Carlos Lozada, the editor of The Washington Post’s Outlook section recently suggested that Jon Stewart cancel the Rally to Restore Sanity. This would leave me with a useless prepaid round-trip ticket from fly-over country so naturally I disagree. Lozada further opined:
We don’t need you to hold a rally to restore America’s sanity. We go to that rally every Monday through Thursday night, when we tune in to your show. We keep watching because you call out the enduring ridiculousness of politics and, for a half hour, you make us laugh about it rather than despair over it. We don’t expect you to end it or fix it; no one can, and your naming it is enough. As you told the “Crossfire” guys, you thrive on the theater of politics: “The absurdity of the system provides us the most material.”
We already have a formerly hilarious satirist turned sober politician. America doesn’t need another Al Franken. We need Jon Stewart.
We don’t expect you to end it or fix it; no one can… I can’t believe Carlos commited that to pixels! It’s that kind of negativity that we must drive out. Can we overcome that kind of pessimistic world view? Why, YES WE CAN! The upbeat, uplifting quality of absurd theater like the Rally to Restore Sanity is a good place to start. I understand the WaPo’s vested interest in dissension and conflict, in keeping the Gordian knot of American politics wound tight enough to sell advertising while maintaining the appearance of impartiality. Fortunately, there are millions of us with clear eyes and these little first amendment machines that moot the nonsensical noise emanating from Carlos and his ilk, representatives of our modern mortgaged press. Carlos had opined that we don’t need another Al Franken. Well, I opined right back at him:
I just finished your embarrassingly out of touch screed regarding Jon Stewart and the Rally to Restore Sanity, and I scarcely know where to begin my critique. Let me simply say that I disagree with much of what you wrote. Diving into the middle of things, your assertion that we don’t need another Al Franken is unconvincing at best. Of course we need more people in government of Franken’s caliber, and I daresay fewer Chuck Grassleys and Jim Demints. So if we were to lose another principled comic genius to the public stage, the country would be better off and the quality of our leadership and our governance would be improved. I could go on, but unlike you I’m not being paid for my opinion so let me be brief instead. Jon Stewart recently had Condi Rice on his show flogging her autobiographical children’s book, “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family.”
Dr. Rice was, as usual, boring and out of touch, making virtues of pugnacity and prevarication, revealing something about the foundations of the character defects that informed her leadership style. Adding insult to audience injury, someone decided to re-run that show this week.
Jon Stewart owes the country a whale of a show on October 30th, if only to make up for the tedium he visited upon us the last week or two with the Condoleezza Rice appearances.