George Graham

Mr. Stewart Goes to Washington. Mr. Colbert, Too

I hope the “dueling” Washington marches planned for Oct. 30 by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert attract a million people. I hope the crowd carries hilarious signs, and I hope the speakers say things that make great sound bites.

I hope the event gets maximum coverage.

Most of all, I hope the idiot right takes it all seriously. And it looks as if that’s just what they’re doing.

According to an article in, “conservatives” are attacking the New York Times and the Washington Post for publishing uncritical articles announcing the Comedy Central event. The critics charge that Stewart and Colbert are getting a “pass” from the media while Glenn Beck drew skeptical coverage of his recent rally.

The Politico writers, Ben Smith and Keach Hagey, say the media are treating the upcoming march as a political event. C-SPAN has applied to carry it live, they report.

And they argue the event could affect the turnout for America’s mid-term elections.

Heather Smith, the president of the group Rock the Vote, is quoted in the Politico piece as saying, “It’s like the country’s largest P.S.A., raising awareness and telling young people that there is an election a few days later.”

The satirical march seems to have hit a nerve in an environment roiled by overheated rhetoric and preposterous self-aggrandizement. The Politico piece observes:

At a moment when cool, hard irony – a reaction to the heat of the Tea Party movement – appears to have replaced the hope that buoyed Comedy Central’s young viewers during the 2008 presidential campaign, the rally will be the Democrats’ last best chance to convince a crucial demographic to focus on the midterm elections – and to vote Nov. 2nd.

On Facebook on Monday afternoon, more than 98,000 people said they planned to attend the event, and an additional 50,000 said they might attend, Politico reported.

Glenn Beck has been bragging about the crowd he drew and how passionate they were. I hope Stewart and Colbert make a mockery of Beck’s claims by attracting a bigger crowd to what will be essentially an anti-passion event.

If this doesn’t show how ridiculous the Tea Party “movement” is, I can’t imagine what would.

With the mid-term elections coming up a few days after the march, a dose of sanity could give American voters a much-needed perspective on the claims and counter-claims being bruited about by apparently unhinged politicians and their wild-eyed followers.

And the saner voters might decide to turn up at the polls, after all.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for