The folks over at Comedy Central have offered some of the most compelling coverage the past few elections. While CNN integrated holograms into their broadcast for no apparent reason and FOX News participated in typical over-the-top doomsday rhetoric, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report actually provided some of the best coverage of the 2008 election.
Comedy Central seems to rise to the occasion every election season. This year, Jon Stewart is leading the way with The Rally to Restore Sanity, which not-so-subtly knocks Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally, which took place just last month.
The rally’s home page asks, “Who among us has not wanted to open their window and shout that at the top of their lungs?” The site also says the rally is intended for “the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) — not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority. If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point.”
Of course, Stephen Colbert can’t sit this one out. He’ll simultaneously host The March to Keep Fear Alive. From the march’s home page: “America, the Greatest Country God ever gave Man, was built on three bedrock principles: Freedom. Liberty. And Fear — that someone might take our Freedom and Liberty.”
Essentially, these events should turn out to be a sketch comedy on a grand scale — not unlike Beck’s meant-to-be-serious Restoring Honor rally.
I can’t help but think massive political protests/rallies/marches/shindigs/soirees have become arbitrary. We’ve got social media now, and sadly, a hashtag on Twitter goes a lot farther than 1,000,000 people standing united at the Lincoln Memorial. I admire the dedication, but the whole process is kind of antiquated.
I imagine that’s the point of Stewart’s and Colbert’s rallies. Two rallies on the same day at the same place with completely opposed agendas. I wish I could go. Are you going? If so, send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can coordinate a guest post.
Here’s a question: If you were going to one of the rallies and you were going to make a sign, what would it say? Post it on Twitter with the hashtag #sanitysign. (That’s an ongoing hashtag right now – not my invention.)