To rally, perchance to dream

I had many reactions to Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity — all good. These thoughts were stored up like nuts in a squirrel’s cheeks during the rally as AT&T couldn’t cope with so much sanity, and so I tweeted them in a flurry afterwards and will expand on them here.

Rally for sanity

Stewart’s close was pitch-perfect, presenting optimism, perspective, honesty, and humor in exact proportion.

He brilliantly separated himself from media, politics, and government, setting him closer to us, the people. In other circumstances, that might sound like a populist’s positioning: Stewart as Evita (don’t laugh for me, New Jersey). But that’s why the apolitical nature of the event matters: He wasn’t selling an agenda or buying power. He was leading and inspiring. He was recognizing and supporting the best in us.

Stewart was raising a standard for how our alleged leaders should respect us so we could respect them in return. “Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false,” he said. Stewart was doing nothing less than resetting the relationship of the powerful to the public. He was re-empowering us. His speech and his event were profoundly democratic. Not Democratic or Democrat—democratic.

Media took most of his barbs and for good reason. I must confess that I came away feeling a bit ashamed to be a member of the media and journalism tribe (even as I played hooky from the Online News Association’s annual and newly exuberant confab uptown). Stewart and Colbert rightfully castigated us. Oh, yes, they aimed mostly at cable news. “The country’s 24-hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder,” Stewart said.

But the rest of us in the news business are not blameless. We, too, monetize fright. We are evil coaches on grade school playgrounds, making sides and then pitting them against each other. When we in the press included TV and cable news people in our journalistic club and rejected bloggers and citizens, we legitimized them. When we don’t repudiate their ways, we excuse them. Shame on all of us.

The coverage of the rally I’ve seen so far tends toward the dismissive, as does its play on the home pages of The New York Times and Washington Post. “Nonpartisan bits, musical entertainment and gentle ribbing of the purported enemies of incivility,” is the Post’s view of it. Cute. Unimportant. A trifle. Pay no heed to its criticism of us; it’s just a joke, after all. Ex-Postie Howie Kurtz was surprised at the size of the event. He underestimated. I didn’t. He called it “shtick” and “weak” at that. His was an entertainment review. That’s how The Times saw it, as “part circus, part satire, part holiday parade.” You know how those kids love a parade with clowns, yet.

Well, judged as entertainment, Kurtz isn’t entirely wrong. Except it wasn’t entertainment. The event used entertainment to be something else, to make a different point. At least The Times’ wunderkind, Brian Stelter, got a blogging chance to call it what it was: media criticism. But sadly, the media don’t even realize they were being criticized, not really.

There was so much about the day that was so encouraging.

It was indeed wonderful and hopeful to hear Cat Stevens/Yusef/Joseph/Joe sing Peace Train. On Twitter, @msbellows said its humor advanced the cause of Muslim moderation 20 years.

It was equally wonderful to hear Stewart thank the un-tolled masses for massing. “Sanity,” he said, “will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine. Thank you.” On Twitter, I observed that these people came not for a show but for (a) reason. (Stelter, by the way, agreed.)

I was most heartened — overjoyed, really — by the fact that I shared this day with so many people my own age and just as many my son’s age. I was lucky that he happened to have taken the weekend away from college and could come with me, along with a high-school friend of his. I was crammed in in front of them. To my left were more young people. To my right and ahead were people my age who understood what a big deal it was for Cat Stevens/Yusef/Joseph/Joe to return to a musical stage — and share it was Ozzy friggin’ Osborne (which made it worth the frustration of hearing Peace Train interrupted after all these years).

My son’s friend, Ben, said he’d never been to a rally before. Emily Bell tweeted that she used the opportunity to introduce her newly arrived sons to the idea of rallies and had some trouble explaining to her 6-year-old the reason for them.

No, this wasn’t their Woodstock 2.0. It was just a rally. In my youth, in our fabled ’60s, we had them all the time because we had cause and because we believed we could — must — change government and society. That was change we could believe in. Now Stewart has given us reason again to come together, to set new standards, to expect real change, to celebrate democracy (not government), to communicate (around media) — in short, and in every sense of the word, to rally.

Rally for Sanity

: Oh, and I almost forgot: I was also delighted to see NPR and other haughty temples of journalism get shit from Stephen Colbert for forbidding their employees unless assigned from attending the rally. As son Jake said afterwards, it was an insult to the people at that rally. What, do we have cooties on us? Damn it, every one of the journalists on those staffs could have learned a great deal today. But they weren’t allowed to. Because that’s not officially journalistic. Well, once again, Jon Stewart proved to be closer to the public than the journalists charged with serving them. That’s why we trust him and not you, media people. He’s not afraid to get a little of us on him.

: The morning after: The Rally to Restore Sanity was about media, but media didn’t hear. The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, and, of course, Fox News all played it down on their home pages; the Guardian and Die Zeit Online played it bigger.

  • http://davidmacdonaldmusic.com Dave

    At the beginning of the show with Roots and John Legend, I was a bit worried that it was going to be just a bit of entertainment. (Also, WTH with the Mythbusters? I love them, but what were they doing exactly?) Stewart proved he knows better than me, though. Everything was just perfectly structured and balanced, and the concluding speech was about as perfect and beautiful as it could be.

    • oldfuzz

      Jon used the oldest humorist format in the book: get everyone relaxed, then deliver the payoff. Mark Twain may have been the best at it, but I had the good fortune of hearing humorist Bob Murphey of Nacogdoches , Texas on several occasions. His approach in a forty five minute keynote was to deliver forty minutes of falling-off-your-chair humor, ending with five minutes of serious message. An audience must be prepared for an important point to be considered.

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  • Tina Hoggatt

    Thanks you for this Jeff. i was not able to attend or watch on television – came home expecting to see coverage on the 6:00 news, but not a whisper. I followed the event on twitter and it seemed joyful. I am hoping some of the messaging informs choices made by the voters on Tuesday – less division, more empowerment, some badly needed WE the people.

  • Analytic Eye

    Thanks for your post. This would have been interesting to watch in real-time.

    I am saddened but not surprised by the media’s response to Stewart and the ironically-coated but deeply earnest public concern he and Colbert embody through their public personas (Colbert`s persona is undeniable, but I am too cynical to believe Stewart is completely WYSISYG).

    The media is a business and businesses are driven by bottom lines. It will take a lot more than this for them to admit that their business model and its ramifications for what they explore, describe and ignore is flawed.

    I would love to read a historical account of this era in 300 years and see how someone liked Colbert — who did call Bush out to his face when so many among the media were not criticizing his administration’s decisions — is viewed with the benefit of hindsight.

  • http://wallscorp.us/ Nathan L. Walls

    I’m rather surprised an event with an estimated 215k people is dismissed as, you put it, a trifle. I have a hard time believing that 215k people doing something together isn’t, in some fashion, news.

    Leaving aside the signs sniping at Fox News fixtures, if the ostensible point is a return to civility, and a couple hundred thousand people show up and say, “tell us more,” I’m a bit concerned if big media blows right past it, almost as if it doesn’t fit the narrative.

  • http://blog.stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    I watched it on a live stream, and I felt the way you did: I laughed and cried and cheered and got goose bumps and realized that Stewart is a brilliant, courageous man. Brought me back to the Sixties, when I originally loved Peace Train.

  • http://blog.stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    Oh and I had to hand it to the moderate Muslims for finally taking to the stage to point out who they are.

  • Scott

    Jeff, considering myself someone firmly in the libertarian camp, your exuberance over the “every man” nature of the rally belies your Democrat leanings. Don’t you realize that the Tea Partiers have the same feeling about their rallies? They believe they are the only sane ones, just as all the Libs at this rally believe it. I’m sure there’s a phrase but I’m not the great wordsmith. Everything looks natural and sensible and sane from the inside.

    I don’t disagree that the MSM has been the primary culprit in this whole mess that politics has become. Not that politics was ever clean but they’ve made it worse than ever. It’s just curious that Stewart didn’t have this same rally years ago when the MSM was pushing the hate against the Cons. Kinda sucks when the dog turns on you, eh?

    Really, this whole thing just sounded like a bunch of sour grapes. These guys were part of the problem just a couple of years back. Go look at Stewart’s rants about Bush, Cheney and Rove. Seems hypocritical, like all of politics and most of the MSM, which I believe Stewart and Colbert to be a part of.

    Finally, as a borderline Atheist I’d love to discuss with you my theory about how Islam is our generation’s greatest threat. My theory involves Christianity, the Crusades and the teenage years. Juan might have been really crass in what he said but sweeping the threat under the rug in the name of religious and political correctness is wrong. If I’m a bigot, I’m bigoted towards all religion.

    • ellyb

      Sir, you totally missed the point. I was there. This was not a “liberal” rally as you suggest. There were conservatives, liberals and others like myself, independents. The gathering suggests that a huge number of disimilar types can come together in very close quarters and get along. Shouldn’t our representatives in Congress be able to do the same for the sake of our country? Does it always have to be about political gamesmanship? About winning at all costs? I view my presence at the Rally to Restore Sanity as my personal plea to our elected leaders for reason and civility as they manage the affairs of our country, and to do that for its people.

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  • Dan Gainor

    You must be kidding. Jon Stewart makes a living out of bashing conservatives more than anything else and then suddenly he’s a neutral cultural arbiter because he says so?

    Pretty naive…

    • http://pressthink.org Jay Rosen

      No one can top you for culture war claptrap and auto-thought, Dan. You are the champ. You’re like an algorithm. But you actually make your living that way. Which makes you a paid propagandist for “everything comes down to liberal bias” camp.

      http://www.mrc.org/bmi/commentary/author/Dan_Gainor/2010.html

      Next time link your byline like a normal person so readers know that you get paid to take the party line into other forums.

      • Dan Gainor

        Jay

        Thanks for promoting my columns. Perhaps you are seguing out of academia and looking for a PR job.

        What’s funny is every time you rant about culture wars, you show your liberal side so heavily that you prove every point I could ever make.

        In Jeff’s case, I know I’ll never agree with him on everything. But I agree more often than not because he wants government kept out of the media. So at least the marketplace can decide what kind of disastrous media we get.

        And that is certainly what we have — disastrous. When I worked at Congressional Quarterly, it was a mandate to be completely neutral. And we all kept it. But most media outlets now don’t even know the meaning of the word and few can spell it.

        Yes, I make my living skewering lefty media. And you make your living teaching it. At least I’m honest. Try it sometime.

  • Neil DeLuca

    At first my reaction was, “have the “?-Gen” & Jon Stewart “Jumped the Shark”, but after watching for awhile you realize that it was a brilliantly, orchestrated event, that most people, especially baby boomers like me didn’t get!

  • RB

    The media’s lack of coverage on the rally seems to go towards proving Stewart’s point. If this were a tea party rally, or a democratic rally, they would have treated it as a major story. As a matter of fact, CNN covered rallies all over the country on October 30th but seemed to give minor coverage to the “sanity” rally, the largest rally out there on that day. It shows that the media cannot escape the narrative that they have worked so tirelessy to build: that of one side vs. the other. The media doesn’t know how to treat the great swath of moderates that fit in between the two ideologies that the media champions.

    When the media actually does look at moderates, they do so only to discuss how they will affect the 2 major parties in elections. Stewart is becoming the populist voice of the great moderate masses of this country, and the media does not want to understand it. They continue to grasp on to old narratives and old business models thinking that someday we will all come crawling back to them. Perhaps Stewart’s rally will mark the beginning of the end of the “mainstream” media and their reliance on “the conflicts” in this country.

    • Linda

      Great comment! Let us all remember the impact that Jon Stewart had, when he made an appearance on “CrossFire” in 2004. That show was DEAD after that broadcast and was taken off the air within weeks.
      Video link of that broadcast:

  • Jim Millar

    Hi Jeff. You may remember me from the Foster-Walker complex in 1974. Anyway thanks for writing this. I hadn’t heard a thing about it until now. Are progressives the new silent majority?

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Hey, Jim, of course I do. Whatcha up to the last [cough] years?

    • Dan Gainor

      Progressives? Stewart himself told us it was all about moderates. And though some media outlets echoed this, none of us believed it.

      So which is it?

      • Linda Franzman

        Dan you are like a dog with a bone. Let it go. You do realize that your uncompromising provacative remarks are precisely what this rally was protesting… don’t you?

        Thanks, Jeff, for your review.

  • Chris

    For all the exemplary bubble-puncturing work you have done over the years, this is an example of how you, Jeff, can operate in your own bubble.

    The vast majority of participants at the rally belong to the political left and support President Obama in much higher proportions than the country as a whole. Unity and sanity certainly appear to be present when everybody around you agrees with your own views. Those who were there for more than simple entertainment were strongly motivated by their belief that people who feel differently are misguided at best and insane and/or bigoted at worst.

    So yeah, peace and love.

    And Mr Peace Train backed the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, among many other things.

    Good times.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      You make Stewart’s point for him: If the people in a room are not “my people,” I will not even consider agreeing with them, even if the topic is not something in which we’d otherwise disagree. That’s what you’re saying. Doesn’t matter whether you watch Beck or Olbermann. Same destructive, unproductive, tiresome crap. Stewart is asking people to agree to disagree … civilly. He’s saying that in truth, we do that every day. Politics is not life.

      • Harry Waisbren

        You are jumping to conclusions both about me generally and my thoughts here in particular, Jeff. I don’t think that’s fair at all.

        I didn’t say “I will not even consider agreeing with them”. That’s not the case. I don’t have a need to agree with “my people”. I’m also not knocking the viewers of these shows as you suggest I do. You are wrong to assume such things about my thoughts and me personally, and I fear you are jumping to conclusions based on your assumptions about who you think “my people” are yourself. I was very civil in my tweet, yet you are referring to my thoughts as crap and being, frankly, uncivil. I would love it if we could turn that around, as I am actually a firm believer in constructive and civil dialogue—especially with those people whom we disagree.

        So, I do firmly believe that what Fox News and Glenn Beck are doing is different than what MSNBC and Olbermann are doing, and disagree with Stewart’s false equivalency between them. They are perpetuating propaganda. Olbermann may go over the top, but he is being honest. Fox News is not, and they are an absolutely vital component of the Tea Party and the Republican party at large. Olbermann holds the president’s feat to the fire, Fox News and Beck were lockstep allies with Bush. They have flip flopped their agenda with the change in power, just as they did with Bill Clinton, which very much exposes their biases. A particularly blatant example is the fear of deficits only during Democratic administrations, not to mention their demands that citizens support the president during war time during the Bush administration. However, I think their opposition to any action to prevent climate change and general direct support of the fossil fuel industry is the most damaging aspect to what they do. I believe it literally puts the world at risk, while also preventing the mass investment in green jobs that our economy needs. I think it’s essential for this to be exposed, and think it can be done through civil dialogue with individuals. Yet, to achieve such dialogue, it is first necessary to bypass our easily manipulated and distracted mainstream media environment to gain these people’s attention and persuade them to take action. This can require means which people such as yourself might consider uncivil, but which I believe are essential and justified. I think such actions and rhetoric are more important than civility in such instances, especially when they are perpetuated surrounding issues, not individuals.

        Where I very much agree with you is that individuals by and large can and do agree to disagree civilly. I’m a very big fan of yours Jeff, and think we can have a much more civil conversation than what your first comment suggests. That is, if you care to treat a major supporter of yours with more civility—even if we agree to disagree :)

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          Thanks, Harry, but you’re doing it again. Olbermann merely goes over the top while Fox News propagandizes. Is that true sometimes, often? Fine. Always? That’s my point. Watch Bill O’Reilly — suddenly now, by contrast, the sane one (who’d a thunk?) — on Fox. Not everything he says is over-the-scale nutty. Some stuff Olbermann says goes too far. You’re the one making the equivalency by trying to compare and contrast them. Isn’t enough to say that both sides in DC and on media are fucking with our world? That’s Stewart’s point. He’s not the evil teacher in the playground who pits kids against he’s other. He’s the sensible one who says he doesn’t give a shit who started it … just stop. He’s saying it’s fine to disagree, to compete. But let’s do so with at least some openness and respect for facts and each other. I’m not defending Beck; neither is he. We’re trying to move to the next step.

        • http://getfisaright.wordpress.com/ Harry Waisbren

          I couldn’t agree more about having openness and respect for facts and each other.

          Where we might have to agree to disagree though, is that I do believe Fox News is at its core a PR arm of the Tea Party and Republican Party, and I think it’s essential to expose what Fox News really is in order to counteract its toxic influence on our larger discourse. I think making it seem like MSNBC and the left at large is the same makes it harder to get to the heart of the problem. However, I don’t need to dwell on Stewart’s comparisons or the areas we disagree generally, as we certainly can agree that not everything people like Bill O’Reilly say is over the top. I believe individuals have good intentions, but when they are within toxic systems they become exceedingly misguided. It’s why I think Stewart’s interviews with O’Reilly are so important, amidst his attempts to get him to step outside of the false reality Fox is collectively building.

          Like Stewart and you though, I am laser focused on moving to the next step than asserting petty grievances, and I think his equivalencies were more a strategy to do so than an actual belief of his. I disagree with some of his strategy, as I think the false equivalencies are counter-productive, yet I very much do agree with, and consider myself taking part in, the cause of building a political and media system in which “the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is [not] false” by promoting respect for openness, facts, and proper democratic discourse.

        • Andy Freeman

          > Where we might have to agree to disagree though, is that I do believe Fox News is at its core a PR arm of the Tea Party and Republican Party, and I think it’s essential to expose what Fox News really is in order to counteract its toxic influence on our larger discourse.

          And the NYT and Wash Post have never played a comparable role….

          Note that the tea party and the repubs are actually fighting, which is more than the progressives and the new dems can say these days.

      • Andy Freeman

        > particularly blatant example is the fear of deficits only during Democratic administrations

        Selective listening. Conservatives did.

        However, there is a difference between $100B/year deficits and declining when the Repubs lost congress and $100B/month deficits that are steady/increasing since then.

        Also, the Dems who complained about the “Bush deficits” wanted a bigger prescription drug benefit. You remember it – it’s basically equal to the Bush deficits under a Repub congress.

  • R.I.P. Daniel Boorstin

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-event

    >>>A pseudo-event is an event or activity that exists for the sole purpose of the media publicity and serves little to no other function in real life. Without the media, nothing meaningful actually occurs at the event, so pseudo-events are considered “real” only after they are viewed through news, advertisement, television or other types of media.

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  • http://loftninjas.org Bryan McLellan

    Having been in the acoustically missed middle of the rally, I looked around the news this morning to fill in the gaps and found little. Staying in a hotel with a television for entertainment, something that hasn’t been in home for over five years now, I was reminded of how uncomfortable and offensive the news is. I have to fight the urge to turn it off at every sensationally toned remark. Perhaps the medium is dead because we can find unbiased information in realtime through wikipedia these days; perhaps we’ve left it behind. Where is the TV channel with a version of Crosscut not porked with extremeists, where moderates discuss their points and provide sources? I’d watch that station, at least when I stay in hotels. I know at least a couple hundred thousand that would as well.

    • ellyb

      You’re kidding, right? Wikipedia? People can and do alter wikipedia entries all the time for a variety of reasons, including political. From Wikipedia:
      Wikipedia (pronounced /?w?k??pi?di.?/ WIK-i-PEE-dee-?) is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly-editable model.

  • Eric Gauvin

    I watched some of it. It was okay. I was waiting for an advertisement for powdermilk biscuits… or guy noir, private eye to come out…

  • Brian O’Connell

    I found it interesting that Rachel Maddow wasn’t included in the montage of over-the-top tv news shows. She’s nearly as bad as Keith Olbermann when it comes to vilifying the other side, but she’s a friend of The Daily Show. (Or maybe I missed her?)

    Overall, the rally was a call to return to the unity and civility of 10 or 15 years ago, when the news media was mostly restricted to the center-left consensus of the New York Times, and voices further to the left or right weren’t generally heard. (And not coincidentally, center-left is about where Jon Stewart is.) Those days aren’t coming back, and that’s a good thing- but it’s not without a down side. Of course, when a wider range of opinions get attention, there is going to be more disagreement, and it will be more visible.

    I don’t see that Stewart and Colbert have any credibility on this issue- Colbert’s whole schtick is vilifying conservatives after all. Obviously many liberals see it differently. The reaction from the left- both bloggers and news organizations- seems to be that the rally was primarily anti-Fox and anti-Tea Party. No minds were changed here.

    • Louise Silverman

      I think the problem is honesty, For example, two photos of aerial shots were presented of Honor rally and Sanity rally . There were many post that the Sanity Rally shot was not accurate by people that were at the Sanity Rally. I was at the Sanity Rally and the shot did not show the crowds that were shoulder to shoulder on the the side streets. Maybe the side streets were crowded at Honor Rally also. The tidal pool can not be included in the area as crowded with people. I believe more people were at the Sanity Rally – two and half times as many. But if you think about it, that might be true because of demographics. Maybe it was easier for people that would attend the Sanity Rally could get there. Instead trying to distort the facts, why not present a reasonable explanation?
      My problem with cable news is the reality is they must have people watch them. And people wouldn’t watch if there wasn’t a sense of urgency. Ask yourself, when do I leave the weather channel on all day – blizzard, hurricane, or tornado out break. Cable news needs to replicate the same emotion.
      The real problem is honesty.

      • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

        In a phrase: Who cares?

  • Sam

    So disappointed that Bill Maher was not invited to participate!

    • Andy Freeman

      How much more snark did you really want?

      Besides, Stewart is the king of snark, why would he invite a pretender?

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  • Stan Hogan

    Really now? Stewart and Colbert are more court jesters than beacons of enlightenment. Their beauty is in their ability to entertain.

    I have a hard time using D.C. rallies as a gauge of social shifts/frustrations in this country. Had I swallowed that pill I would have believed Beck’s rally of similar size (and msm coverage, by the way) was a hard and sweeping pull to the right.

    Which as a pull, come to think of it, is headed toward a greater apparent truth than anything resembling moderate “sanity” as Tuesday’s election results become known. Truth of traditional midterm wishy-washiness will somehow get lost in that latest “voter mandate.”

    Stewart can’t undo his past. He’s the funny dart thrower of the left. But he’s funny, give him that. Jeff, you insist on making it more for your own reasons, obviously. That calmer heads in the msm on the eve of this election did not is no sin.

    Your self-appointed scolder in chief role is growing tiresome.

    • Manouchehr Hosseinzadeh

      Stan Hagan,
      The problem is that you don’t understand that humor is the bluntest form of political communication. It is even more important and telling than serious journalism but most importantly it sub do the violence agitation and replace it with a more reasoned discussion. This country is best served by kinds of Stuart and Colbert than the entire anger yielding rightwing media. Stuart and Colbert are voices of reason and they would be subject studies in journalism schools for generations to come.

      • Stan Hogan

        Sure I’d buy that, Manouchehr, were it not for the fact Stewart really came into his own during the Bush administration with his mocking ridicule of all things that.

        It was great political satire and well-deserved in most cases but nonetheless partisan and more than a bit angry. You and he can’t run away from that and now declare yourselves the voice of calm reason and unity.

  • Stan Hogan

    By the way, shouldn’t the “Why So Divided” sign have a question mark?!?! All the trouble to make that nice sign and your punctuation’s a big fail.

  • http://www.bigdealpr.com Carri Bugbee

    I didn’t see all of the rally, but did see Jon Stewart’s excellent comments at the end. I think we all know Jon leans left. I don’t think we have any idea which direction Colbert leans. They both lampoon both sides of the political spectrum.

    But less profound than what Jon and Stephen had to say is the fact that in all the shots of the crowd, I didn’t see the overt hatred and bigotry that seems to permeate the rallies of Glen Beck, the Tea Party, and the like. No posters of Obama (or anyone else) as Hitler. Nobody insisting that they have a right to “second amendment remedies” if they don’t get their way. Nobody with “don’t tread on me” T-shirts stomping on someone else’s head. No handcuffing of reporters (literally, not just figuratively). I didn’t see people screaming that they need to “take back” our country to the days when old white guys were always in charge.

    Indeed, the civility of the event – and lack of press coverage – proved Jon’s point exactly. No wackos? No story. Civility? Who cares?

    @CarriBugbee

    • Andy Freeman

      > No posters of Obama (or anyone else) as Hitler.

      Stewart wasn’t bothered by “Chimpy McBush Hitler” – were you?

      > T-shirts stomping on someone else’s head\

      That’s because the opponents didn’t show up looking for a fight.

      Ask Kenneth Gadney about what happens to when SEIU folks show up at a Tea Party.

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  • http://www.trustedadvisor.com/trustmatters Charles H. Green

    I could not agree more. I am astonished at the obtuseness of the media, which cannot seem to grok Stewart’s criticism, even when it is aimed point blank at its heart (remember his confrontation of Begala and bowtie-dude on Crossfire? They couldn’t believe he was serious).

    More in this vein at
    http://trustedadvisor.com/trustmatters/928/Stewarts-and-Colberts-Joke-is-On-the-Media#comment3105

  • http://www.techinaboxllc.net Andrew Baker

    Ya know, Jeff. If that picture is an accurate representation of where you were standing during the rally I may have seen you. I was standing close by that area and watching the crowd for the neat signs but I swore I saw some one I thought I recognized and couldn’t place it. If I did in fact see you there then either I watch to much or to little TWiG.

    But regardless if the extraordinarily slim chance I saw you at the event your analysis of it jibes with my own and I will be using your better worded arguments in my every day discussions.

  • john mcclure

    Thank you Jeff Jarvis. May you think and write forever.

  • Ken

    Well. The very media that Stewart chastised is now struggling to defend themselves. I am sure it is hard to hear from a peer that 24/7 cable outlets are only driven by fear, outrage, and dependent on creating an emotional reaction. But it’s true. And now the likes of Bill Press an Ed Schultz are quite offended. With due cause, I may add, gentlemen.

    Spend some time with local politics. Before you watch an hour of CNN, attend an hour long city council meeting.

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  • Mike G

    All I saw was that the guy who relentlessly mocks and trashes our political process every night got up to lecture us on not taking it seriously enough. Stewart has become the new Tom Hanks or Bono, the celebrity whose goodness is so manifest that it dare not be questioned.

    Question Celebrity.

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  • Manouchehr Hosseinzadeh

    John Stuart, himself a journalist educator, proved loud and opened wide the silent conspiracy of corporate media. Their silence and refusal to give the rally the coverage that it deserved was clearly intentional. Well-groomed and well-manqué\red pretty face airheads as well as loud and dangerous profits of hate and ignorance have a lot at stake in reporting the news of ‘rally for sanity’ and most are commercially motivated. First a lot of money is at stake for those who produce news for profit by sensationalizing it and creating an environment of fear and antagonism to sell more advertising. In a real world they would have nothing to do with journalism and real journalist would be ashamed to call themselves by this name when the clowns of Fox Views do. The day that their fallacy is proven and destructive nature of their advanturealism is shown many of them who fuel the fire of antagonism will lose a lot of money and Robert Murduck will be sitting in Jail. Secondly the same corporate media that shamelessly choose to ignore the voice of Americans people did not want to send their advertising money to Comedy Channel that with this event has in fact staged a publicrelation coup to show itself as flag barrier of reason when others are so shamelessly creating diversion to serve the god of money. Many countries (Germany for example) have gone through the same phenomenon in their history but at the end when the orgy of fear and violence has ended, those who caused the mayhem faced punishment and shame. The troble is that this time because United States is so widely and deaply involved in different part of worl an overt rise of irresponsible right and ignorant tea-party facist will have golobal consequences beyond which is nothing less that violence death and destruction; and this is the real thing to be afrade of. But the most frightening aspect of today’s situation is that progressives have been intemedated to silence when in fact much depends on their voice to save the world from the destiny that is prepared for. There is nothing wrong with declaring loud and clear that I am rational peaceful progressive and I have the good of country and the world in mind. I certainly do

    • Andy Freeman

      > There is nothing wrong with declaring loud and clear that I am rational peaceful progressive and I have the good of country and the world in mind.

      In the US, “he meant well” is an insult, and usually well-deserved.

      You’re free to declare that you have “the good of the country and world in mind” but such declarations are meaningless – everyone thinks that they have that as their goal. If you’re going to argue that you’re correct and someone else is wrong in making that declaration, you’re going to have to do more than just tell us how good you are.

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  • Janice Labadie

    Hello Jeff,

    It was fun basking in the afterglow of the Rally at the DC airport. I appreciated your welcoming my outburst when coverage of the rally came on TV at the bar. I was compelled to yell “Keep it Alive!” then one by one point at complete strangers who I knew had attended. You were there! You were there! You were there! Ahhh… How do I spell relief? Comaraderii for the goal of a more civilized discourse across this land!
    Nice blog BTW and ~ tell Cheryl Hines hello!
    Janice from California

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  • Carlene Peterson

    Never seen Metro Center so busy. What a great day. It was awesome to see so many different people there. Local media totally downplayed the event. It seemed like the coverage focused more on traffic problems that resulted. Sad.

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  • http://wwww.adrianagallegos.com Adriana

    I agree this rally was non partisan. It was about getting the message across that Americans are not extremes…tea partiers or hippies…just regular people wanting the best for their families. Media and the world like to zero in on 5% of the population all the time. As you can tell this rally was very calm with people just enjoying their Saturday afternoon….www.adrianagallegos.com

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