Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The NewsBusters Trilogy, Part Three: Restoring Sanity

In Part One I talked about, I don't know…something. Wolf Blitzer, perhaps? It was a while ago. I remember Part Two, though. I discussed the complex relationship between NewsBusters—the tireless exposer of liberal bias in the media—and Jon Stewart. But that's in the past, and it's time to look toward the future. Specifically, this Saturday, when tens of thousands will converge on The National Mall for Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. If these excerpts from the website are any indication, it's definitely an event I can get behind:
We’re looking for the people who think shouting is annoying, counterproductive, and terrible for your throat; who feel that the loudest voices shouldn’t be the only ones that get heard.
Ours is a rally for the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs).
Think of our event as Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement.
    Man, respectful disagreement. I mean, I'm all for nudity and drugs too, but America sure could use a few boatloads of respectful disagreement right about now. Everything else sounds good, too.[1] No reference to any candidates or parties, and no suggestion that the rally is targeted at a particular ideology. Basically, it's not about what we're saying; it's about how we're saying it.

    Even the charity is great: the Trust for The National Mall. Because this is a gathering of people who are responsible enough to do what the government, the unions, the banks, and the oil companies haven't done in a long time—spend their own money to clean up their own mess.

    In short, it's an event no reasonable person could have a problem with. This, of course, is the point where we SMASH CUT to unreasonable people lodging unreasonable complaints (at unreasonable volumes).[2]
    The liberal media just can't stand all the attention Glenn Beck got for his "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C., last month.
    Obviously their real goal is to mock the hundreds of thousands of everyday people who gathered last month to worship God and love their country. What better way to make average Americans who dare to oppose socialism feel like freaks than with big rallies called "Keep Fear Alive" and "The Million Moderate March" (I guess Stewart won't be attending that one).
    While it seems like so many of Jon Stewart's adoring fans in the media are elated to see a counter-Tea Party, not many have been willing to call this event what it is—an event to belittle people who are exercising their rights as citizens to protest their government.
    If Arianna Huffington, an admitted "progressive," announces she's offering transportation to individuals that desire to participate in Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "million moderate march," can it really be described as "moderate?"
    Obama's endorsement clearly demonstrates a decidedly liberal slant to the event.
    In case Arianna Huffington plotting to spend an estimated quarter-million dollars on buses to the liberal Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally didn’t paint it as an Obama event, how about Oprah Winfrey? The Obama-endorsing, Obama-campaign-stumping Winfrey appeared via satellite on Thursday night’s episode of The Daily Show to announce that she was going to fly Stewart’s audience to Washington, D.C.
    If it's not obvious, all this paranoia is based on absolutely nothing, except maybe the revelation that two of the organizers used to work for Clinton, along with a mountain of deep-seated preconceptions. And I'm focusing on NewsBusters because otherwise this trilogy would be, well, unfocused, but—in terms of both content and tone—they're hardly an outlier.

    And, to be clear, I have no doubt the attendees and signs and costumes will be disproportionately liberal,[3] because conservatives just don't seem all that interested in going. And I'm sure a lot of ralliers will, in fact, expect the whole thing to be about bashing Fox News and the tea partiers, because people are staggeringly good at missing the point. And I'm sure a lot of things will be said that are aimed at Fox News and the tea partiers, because they're definitely responsible for some—not all, but some—of the idiocy that inspired the rally in the first place.

    And, of course, when those things happen, NewsBusters will report that the rally was exactly what they expected it to be.[4] But I'm getting ahead of myself (not to mention starting a few too many sentences with conjunctions in a row), which means it's probably time to wrap up this three-part mess.

    To recap, this, as far as I can tell, is the current situation:

    — Jon Stewart is holding a rally with the stated goal of restoring reasonableness and sanity, and Stephen Colbert is holding a rally to mock the divisive, hyperbolic fear-mongering that has seemingly taken over.

    — Everything Stewart has said—on his show, in interviews, and through promotional materials—has been ideologically-neutral, with frequent re-affirmations that the only characteristic attendees are expected to share is a willingness to have a reasonable conversation about politics.

    — Prominent conservative voices in the media—exemplified here by Newsbusters—have, on numerous occasions, and in no uncertain terms, insisted that the true goal of these rallies is to promote liberalism and debase conservatism.

    — The only evidence—and I use that term loosely—supporting this is that many of the organizers and supporters are liberals.

    — In other words, many conservatives,[5] based solely on an intense distrust of their ideological opponents, have convinced themselves of the existence of a vast, intricate, anti-conservative conspiracy.

    — That's insane.

    And there it is—the trajic irony of the plea for sanity: If you're listening, and if the message makes sense to you, then you're probably not the intended audience.

    1. Ok, one thing. I cringed a little when Stewart called it a "million moderate march." Moderates, in my unfairly-generalized opinion, are people who don't pay close attention to politics, but are inexplicably committed to preserving the two-party system. ("My primary sources of information are the candidates' dueling attack ads, and I only understand a few of the issues with any real depth, and there's a decent chance my decision will ultimately be based on something ridiculous, like which candidate's name sounds more like it matches my skin color, but vote for a third party? That's crazy! I can't just throw my vote away!")
    2. A trick I learned from The Daily Show, by the way.
    3. How can halloween costumes have a liberal bias? Tune in to Fox News at 5 p.m. and/or 9 p.m. on November 1st to find out.
    4. Specifically: (a) the speakers were predominately liberal, (b) Stewart made a few token attempts to appear non-partisan, but most of his rhetoric was aimed squarely at conservatives, (c) the crowd was unruly and disrespectful, and perhaps even hostile toward the few conservatives in attendance, and (d) attendance was less than expected. Maybe it'll be true; maybe not. Regardless, they'll find a reason to say it.
    5. No, not you. The other ones. You know who I'm talking about.

    1 comment:

    1. At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.
      - Friedrich Nietzsche

      Also, the red text always makes me think someone is quoting Jesus...