Jon Stewart says the media is misrepresenting his "Rally to Restore Sanity" event, scheduled to unfold in Washington D.C. on October 30. "It is, in fact, not a political rally," said "The Daily Show" host on CNN's "Larry King Live," explaining that he and his team are just using the "rally format" to deliver satirical comedy. The event website seems to underline the absence of an agenda: "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." But with President Obama set to appear on "The Daily Show" on October 27 (presumably to appeal to Stewart's young, left-leaning audience), will the rally inevitably be perceived as a political gesture? (Watch Jon Stewart's comments)
Laughing at the Right wing is still political: Despite the protests of Stewart and event co-host Stephen Colbert, says Timothy Noah at Slate, they each "harbor identifiable political convictions" — railing against "conservative extremism," and only criticizing liberals for "failing to combat conservative bombast more effectively." I fear that the rally's inevitable satire of "wingnut ignoramuses and Bible thumbers" will only serve to fire up angry Tea Partiers more.
I wish it were more political: The rally is just a grab for ratings, says Darden Rice at St Petersblog 2.0, and will do "nothing to further a policy goal or help get a 'sane' person elected." Stewart does have a lot of influence over young people, but this event will surely just resemble a "caffeine-fueled bull session" full of "foolish bravado and jocksmanship." Young people are more disenfranchised by politics than ever before. This event won't help.
"There's nothing sane about Jon Stewart's march to restore sanity"
Stewart is turning into a politician, too: This rally may not "change the face of American politics," says Carlos Lozada in The Washington Post, but it may change Stewart himself. The joker-in-chief of "fake news" is in danger of becoming an earnest version of himself by holding an actual rally, when an in-studio parody would do. We "already have a formerly hilarious satirist turned sober politician. America doesn't need another Al Franken. We need Jon Stewart."
"The case against Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity, by a 'Daily Show' fan"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- 10 things you need to know today: July 31, 2014
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- This simple hack for slicing cherry tomatoes will astound you
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week