Jon Stewart says that his Rally to Restore Sanity — and Stephen Colbert’s sister event, March to Keep Fear Alive — are not meant to counter Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor event of last August. “The march is like everything that we do, just a construct … to translate the type of material that Stephen and I do” on The Daily Show and Colbert Report, Stewart said at a Q&A last night at New York’s 92nd Street Y. Instead, the rallies are meant to satirize the political process, and the news coverage spawned from it. “I’m less upset about politicians than the media,” Stewart, who was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter , said, adding that he “very much” wanted to avoid claims that his rally was a response to Beck’s.
The Rally to Restore Sanity and March to Keep Fear Alive will take place in Washington, D.C. on October 30th. (Halloween costumes will likely be involved.) “Think of our event as Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement; the Million Man March, only a lot smaller, and a bit less of a sausage fest; or the Gathering of the Juggalos, but instead of throwing our feces at Tila Tequila, we’ll be actively not throwing our feces at Tila Tequila,” goes a description on the Rally to Restore Sanity site.
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Conservative host Bill O’Reilly has declined Stewart’s invitation to appear at his rally. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, said he was “amused” by the idea. Speaking to students yesterday about how the media has become “very splintered,” with extreme tones from both conservative and liberal commentators, Obama said, “Jon Stewart, the host of The Daily Show, apparently he is going to host a rally called something like Americans in Favor of a Return to Sanity or something like that. And his point was, you know, 70 percent of the people, it doesn’t matter what their political affiliation are, 70 percent of the folks are just like you, which is they’re going about their business, they’re working hard every day, they’re looking after their families.”