In case you missed it this weekend, a tiny rally was held on a tiny piece of land in downtown Washington, DC. And then The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear blew up in the faces of the very folks covering it, while those attending the event laughed and swayed as if at a revival.
The general air around the event, spanning the multitude of signs via DCist, was a mystery. People were unsure what they were exactly attending–until the Roots and John Legend took the stage to calm all 200,000 (or 210,000 or 215,000) attendees’ fears. While the event, co-hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, played out as a “rally by the numbers” from a benediction to awards ceremony. But Stewart’s actual keynote (not the one involving John Oliver as Peter Pan) hit a rather sore spot for the media:
|Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear|
|Jon Stewart – Moment of Sincerity|
This wasn’t the message that most outlets were hoping for it seems as David Carr for the Times wrote:
It was a beautiful day on the Mall, and who doesn’t like kicking the press around, but speaking of ants, media bias and hyperbole seem like pretty small targets when unemployment is near 10 percent, vast amounts of unregulated cash are being spent in the election’s closing days, and no American governing institution — not the Senate, not the House of Representatives, not even the Supreme Court— seems to be above petty partisan bickering. Mr. Stewart couldn’t really go there and instead suggested it was those guys over there in the press tent who had the blood of democracy on their hands.
Yet in a mid-term election year that even Politico teases to be filled with jokers and clowns, how can the media not be held responsible? Judging by the turn-out that TBD cobbled together, it seems like the main reason that people are huffy about Stewart’s speech is his audience. Mainly because he had the entire audience in front of him plus through Comedy Central, Twitter and every other form of media consumption we have these days.