After weeks of anticipation and secrecy, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear will finally go down in Washington D.C. tomorrow. A leaked document from the National Parks Service has provided some insights into who will be there (The Roots, Jeff Tweedy, Sam Waterston, among others) and what will happen (musical performances, comedy, a pre-taped awards sequence). But what will be the bottom line?
It will turn the media tables on Jon Stewart: "A man who spends a great deal of his show poking fun at how news networks cover world events, Jon Stewart suddenly finds himself at the center of the media's attention," says David Knowles at AOL News. The rally will be covered by journalists and bloggers, from Fox News to CNN — those that usually find themselves as the butt of Stewart's jokes. "Now it's the media's turn to cover Jon Stewart."
"At Rally to Restore Sanity, it's the media's turn to cover Jon Stewart"
It will build the Stewart brand: "Probably the best way to understand it all is through the prism of branding," says Jeff Bercovici in Forbes. This isn't about politics — Stewart has long made it clear that's he's first and foremost an entertainer. It's about business. He "saw an opportunity to claim sanity as part of his brand, since no one else in the political discussion was doing much with it." Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey have climbed aboard because it complements their brand. "They're like the skateboard apparel companies who sponsor Lollapalooza in hopes of catching some of the reflected cool."
"The politics of Jon Stewart’s Rally: It's the money, stupid"
It will manage to fulfill everyone's expections: Attendees looking for an extended, live episode of "The Daily Show" will likely find it on Saturday, says Katy Steinmetz in Time, while those looking for a Democratic political rally will find that, too. "The irony of [Colbert and Stewart's] satire [is] that people can interpret [their] sarcasm level and [their] true intentions, buried as they are beneath the performance, however they please."
"The Rally to Restore Sanity, or what you will"
It will be entertaining above all else: "Liberal pundits need to lighten up and just go and enjoy the show," says the editors of the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. There's no need to fuss and fret over what will essentially be a glorified variety show. It "will probably resemble a standup comedy act more than a political rally, and the only thing it's likely to leave behind is trash on the capital's broad lawns."
"Some sanity, please, on Jon Stewart's 'Rally to Restore Sanity'"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- 10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
Subscribe to the Week