THE DAILY SHOW – the satirical US comedy programme which airs on More4 in this country – will host a ‘rally to restore sanity’ in Washington DC this afternoon.
The event, presenter Jon Stewart says, is an attempt to counter the conservative resurgence – particularly that of the Tea Party movement - in the country’s mid-term elections, which are held next week.
In contrast to those of Fox News personality Glenn Beck however, this event will be fun, Stewart says, with thousands of liberal fans filling the capital with pithy placards typical of the mood.
This morning Stewart crushed fellow satirist and faux rival Stephen Colbert in a head-to-head matchup for the presidency of the United States “on the eve of their respective marches for sanity, fear, satire and non-candidacy”.
In a measure of the pair’s influence, 42% of registered voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’d support Stewart for president, vs. 22 % for Colbert. Twenty-one percent wouldn’t support either; the rest have no opinion – or maybe no television.
The pair – who play up to right versus left antipathy on Comedy Central – expect contrasting rallies also.
Stewart’s website describes the sanity march as “Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement” and for Colbert, the “March to Keep Fear Alive,” specifically the fear “that someone might take our Freedom and Liberty.”
His website urges packing “five extra sets of underwear.” Opinion writers describe the day out as ‘Facebook group in the flesh.’
Some are taking the rally at face value, however, and plan to turn up with banners proclaiming themselves part of the reasonable majority, liberal or conservative, against the rightwing conspiracy theories that have swept America over the past two years.
The Huffington Post are running free buses to the event and will liveblog throughout the day.