On the Colbert Report tonight, the eponymous host lamented the fact that his "March to Keep Fear Alive" only had about half as many RSVPs on Facebook as Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity". So, I'd like to speak out in support for Colbert's march.
The reason why has to do with the way Stewart presented his competing event. And I realize that this is the third post criticizing The Daily Show in one month; I really do like the show, which is why I find it disappointing when it falls short of expectations. Anyways, the problem: Stewart positioned himself as a moderate, situated between the extremists of both the left and right, which right away made me suspicious because the left wing really has no political representation in the United States, so whatever "middle ground" there is between political parties is skewed to the right. He showed clips of political activists acting kooky. I didn't recognize most of the left-wing activists. The one clip I did recognize was of Lady Gaga (natch) screaming, "ARE YOU LISTENING?" into the microphone at a gay rights rally a while ago (the question was directed at President Obama).
Now, I am of the opinion that marginalized people demanding their rights, no matter how uncivilly, are not in the same category as those insisting that the President of the United States is a Marxist-terrorist-antichrist. In fact, I find it profoundly unreasonable to expect marginalized groups to rationally argue that they should enjoy equal rights. As I am fond of saying, it is the nature of equality that it cannot be "given" - equality can only be claimed. I think it's presumptuous of Stewart to position himself the way he has, and that it sets up a false equivalence between activists on the left and on the right.
Oh, and I'm also tired of hearing that only left-wing extremists accuse W. Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney of being war criminals, as though the accusations spring from zany opinions, instead of from the fact that engaging in a war of aggression makes them war criminals, by definition.
Colbert, on the other hand, just straight-up satirizes right-wingers. And that's something I can get behind.