CBS: Stewart/Colbert Rally 'Touched Anti-Anger Nerve,' Called for 'Less Name-Calling'

On Saturday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Wyatt Andrews previewed the Washington DC 'Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear,' organized by comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: "Almost all of the folks we found said they hope it's about the moderates of America....Stewart seems to have touched what you might call the anti-anger nerve."

Andrews went on to chide conservative figures for divisiveness: "In a year when the President was called a liar and when Fox's Glenn Beck labeled the President a power-hungry socialist and a Nazi." He described how: "Stewart took Beck on." Andrews then explained that rally participants "told us they wanted less name-calling in the media and more accomplishment in Washington." However, he failed to make any mention of Stewart's own long list of vulgar name-calling incidents.

Back in October of 2008, Stewart said to then Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, "F**k you!," in front of a crowd at Northeastern University. In May of 2009, Stewart proclaimed President Harry Truman to be a war criminal for use of the atomic bomb on Japan during World War II, for which he later had to apologize. More recently, in April, Stewart assembled a choir on his show to tell media critic Bernie Goldberg and Fox News to "Go F**k Yourselves." The liberal comedian is hardly in any position to preach "anti-anger" or "less name-calling."

Wrapping up his Saturday report, Andrews noted how "Democrats hope that it [the rally] energizes their base in the same way that Beck's rally energized conservatives." He then proclaimed: "...this rally will certainly show what a cultural force Jon Stewart has become. After all, here's a comedian riling people up to try to calm things down."

On CBS's Sunday Morning, Andrews reflected on the rally and continued to praise Stewart's supposed efforts to promote civility: "Stewart explained his intent. He showed clips of cable news shouting....And appealed to the media generally to tone things down." Andrews claimed the event was "not an openly political rally," but rather, "an appeal for less heat and more light."

As NewsBusters executive editor Matt Sheffield reported on Saturday, many signs at the rally itself were hardly designed to "tone things down," including one which depicted various conservative figures with Hitler-like mustaches.  


Here is a full transcript of the October 30 report from Andrews:

8:00AM ET TEASE:

CHRIS WRAGGE: A rally to restore sanity. This morning thousands gather as Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert stage their rally at the capital. Some are calling it the political process in action others are calling it a comedy of historic proportions.

8:17AM ET SEGMENT:

WHIT JOHNSON: Well, today the nation's capital is bracing for the 'Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.' It's been organized by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. There are sure to be some laughs but their ultimate goals remain unclear. CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews is live from the National Mall with more. Wyatt, good morning.

WYATT ANDREWS: Whit, good morning. Stewart and Colbert actually have a permit for 60,000 people to 'Rally for Sanity and/or Fear.' So, who's appearing on this stage today is still part secret. But we're told it's going to be entertainers and not politicians. Who's actually coming to this rally? Almost all of the folks we found said they hope it's about the moderates of America.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Rally to Restore Sanity; Political Movement or A Few Laughs?]

[CROWD CHEERING]

JON STEWART: It is happening, people. It is happening.

ANDREWS: Like all of Jon Stewart's comedy, the very name of today's rally is a political joke.

STEPHEN COLBERT: To restore Sanity and/or Fear.

ANDREWS: A joke that his audience understood and is now responding to. Ron Honn and his wife, Vickie, organized three bus loads of people to come from Oklahoma. A sixty-hour trip, Ron says, to stand up for political sanity.

RON HONN: We've got to learn to talk to each other and learn how to not be crazy and angry and – and let that be our only voice.

ANDREWS: Stewart seems to have touched what you might call the anti-anger nerve. In a year when the President-

JOE WILSON: You lie!

ANDREWS: -was called a liar and when Fox's Glenn Beck labeled the President a power-hungry socialist and a Nazi.

STEWART: Glenn Beck is right. This is America-

ANDREWS: Stewart took Beck on.

STEWART: No one should tell us what we need to start doing.

GLENN BECK: Here's what you need to start doing.

[CROWD LAUGHING]

ANDREWS: Fans going to the rally told us they wanted less name-calling in the media and more accomplishment in Washington.

RICK HIND: There's too much hate going on in – in political speech.

ANDREWS: Stewart says the rally will not be political but the President appeared on his show for a full half hour and Democrats hope that it energizes their base in the same way that Beck's rally energized conservatives. Stewart has joked the key difference will be in the handheld signs.

STEWART: I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler.

[CROWD LAUGHING]

ANDREWS: Outside of the politics of all this, though, this rally will certainly show what a cultural force Jon Stewart has become. After all, here's a comedian riling people up to try to calm things down. Whit.

JOHNSON: Alright, Wyatt Andrews for us, thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC