimize their masquerade of fear, anger, and hate.

Posted by: rgray | October 31, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Pleaseee,

"Glenn Beck, show us your high school diploma." can be equated with Beck calling Obama Hitler, Stalin, and wanting to take America down.

Stromberg shows no credibility.

Posted by: hrobert02 | October 31, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Stewart and Colbert are first and foremost, "businessmen". They realize they're losing their base: Democrats
The rally was to promote Themselves, first.
And, secondly liberals.
There is NO difference between Stewart, Colbert, Beck, Ed, Matthews, Behar.
But Obama doesn't want US to watch cable!
Obama demonizes cable, Stewart & Colbert demonize cable..

Posted by: ohioan | October 31, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It is the nature of any gathering of that size that you cannot expect everyone to interpret the purpose the same way and for everyone to be "on message." It can be frustrating for people who have a strong point of view of what the statement of a rally is supposed to be. The Tea Party movement itself is often criticized for a lack of message cohesion among the people who show up for its rallies. Somehow, with all that, they have managed to be a force in politics and in our mode of national discourse. I would like to believe that Stewart's rally could at least provoke some introspection about how we are conducting our discourse.

Posted by: llee1 | October 31, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

LIBERAL: from the Latin: līberālis - of freedom, befitting the free. Open-minded or tolerant, not bound by traditional or conventional ideas. Favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression. Free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant.
(Its NOT a DIRTY word)

Posted by: oneStarMan | October 31, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Stewart and Colbert, with their Exaggerations, ridicule, mockery, sarcasm... are responsible for this environment of divisiveness and demonizing!
They are No different than the rest of the political pundits., Beck, Matthews, Ed, etc.
Its almost as if Stewart and Colbert are admitting "well, the cries of racism and social injustice didn't work.... so lets try sanity for a change"!

Posted by: ohioan | October 31, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Stromberg, you nailed it. I'd guess 75% of the crowd got it; the other quarter showed up and failed to comprehend the amusing irony of carrying signs with angry, overheated rhetoric at a rally for "reasonableness."

But that's OK. It was still worth the admission price...(!)

Posted by: cynicalidealist | October 31, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The Stuart-Colbey, rally for disgruntled liberals seemed to be a big contest to see who could write the punniest signs.

The funniest of the punniest went like this:

"No More Shampoo"

"We want real poo"

Stuart-Colbey gave it to them in double scoops.

The crowd lapped it up.

Posted by: battleground51 | October 31, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Doh - subterfuge? Is this article a joke or something else much more sinister?

Thank God we have the non-biased and impartial Tea Party movement to keep us all from the insanity of the Sanity movement. :)

After all of the self-righteousness of the "non-biased" Tea Party with its angry and persecuted grizzlies, the Sanity mall event was reassuring no matter what individuals took away from the event.

I think Mr. Stromberg just doesn't get it.

Posted by: TomMiller1 | October 31, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I is pointless for me to join the Tea Party because I don't drink tea. Instead, I like coffee and beer and sometimes red wine. I also like Diet Coke.

For those reasons does anyone know if there is a Caffeine Party? If so, I'd like to join it. I can make a worthwhile contribution because I know lots of slogans such as: 'there are 43 beans in every cup'.

Some of you might wonder how I take my coffee. Well, I like it slightly weak with half a tea-spoon of sugar and about 10% milk.

Please help me because I need to make new friends.

Posted by: robertjames1 | October 31, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

"The Stuart-Colbey, rally for disgruntled liberals seemed to be a big contest to see who could write the punniest signs."

It's what they do best. And it only took them four years and $150,000+ to learn how.

Problem is, the show's over. Now what?


Posted by: couwnt | October 31, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Bring out the clowns, because that's all that the Democrats have left, the clowns.

They passed Obamacare

They bailed out the banks and wall street

They looked out for the interests of the wealthy and the connected and now they want us to vote them back in? Guess they really think that we're stupid!

"WE THE PEOPLE, WILL NOT BE DETERRED, AND WE WILL VOTE THEM OUT ON NOVEMBER 2.

WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

Posted by: barrysal | November 1, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart, bless his quick wit and humor, has become symbolic of this young voting (if not to busy) generation. He is the media source of their news, noting that the system's a joke, that some people are jokes, and that a clever punch line, sign, or text is better than a well thought out opinion. He is the face of "we want to change the world generation" that is too lazy, self centered, or lacking in self discipline and skills to do anything. And so they laugh at the people who don't understand or believe in the "common truths" (ie Global Warming, Gore won, polar bears hug people with electric cars, electric cars, all we need is wind mills, business is evil, not recycling is the only reason for the death penalty, Cuba has the best health care, the Moon landing was faked, etc.) The more motivated of this generation is inclined to develop the skill of a community organizer to protest and demand something be done rather than to study science and engineering and develop that battery, water system or whatever that will actual solve a problem.

As we entertainment ourselves,there is a real world out there in China and India with real people making real things.

Even a President trying to be serious about the issues facing the nation and country is just a Dude to Jon and his followers.

Posted by: flyover22 | November 1, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I hope the tea party wins,big time ! At 65 on SS and a nice pension plus top of the line PAID health care., I want no taxes, either. Who needs the GOVERNMENT anyway. I have dogs and a carry permit so cut it all. Get ride of that MILITARY first. What a waste of my money.good luck to the young, learn like I did be self reliant.

Posted by: Hopeyouwin | November 1, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Amazing!

215,000 people show up, 214,800 of them didn't bother to carry signs, and yet somehow you manage to find a half dozen signs among the 200 that you took umbrage with as "inappropriate".

Yes, sanity abounds in this nation, as outdrawing Beck by nearly two to one (with a definite disadvantage in advertising the event) demonstrates, just not at the Stromberg household.

Posted by: actor212 | November 1, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I am astounded!

Most of the WaPo columnists and editorialists fall all over themselves to write an editorial piece about 30 teabaggers disrupting a town hall meeting in Ohio and 1000 people at a paid Palin speech in Arkansas, but none of them can be bothered to write a word or two about 150,000 to 200,000 people who rally in Washington DC!!!!!!

Stewart is right when hs said it doesn't matter how many people you have at a rally, it only matters who covers it.

Posted by: rlritt | November 1, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

As a social worker, who puts my money where my mouth is, I have gone to tea party rallies because those are an attempt to return sanity. They have one overriding theme. That is the government needs to stop spending money or there will be no America left for anyone. Americas poorest are in better financial condition than most of the rest of the world and if we don’t get our governments financial house in order the whole world will suffer. That is not extreme. The way back there may be boisterous but to behave as if that opinion is insanity is pompous.

Posted by: allsides | November 1, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I wish the post would pay me to cover stories from my living room , hell I could enjoy energy drinks and whole cheese pizzas and the occaisonal smoke of a cheap cigar while earning a living turning in mediochre columns that have the the accuracy of a BB gun on the midway at any carnival. Stromberg..you're the man! Your writing is inspirational to those of us whom dropped out of college, or barely finished high school..you bring a new light of hope to us. Lightbringer Stromberg is the name I will call you in my heart.I shall tell my children and their grandchildren of your greatness and how your poorly written words changed the world.

Posted by: rtriley | November 1, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Crowd was all-white on Saturday.

ERGO: Stewart & Colbert are RACISTS!!!!

Posted by: pmendez | November 1, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

One thing about the right; they remain determined to be uninformed. Give George Bush credit for the bailout he passed before President Obama was elected; it may be only right thing he did. Democrats did a lot; we don't need to steal his credit. Stop describing Jon Stewart as just a comic thus proving you are ignorant. If you knew what you were talking about you would know he is one of the best interviewers on the air and has an array of important people which he interviews on his show. Break the Tea Party and right wing tradition and learn what you are talking about before you write or talk. That would be revolutionary.

Posted by: withersb | November 1, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I were there.

We didn't carry a sign. We were there to be counted. We knew why we were there and we met lots of people who knew why they were there.

We met a lot of people just like us 45 and upwards of 70. We saw people in wheelchairs, walking with canes, a woman with a toddler and trying to breastfeed. We saw some people with some signs that said "I'm a republican" "I'm a democrat" "we are still friends" We say signs that said "Change is Hard".

Even amongst so many, people were polite. It was like the traffic ending that Stewart showed "you go - then I'll go"

It's easy to point to a few signs and a few people among 200,000 + people where some were dressed for Halloween.

However, on the train there, in the hotels, in the restaurants, walking to, walking from, getting back on the train - people were clear that they came to make a statement;

They put their money down for travel, hotels, meals and expenses to make this statement and to say they were there.

We could have given Jon's speech at the end - not as eloquently, but we could have given the substance.

It is why we came. We were awed by the numbers, the high number of older people and the vast demographics (but not surprised).

Most of us didn't get to see the rally because it was so crowded until we watched it in our hotels later. We stayed to be counted.

The more the media protests, the more you fail to get the point--- the message was to you:

1. Start reporting on real stories - we hunger for it. The battle for truth should be your fight;

2. Stop creating your own news with reporter/analyst spats;

3. Take it down more than a few notches, this isn't a game;

4. We can not hear you while you are screaming;

5. You exist to find truth - you do not exist for your own sake;

I did not expect the media to come out and do cartwheels about this.

I expected just this - deflection - not just from those who wouldn't like the rally but most importantly from the media itself.

As the media becomes less and less relevant and less and less read - do not ask why no one reads or listens to you... ask instead why you refused to hear this very powerful message given by many who came & many who wanted badly to be there but who share the same sentiment.

Wake up and hear us, even though we did not shout.

Posted by: TessaCC | November 1, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

At a rally attended by tens of thousands Mr. Stromberg thinks that something he OVERHEARD is significant?

"A constant nagging sense among sections of the crowd..." How on earth could anyone determine that?

Did you listen to John Stewarts closing speech Mr. Strromberg? "How ironic" that it focused on the irresponsibility of the media.

Posted by: racheljl | November 1, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The appeal by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for sanity in our political discourse is certainly commendable. However, to achieve that longed for sanity, there must first be dialogue. (Does anyone not know the meaning of dialogue?) To start that process, both sides must be realistic about the premises on which they base their arguments. The following are some personal musings that might help get things started.

Does the definition of sanity include the blind acceptance that the majority of people lack sufficient intelligence to make valid decisions for themselves; that elected officials somehow magically possess the intellect, wisdom, and information to make those decisions for everyone else on no other evidence than that they claim to have those qualifications? Then those who plead for an end to the confrontation which must necessarily result from the incessant imposition of coercive policies; whose intellectual capacity does allow them to understand it is possible to develop alternatives not founded on force are apparently insane.

For those whose policy proposals are limited to options which cannot be effected without coercion, is it not fair to ask if their intellectual capacities are not similarly limited? By persisting in the conceit that only they know which course of action is right (a conceit which history has repeatedly proven to be false), do they not fit Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity?

Posted by: jjgurney | November 1, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Democrats and Comedy Central are now synonymous.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | November 1, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

You will find extremist at any rally. Pointing that out was a waste of my time and yours.

Posted by: collegebound1 | November 1, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I was there, and I found the sanity and reason to be a blessed relief from the craziness. Remember the "Silent Majority?" This is the new one, a positive sign these days.

How typical that Mr. Stomberg (who I never heard of before) would spin it negatively.

Much of the rally included pointed references to the Tea Party, because much of what they say is so crazy. To be for sanity is to be against people and media who focus on anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-women, and anti-health care themes. Most of this is from the Right, but also some comes from the Left.

It was a wonderful experience to be among so many people who think like I do, moderates who want intelligent debate, not shouting of talking points that contain no real truth.

Posted by: mandelm2001 | November 1, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Enjoyed the entertainment and the message a great deal, I thought there were some pretty funny signs. I tend to lean left and I watched it with my friend of 20 years who tends to lean right, the only thing we fought about was to which would be better cake or pie.
We compromised and had brownies. See that's not so hard.

Go Ducks!

Posted by: larsonlk | November 1, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Restore sanity? People that waste their weekend going to political rallies are not sane. You live in a fantasy world. You aren't changing anything. You're just a pawn on a chessboard. John Stewart and Glenn Beck snap their fingers and you jump. I like the comment about too many white people at the rally. Somehow I doubt John Stewart will mock the all white so they must be racist crowd at his own rally.

Posted by: peterg73 | November 2, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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