Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart Rallies in DC

Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 03:38 pm
sozobe wrote:

Awesome!! Thanks tsar. (What was up with that kittycat?)

The owner of the cat was an actual citizen of Washington DC. I guess the cat was a 6 figure salary Washington lobbyist just trying to find out the temperature of the political rally.
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Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 03:41 pm
The rally tried to defreakify the fear mongering policies of the US mainstream media that so feed and fuel the Tea Party and right wing nut jobs. What gave the whole credibility was Stewart's criticism of both the right and left wing militants that use hyperbole and extreme fear tactics to try and convert the middle of the roaders to their side.
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Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 03:44 pm
@failures art,
I was in the East Seaton Park area (one section ~ the VIP section? ~ away from the stage. Right on the south tree line.
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Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 03:59 pm
Regarding some folks characterizing the event as this generation's Woodstock:

An acquaintance from Facebook brought her lap dog to the rally. About halfway through, the dog had some kind of an allergic reaction to something and started choking and was unable to breathe. She said some stranger came up to them and started giving the dog mouth-to-mouth and others formed a wedge around them to help guide them through the crowd to her car so she could get the dog to an emergency vet hospital. The dog is now okay thanks to those strangers.
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 04:18 pm

Doggies who need people ... are the luckiest pooches in the world!
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Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 04:47 pm

The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
Jon Stewart's 'Rally to Restore Sanity' energizes expats from Paris to Prague

Jon Stewart's 'Rally to Restore Sanity' may have compelled some Americans living abroad to cast votes in a mid-term election they may have otherwise ignored.

By Stephen Kurczy, Staff Writer
posted October 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm EDT
Boston —

Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington has sparked more than 1,160 mini-rallies in 84 countries, morphing into something of a global political happening.

The last time a political rally in America gained such international traction was during the 2003 protests against the Iraq war, says Timothy Patrick McCarthy, director of the Human Rights and Social Movements Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

"I have been surprised by the proliferation of rallies worldwide," says Dr. McCarthy. "But I’m not sure what it means. I don’t know if this is just an outlet for people who share frustrations to come together for some cathartic exercise of political relief. But one of the things I think is interesting is there is a lot of anger and disaffection across the political spectrum."

Both American expatriates and foreign fans of "The Daily Show" and its creator, Mr. Stewart, are organizing meet-ups Saturday – everywhere from London to Tel Aviv to Seoul – to concur with the rally on the Washington Mall.

While many criticize Stewart's gathering as lacking a clear focus, some Americans living abroad say it has inspired them to take part in next week's election. Mr. Stewart organized his rally in reaction to Glenn Beck's Aug. 28 gathering at the Lincoln Memorial.

"I feel like this year, more than previous years, people here are talking about how can you download a ballot, how can you vote early," says Kathryn Brown, a registered voter in Colorado who lives with her family in Paris. "There is much more of a grassroots effort to disseminate info on how to vote."

Ms. Brown is organizing a mini-rally at The Thistle Pub in Paris. At least 80 American expatriates and French nationals are expected to participate. "The French are addicted to politics. So anything that smells of political intrigue – they just love that stuff," she says.

Brown says the popularity of Stewart, coupled with the vocal protests of the tea party movement, may well have inspired expatriates to cast ballots in this election cycle. She spent $97 on postage fees to mail her absentee ballot from Paris earlier this week.

Meanwhile, in the northeastern Mexican city of Monterrey, Guillermo Zenizo Lindsey signed an Internet petition supporting Stewart's rally, although he's not a regular watcher of "The Daily Show."

"We need a rational discussion" about things such as health care and immigration reform, he says.

In Montreal, Marc Seltzer says he expects "50 or more supporters, curious, comedy-loving rally watchers and participants" at a mini-rally he's organizing Saturday. Mr. Seltzer, the local chair of Democrats Abroad, says he was interviewed on CBC radio today about the event, which he thinks will mostly draw expatriates like himself.

"The confluence of excitement about it may very well get people to vote," he says in a telephone interview.

Stewart is appealing for a "sane" conversation about the state of US politics and policy. But the idea of an entertaining afternoon is also expected to draw people to attend the Washington rally or watch it live on Comedy Central and CNN. It will include musicians The Roots, Jeff Tweedy, and Cheryl Crow and celebrities Don Novello and Sam Waterston.

If Stewart's rally is just "another political performance catalyzed by celebrity icons," however, it is unlikely it can change the super-charged nature of American political debate, says Harvard's McCarthy.

"Perhaps it will have an energizing affect," he says. "A spike in international or expatriate participation, I think, is a great thing. But I’m not super optimistic that will happen."


The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
Jon Stewart's 'Rally to Restore Sanity' goes global, sparking events all the way to Mt. Everest

By Stephen Kurczy, Staff writer
posted October 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm EDT
Boston —

Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" has gone global, sparking sister rallies from Tel Aviv to Mt. Everest Base Camp on Oct. 30, the same day that Mr. Stewart will convene a gathering of like-minded cohorts on the Washington Mall.

"Everyone was getting excited" about the rally in Washington, says Kittie Brown, a marketing consultant and mother of three who lives in Paris. "I thought, 'Gosh, why couldn’t we just do something local?'"

And so Ms. Brown did. Through Facebook she is organizing a gathering in Champs de Mars park, with at least 100 people currently expected to attend.

"We’ll be doing it sanely and calmly and with a sense of humor. Which is a change from what's been happening," she says in a telephone interview, giving a wink to the violent French protests in recent days.

The Paris rally will be one among more than 800 happening in 67 countries, showing the popularity of Stewart and the ability of national topics such as his rally to quickly morph into international events.

Internet amplifies sentiments

Perhaps more importantly, says Archon Fung of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the rally underscores a growing appetite for more level-headed discourse. "It’s weird to see people so worked up for the sake of a more rational political process," says the professor of democracy and citizenship.

Professor Fung points out that even the grassroots coffee party, which lacks a popular leader like Stewart, accrued tens of thousands of followers within weeks of its founding last spring in its call for calm, reasonable debate over the role of government.

The Internet only amplifies these movements, says Philip Seib, a professor of journalism, public diplomacy, and international relations at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "I would think we’re going to have more and more phenomenon that start national and become global."

Amid all the Internet chatter about Stewart's rally and fellow comedian Stephen Colbert's rival "March to Keep Fear Alive," he says, "It’s a relatively easy matter for someone in Tel Aviv to say, ‘We’ve all been reading about this on the web. Why don’t we do it?’"

Which is exactly what's happening. A gathering at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque will watch the rally live in Washington. “Now is OUR time to join forces and bring the people to the streets,” the event organizers wrote on Facebook.

Stewart's rally, which comes in response to conservative television host Glenn Beck's Aug. 28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial, advertises itself as "for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard."

Promoting the Tel Aviv sister rally in The Jerusalem Post, an op-ed laments: "Here, too, sometimes it seems like only those shouting loudest are the ones being heard. ... There’s only one problem. How does one restore sanity to a part of the world where it never existed? I therefore propose calling the gathering in Israel the Rally to Introduce Sanity."

At Mt. Everest Base Camp

Similar Facebook-organized rallies may happen in Amsterdam, London, Copenhagen, Montreal, New Zealand, and Melbourne (at the Birrarung Marr BBQ Area near the river, in case you’re interested). Organizers plan to watch the rally live or show a taping. While many attendants appear to be American expatriates, locals are also joining in.

There’s even a sister rally at Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal, with organizer Scott Sevens of Las Vegas collecting Tibetan prayer flags for the event. “This rally will include some Tibetan-style symbolism," he states on Facebook.

For Americans living abroad, says Ms. Brown of the Paris rally, the anger seen in the tea party is alarming. "They’re so rabid in their protest style," she says. "It seems really bizarre, like America is losing its sense of humor."

The little 'Jon Stewarts'

Not only Americans abroad watch "The Daily Show" or will be attending the "sanity" rallies around the world, says Professor Seib. In Dubai and Kuwait, where he says he recently visited, many locals watch "The Daily Show" frequently.

"I think one of the reasons Jon Stewart is so popular in the US, and this would carry over elsewhere, is that despite the fact that he says this is basically a comedy show, it is also, in many instances, an alternative journalism," he says.

"His questions are well researched, he asks solid follow-ups ... and when you mix that with the sarcastic critique of events and policies, that has pretty substantial audience appeal. And the one thing he does not do, is he doesn’t waste time as many mainstream news organizations do chasing the celebrity scandal of the moment. He uses the conventional media as a foil and that also enhances his popularity," says Seib.

"People are dissatisfied with conventional or mainstream journalism," he adds. "That holds true in a country like Israel or the rest of the world."

And just as smaller "sanity" rallies are popping up worldwide, Seib says he would expect little "Jon Stewarts" to appear around the world, inspired by the American comedian.

Indeed, the magazine Foreign Policy recently profiled some of those people in a story titled, aptly, "The World's Jon Stewarts."
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 04:55 pm
I soo hope this is true Butrflynet.

I would love to have this political awakening to have a very positive effect on the country as well as the global community.
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:00 pm
Thanks, Butrfly. Here's a link to the Foreign Policy article -
(oh, look, there's Beppe..)
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:04 pm
I need to resubscribe to FP magazine. I let my subscription run out about 5 to 8 years ago. It was such a great magazine to turn the US foreign policy into accessible bite sized and understandable essays.
Reply Sun 31 Oct, 2010 05:12 pm
I've never read it until just now. I'll check it out online. (I suppose it's like the New Yorker, you have to subscribe to read some of the articles.) I do follow Beppe Grillo's blog, though not, er, religiously. My blog list is alive and growing moss, or maybe tentacles. That israeli fellow sounds interesting..
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