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Jon Stewart's Rally Repudiates Tea Party Madness


photo © 2010 A.M. Stan for AlterNet

The most searing montage was saved for last, one in which Glenn Beck was featured prominently -- calling the president a racist and progressivism a cancer -- but also MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews, all in snips in which they charged either Tea Partiers or, in Olbermann's case, Rush Limbaugh, with being racist. Alan Grayson's "Republicans want you to die, and die quickly" speech from the House floor, which he made during the debate over health-care reform legislation, was also featured. There was also a snip of Frank Schaefer, who has written for AlterNet, referring to the religious right as "a village idiot." Right-wing figures in the montage included, in addition to Beck, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity, as well as Ann Coulter.

Fair? If you're judging by who started it, no. If you're judging by the veracity of the claims, mixed. (I think it's pretty safe to say the radio talk-show host who played a song parody called "Barack, the Magic Negro" is, if not racist himself, aiding and abetting racism.)

But if you're judging by tone alone, then, point taken.

Still, for all the service Stewart and Colbert provided to their country by bringing a multitude of well-behaved liberals to the Mall on Saturday, they passed up one giant, important opportunity. They could have asked their audience -- which reaches far beyond the mild-mannered mob on the Mall that assembled this weekend -- to simply vote. If they're right -- that most Americans just want a sane political discourse -- then they could have done an even greater service by urging all those sane Americans to get to the voting booths this Tuesday, and pull the lever for somebody who's not crazy.
Correction: The original version of this story misidentified the name of Ozzie Osbourne's former band, and the species of animal whose head he bit off. H/t digby.For more of Adele Stan's photos of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, click here.

Jon Stewart's closing remarks at the Rally to Restore Sanity.