As this weekend's tragic events intersect direly with last autumn's Rally To Restore Sanity, I'm sure that many of you are as interested as I am as to how Jon Stewart and the writers of "The Daily Show" might address this matter. As we know from the show's post-9/11 broadcast, Stewart and company have previously grappled with tragedy in a sincere and moving way. But tonight will be an interesting moment, in terms of how firmly Stewart reclaims the mantle of "sanity" and pushes the momentum of his rally.
This comes on a day where Townhall has apparently named Stewart as the 28th "most dangerous liberal in America," I guess for his insistence that the people who risked their lives to save people on 9/11 should have health care.
While acting as a formidable political opinion maker, Stewart inoculates himself against serious criticism by playing the "I'm just a comedian" card. This artifice has become known among conservatives as the Jon Stewart "clown nose on, clown nose off " routine.
Perhaps hinting at the coverage tonight, the keepers of the show's Facebook page today embedded the below segment from April, entitled "Clash Of The Teatans." The segment dealt with right-wing extremism, but there's a twist: it depicts the extremism of establishment Republicans, suggesting that "If the Tea Party is going to have any mainstream success, it's going to have to distance itself from" them.
At the Rally To Restore Sanity, Stewart insisted, "This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith, or people of activism, or look down our noses at the heartland, or passionate argument." He further suggested that "not being able to distinguish between the real racists, and Tea Partiers" was an "insult" to both. Instead, he cited the media and politicians in Washington as the chief drivers behind the degradation of our discourse.