The Jon Stewart rally: 5 strange facts
The Comedy Central host's D.C. event has triggered a "Truthiness" yoga event, a sister rally at Mount Everest, and a counterprotest by angry ... federal workers?
Anticipation for Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C., on Saturday is building speedily — fueled by a seemingly deliberate air of secrecy and President Obama's appearance on The Daily Show tonight. Although no one quite knows what Stewart and his Comedy Central foil Stephen Colbert are planning, there's no shortage of bizarre factoids leaking out ahead of the event. (Watch a CBS News preview of the event.) Here's a selection:
1. A single port-a-potty for every 300 guestsWhile 150,000 people are expected to attend the event, organizers have secured only 508 port-a-potties, reports The Washington Post, or roughly one portable john for every 300 attendees. One of the comfort stations, donated by CNN's Larry King, will reportedly be marked off as the "Larry King Port-a-Potty." Comedy Central had originally wanted to share portable restrooms with the Marine Corps Marathon, which takes place in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, but was politely rebuffed. The 100 toilets the Marines have set up around the National Mall will be padlocked on Saturday.
2. Celebrating sanity everywhere from Melbourne to Mount EverestThe Comedy Central host's call to "restore sanity" has clearly touched an international nerve. Satellite versions of the rally will be held in as many as 67 countries around the world, reports Yahoo News, including in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Montreal, Paris, and Tel Aviv. Perhaps the most exclusive event: a sister rally at Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
3. A curious counterprotestThough one group plans to counterprotest, it does not consist, as you might expect, of Glenn Beck fans incensed by Stewart's relentless mocking of Fox News. Instead, federal bureaucrats will take to the Mall for a "Government Doesn't Suck" protest. "Basically," says Matt Bevilacqua at the Washington City Paper, members of the GovLoop social network of federal employees want "the majority of America to stop hatin.'" So far, 40 staffers have pledged to turn up.
4. Fans can take time out with "Truthiness Yoga"Local Washington, D.C., businesses are attempting to capitalize on the influx of young, liberal-minded folk. Local bar the Brickskeller will be hosting a "Sanity vs. Fear Beer Tasting" on the eve of the event, the Pleasant Pops food truck will feature a "Stephen Colbert South Carolina Sweet Tea Pop," and ice cream store Dolcezza will offer fans a "Colbert's Bananas and Nuts Gelato." Those needing a "Moment of Zen" before the rally can head down to Flow Yoga, which is leading a "Yoga for Truthiness" charity event on Saturday morning.
5. As endorsed by The New York Times ... crosswordWhile news organizations like NPR and the Associated Press have forbidden their employees from attending the rally, The New York Times gave the event a cryptic endorsement on Tuesday. How? By loading its famous crossword with references to Stewart, Colbert, and their rally — much to the delight of the Colbert Report host. It's unclear whether the "fiery presence of thousands of crossword puzzle enthusiasts," says David Morgan at Reuters, will boost the crowd on Saturday.