The Rally To Restore Sanity is over. Yesterday, the National Mall was packed solid with people being, well, reasonable. Folks came from all over the USA: buses, trains and planes were sold out well in advance, and vacant hotel rooms anywhere near DC were either non-existent, or very expensive. The HuffPo put on two hundred buses to take 10,000 attendees from New York.
How popular was the gathering? One direct comparison with a previous event came from CBS News, who had earlier estimated the turnout from the “Restoring Honor” rally at 87,000, that being the shameless attempt to hijack the legacy of Martin Luther King by Glenn Beck, increasingly wayward “star” of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
CBS put the attendance of yesterday’s event at 215,000 – well over twice the number that had come to see Beck and probable GOP 2012 hopeful Sarah Palin. That the Rally To Restore Sanity was hosted by Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, who appear on Comedy Central, yet are taken more seriously than much of the MSM in the US, should not be lost on anyone.
Stewart’s closing speech, following on an afternoon of comedy and music, was heartfelt and memorable. You can read it in full at the foot of this posting. Whether the 24-hour media machine pays any attention is another thing.