Stewart’s rally: a “call to reasonableness”
October 25, 2010 • Nick Barnowski, Sports Editor
Filed under Opinion
Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” on October 30 in Washington D.C. can be taken at face value. The “Daily Show” host’s mission has drawn a reception that most could have seen coming: a sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek response to conservative talk show host Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally held in August.
While the reaction to Stewart’s attempt has mostly been of that, there is an underlying meaning to it, and it can be found right in the rally’s name.
The “Rally to Restore Sanity” is a chance to actually give those in the middle of the political spectrum a voice. An actual call to reason.
Beck’s rally at the Lincoln Memorial represented the skewered influence the media has on Americans’ political views. His round-up of ultra-conservatives is no different than the constant shouting that can be heard on cable TV programs (like Fox News, Beck’s employer).
We now live in an age where those who can talk the loudest — whether siding with the far-left or far-right — have or do get a free-pass in the media. The personalities who have that free-pass have such an influence that it draws those on the fringe in and gives them a large forum to speak to.
Some acknowledge that belief, but argue that it’s just debate between conservatives and liberals. It is more than that, though, and those clashes have only escalated the ignorant and nonobjective voices.
That’s why Stewart’s ploy is perfect. It can be taken two ways: a joking response to one of those voices and a microphone for the rational thinkers in the middle.
The dialogue landscape in America has disproportioned itself so much so that all we hear are the political extremists. The extremists do not have to listen to facts and reason because the form of media has changed in a way that doesn’t require facts and reason to have an audience.
While Stewart can sometimes technically fall into that category — he is a political talk show host, after all — the fact that he’s leading the way and providing a soundboard for the rational voices proves that he fits in the demographic the rally is aiming for.
The “Rally to Restore Sanity” provides a breath of fresh air for those that have been waiting for one. It can demonstrate that logic and rationality can be used without excessive shouting and ignorance. The comedians “call to reasonableness” can hopefully lead the way in causing the monopoly the extremists have on the media to break.