After all the pre-announcement announcements, after all the build-up, after the thought that it was all a stunt to get folks to tune in to Comedy Central, has come the news that there really will be a rally on the National Mall next month in Washington DC, hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Those other broadcasters who checked with the authorities found out that Stewart and Colbert had applied for permits for a gathering on October 30 – they were for real. And there will be two competing rallies, which no doubt will add to the fun: this is an event devised by people who have retained their sense of humour.
But there is a serious purpose behind the rallies – “Rally to Restore Sanity” with Stewart, and “March to Keep Fear Alive” with Colbert – and that is to provide some kind of counter to the hyperbolic, angry and frequently irrational tone of the so-called “Tea Party” movement. Will many citizens be there? I think so.
And Stewart is taking his campaign into the lion’s den this week, as he makes another appearance on Wednesday with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). The feedback to the announcement on the HuffPo alone has been overwhelming – over 12,500 comments so far – and this campaign could really take off.
Which might be no bad thing.