Posted by Paladinette on Saturday, October 30, 2010
The Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear, hosted today by comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the Washington Mall, was a star studded success. Attended by performing greats such as Tony Bennett, Kid Rock, Cat Stevens, Ozzy Osbourne, the O’Jays’ and Sheryl Crow, the hundreds of thousands of people who were there in person, surely were not disappointed.
Stewart jokingly remarked that the crowd was “over ten million people” during the 3 hour event aimed at bringing civility and tolerance back to the American dialog.
The entire rally was streamed over the internet and carried live on both CSPAN 1 and Comedy Central. Complete with an awards ceremony, Myth Busters experiments, walk ons from celebrities like wrestler Mick Foley, Sam Waterston, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, R2D2 and a benediction by Father Guido Sarducci, the rally far surpassed any I have watched in Washington in quite some time.
Among the medals bestowed by Stewart and Colbert, a few excellent ones stood out: One, a Medal of Reasonableness to Velma Hart, who respectfully disagreed with the President recently, one of Colbert’s Fear Awards (the “Feary,” he called it) to Anderson Cooper’s “tight black t-shirt,” a symbol of cable-news fear-mongering and another “Feary” that was awarded to a 7 year old girl who, according to Colbert, showed more courage for attending than those Media outlets who banned their employees from going to the event. (CBS, ABC and especially NPR)
Stewart’s closing remarks: “So. Here we are.” He said he wanted to conclude with“some sincerity” that might breach the “boundaries for a comedian/talker/pundit-guy.” His message ended with media criticism: “We live in hard times, not end-times. We can have animus and not be enemies. One of our main tools is broken.” Referring to the 24-hour news media, which in his view is the real stoker of fear. “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing,” he said. “Americans don’t live on cable tv… most Americans don’t live their lives as Democrats or Republicans or liberals or conservatives. Most live their lives as people a little bit late for something they have to do…making little, reasonable compromises we all make…we have to work together to get from the darkness to the light.”
“The press is our immune system: If it over-reacts to everything, we get sicker, and maybe eczema.”
The show concluded with Tony Bennett singing “America the Beautiful” and Mavis Staples singing “I’ll Take You There.”
Some of my favorite rally monemts (besides Ozzy) was the great poem written by Colbert and read by Sam Waterston (video was not available) and Colbert's arrival on stage via a replica of the FENIX which was used recently to rescue the miners in Chile.
Kid Rock debuted an original song “The Least That I Can Do Is Care” (from his upcoming album) in a live duet with Sheryl Crow, singing lyrics that seemed quite appropriate for the message Stewart hoped to convey.
Tags: stewart colbert "rally to restore sanity/fear"