So what exactly was Saturday’s Rally To Restore Sanity?
‘Daily Show‘ host and rally master of ceremonies Jon Stewart, standing on the giant stage in Washington, D.C.’s National Mall, asked that question at the conclusion of the half-day event that the AP said poked “fun at the nation’s ill-tempered politics, its fear-mongers and doomsayers.”
(The NY Times characterized it as “in part, as an expensive, engrossing act of media criticism.” Also, various media outlets estimated the crowd at over 200,000 compared to the 85,000 that turned for Glenn Beck’s rally.)
Up till that point, the rally had presented political satire and loads of comedy, as well as some pretty great music, and finally just a darn good time on a beautiful afternoon to folks from across the country bound by fatigue of the cable news bombast and the ineffectiveness of elected officials focused more on pleasing partisan analysts than coming up with answers.
But then Stewart needed to sum up the day, the event, and the effort – and he turned serious, or relatively serious.
“I know that there are boundaries for a comedian / pundit / talker guy, and I’m sure that I’ll find out tomorrow how I have violated them,” he said. “So, uh, what exactly was this? I can’t control what people think this was: I can only tell you my intentions…”
He then went on to deliver a clear, inspiring, occasionally funny, and, well, downright sane message. Pundits and journalists have sited Stewart’s closing remarks as an event highpoint, not to mention a defining moment, literally and figuratively. So watch it below – and share your thoughts.