Stewart, Colbert To Host Dueling Rallies In D.C.

Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert announced Thursday that they will hold dueling rallies on the National Mall on Oct. 30 . Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" are thinly veiled parodies of Glenn Beck's recent "Restoring Honor Rally" in Washington last month.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

DAVID GREENE, host:

And I'm David Greene. Three weeks ago, Glenn Beck of FOX News inspired a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event, he said, was meant to help restore America's honor.

As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, that rally has, in turn, inspired Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK: Slap-down, satire, backhanded homage, make of it what you will. Last night, Jon Stewart told viewers that he will hold a Million-Moderate March in Washington on October 30th for people of goodwill who aren't animated by the blood sport that passes for debate on cable news.

Mr. JON STEWART: Why don't we hear from the 70 to 80 percenters? Well, most likely because you have (bleep) to do.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. STEWART: But that ends tonight. For tonight I announce the rally to restore sanity.

(Soundbite of applause)

FOLKENFLIK: And Stewart says his clarion call for rationality cannot be easily dismissed.

Mr. STEWART: We are here. We are only here, though, until six because we have a sitter.

FOLKENFLIK: It was a sly but tangible response to the Beck rally back on August 28th on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, exactly the day and spot of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. GLENN BECK: We simply must remember who we were, who we've been, who we can be, not what we've allowed ourselves to become.

FOLKENFLIK: Though not officially a FOX event, the other big draw was Sarah Palin, also a commentator for that network.

Ms. SARAH PALIN (Author, "Going Rouge"): We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want. We must restore America and restore her honor.

FOLKENFLIK: And indeed, last night, the alleged Comedy Central conservative Stephen Colbert promised to defend America's honor at his own rally the same October day, The March to Keep Fear Alive.

Mr. STEPHEN COLBERT: Well, I am sorry, Jon Stewart. I will not take it down a notch. I will notch it up a skoch.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. COLBERT: Need I point out that reason is just one letter away from treason?

FOLKENFLIK: No, no need at all.

David Folkenflik, NPR News.

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