. . . a.k.a. Jon Stewart’s “Fear of Sanity” festival.
A big turnout, (though not quite as big as Glenn Beck’s event) is not surprising.
When two wildly popular comics throw a free concert on the mall in Washington D.C. promising to feature a some kicking musical acts; add jillionaires like Arianna Huffington offering free bus transportation from New York City; and then throw in the bonus of encouraging attendees to feel superior to 80% of the U.S. population . . . well, you’re going to get a hundred thousand people or so to show up.
(For perspective, keep in mind that when Simon and Garfunkel staged a free reunion concert in Central Park back in 1981, about a half million people converged on the event.)
Naturally, at an event billed as a call for the restoration of sanity to American political discourse, many attendees wore silly costumes.
Advocates and apologists for the Stewart-Colbert event are quick to point out that, in arguably the most serious moment of the event, the playing of a slickly produced video, Keith Olbermann is held up for criticism alongside Bill O’Reilly.
Of course, it’s not that the Stewart-Colbert fans disagree with Olbermann’s politics. They just despise the uncool, ham-handed, spittle-flecked way in which he criticizes conservatives and Republicans. In other words, it’s not Olbermann’s message, it’s his style that all wrong. And with this group, everything is graded on style points.
Stewart has been tough on Obama lately and some have pointed to this as evidence against overwhelming liberal bias in the media. What these arguments ignore is that Stewart, as with Bill Maher, and other high-priest pundits of America’s emerging hipster class, is attacking Obama and the Democrats from the Left.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Respect My Authoritah|
In other words, so hyper-liberal are Stewart and friends, that the most liberal President in 100 years is too conservative for them.
In fact, in his “serious” remarks at the D.C. rally, Stewart made some excellent points about the need for compromise, concession, and conciliation in politics. But on his show in recent months, he has consistently berated Obama, Pelosi and Ried for not using the Democrat’s sizeable majorities to jam even more liberal legislation down the throats of an unwilling American public.
We used to call that hypocrisy. But I believe the hipsters view it as nuanced irony.
Update: Here’s Jim Treacher offering: “Great Moments in Civility, with Your Host, Jon Stewart”