Is Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear a political event? NPR—which is currently having its own problems defining the limits of public commentary with its Juan Williams scandal—says so, having forbidden its reporters to attend the event. In an essay in this week’s print TIME (not yet available online), I look at the philosophies of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, whose hosts have gotten increasingly involved in real-world issues, and at how the rally works as a real-life extension of the shows’ theme: the defense of rationality in an irrational age.
One reason people are having such trouble agreeing on how “political” the rally is is that we have a hard time distinguishing political (having a specific point of view) from partisan (working pointedly to make a certain side win). To me, Comedy Central’s lineup is more the former than the latter, but I’m curious to hear what you think. And on a related (nonpolitical, I think) note, did anyone catch Night of Too Many Stars on Comedy Central last night?