media, Politics and Grassroots

Jon Stewart vs. the Internet

One interesting sub-plot to come out of Saturday’s Rally for Sanity is a minor feud between online communities who carried the torch for the rally and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who are decidedly apathetic about the role online organizing had in making their rally a success.

Much of this may stem from some rally-goers/rally-supporters misunderstanding that, although event was politically-themed, it was essentially a free concert featuring comedy and music.  The message Stewart delivered in his self-important address at the end was more critical of the media than any other institution, and attempted to be inclusive of all political leanings in urging respect and courtesy.  Sure, it probably would have gone over better if it had come from someone who doesn’t make a living ridiculing other people, but that’s another topic.

The point is that despite Stewart’s 12-minute rant at the end, this was not an important event.  It was a fun event.  There was no call for participation, and many of the signs in the audience were more political satire than political commentary.

Despite the idea of some on the progressive side that this was a call to action and the flash point of a counter to the Tea Party, it really was the Million Meh March for people who just wanted to have a good time.  Online communities may have helped advertise for it, but Stewart and Colbert’s lack of gushing thanks is not worth getting worked up over.

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