Jon Stewart Rally Live: Blogging to 'Restore Sanity' (photos)
Updated: October 30, 2010 - 07:07 pm
6:49: First, the TBD logo appeared on the rally jumbotron, and now this! Ryan Kearney, who is writing this entry in the third person, was the overeager student at the front of the class at the post-rally press conference, constantly raising his hand until finally called upon by the National Press Club emcee. When Kearney stated his name and affiliation, Stewart said, "Was that you guys that did a funny article about all of the handwringing?"
That Stewart thought this story was funny made the reporter immediately sweat and shake like he had a tropical fever. "That was me," Kearney managed to say.
"That was really good."
"Actually, I wanted to ask you —"
Kearney, feeling Arianna Huffington and Christiane Amanpour's eyes on him, then forgot his question. The walls closed in on him. The lights brightened doubly. One heartbeat, two heartbeats. Finally, in jumbled diction, he asked why Stewart thought "cultural critics" were so critical of the rally.
"They're broken human beings," joked Stewart. "No idea. It's certainly their right. Nothing happens in anonymity anymore. Again, we've been in this business a really long time and developed a pretty thick skin, and as far as criticism — or praise, quite frankly — believe me, that comes with a huge grain of salt as well. And so, I have failed miserably in this business and I have succeeded certain times as well—"
"Yes, you have," said Colbert, referring to the former.
"Alright! The list goes on! I know my resume."
The emcee interjected, and Stewart never got around to finishing his thought, which was just as well because Kearney's iPhone battery had just died on him.
Other comments from the press conference:
"We're not running for anything," Stewart said, insisting he just makes a TV show so that Comedy Central "can sell beer to young people."
About his concluding speech at the rally, Stewart said, "I stayed up late last night and wrote until I was done." Quipped Colbert, "I improvised everything I did."
Stewart said he spoke to Rick Sanchez days after the former CNN anchor was fired for his remarks about Stewart, joking that Sanchez's comments during their phone conversation were "pretty anti-Semitic. It was vicious."
Huffington said she wanted to shelve her "journalistic objectivity" to "say that this was awesome, and I was moved."
As for the merits of his profession relative to, say, that of a politician or journalist, Stewart said, "I'm not 'just a comedian.' I'm really proud that I'm a comedian."
4:14: TBDNight is LIVE. Tweet your photos, horror stories, happiness, soon-to-be-regretted hookups, etc. using #tbdnight hashtag.
4:03: Sarah Larimer says sanitation sitch is pretty much locked down now. High jinks with Fox News truck going on, though. She saw eight people taking their photos with the truck, presumably ironically. Someone slapped a "VOTE SANITY" sticker on the truck. The truck drove off. Larimer, in a feat that should inspire her colleagues, ran alongside it to try to determine whether it was network or local. "Network!" a guy in the truck shouted. Larimer reports that people were booing the Fox News truck as it drove away.
3:41: Why are you not on a Metro train right now? Metro is counting the numbers why. These are the preliminary totals it has released: As of 3 p.m. 359,988 have entered system. On a typical Saturday, it has 350,000 for the entire day.
3:35: Pennsylvania Avenue SE is totally not clear. "It is standing room only in terms of eating and drinking," Dave Jamieson reports.
3:31: McPherson Square is also clear in terms of Metro access.
3:19: Bruce DePuyt (!) reports:
VERY peaceful, diverse crowd, though.
Content to hang out with like-minded strangers.
Best signs (all hand-made):
"I think better when you're not yelling at me."
"We're all in this together."
"I'm not Hitler. You're not Hitler."
Lots of cop cars going by lights and sirens. Somehow don't think anyone really planned for anything this big.
3:17: Mathis: Mount Vernon Square Metro is not too bad.
3:15: Larimer: Lines to get out of rally much longer than lines at Porta Potties, which are reasonable. Five deep at most. Larimer went in one Porta Potty that had someone on top of it. She says it wasn't too weird: you can "see thin outlines" of the percher. For Porta Potties that have gone through this much, she says, they're in pretty good shape. Kind of smelly, no TP. "Not a hazardous waste zone," she says.
3:07: The lines to get through the turnstyle at Metro Center are backed up to the elevators, Twitter reports say.
3:06 "There are lines to get into RFD and Fado in Chinatown. No line at Hooters!" says Sommer Mathis.
3:05: Izadi: It's so crowded by 7th and Constitution that a few people are freaking out because no one can move. If you're coming for a nice, relaxing afternoon and to enjoy seeing some cra-azy! signs, you're better off closer to 14th street. You can't see any screens from 7th anyway and it's like a can of sardines here. Seems that diehard out of towners who camped out early this morning won out.
2:46: L'Enfant Plaza update: It was the 9th and D escalator where they injuries occured. Spokesman Pete Piringer says, "We're working on getting patients out of here. It appears to have been a malfunction but maybe it was just overcrowding."
2:42: Rebecca A. Cooper visits one of the crown jewels of the Clyde's Restaurant Group: "Room at corner bar at Old Ebbitt. Only one TV though, and its on mute so you have to read subtitles. And it's probably blocked by the chandelier. But people are in good spirits."
2:37: If Brian Stelter is right, Bill Line IS GONNA BE PEEVED.
2:31: Reports of large crowd and an escalator malfunction at L'Enfant Plaza Metro. Injuries.
2:29: Brian Stelter of New York Times tweets:
Publicly, Parks Service doesn't estimate crowds. Privately, it has told Viacom there are "well over 200,000" people at the rally, exec says.
2:22: Sorry, but one-two punch of Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock has robbed me of will to live. Kearney and Godfrey: Stewart/Colbert duet: Lyrics: B
2:18: Rebecca A. Cooper: At Laughing Man Tavern. Room to go in, but one bartender working. Not possible to get a beer or anything else. Several people walked out when they realized special music guest was Kid Rock, not Bruce Springsteen.
2:12: Jamieson: I've seen three signs calling for the release of Lindsay Lohan, and zero signs calling for the release of an actual political prisoner
2:09: Kearney and Godfrey: "Roots are an A w/o Legend." Stick with the C! They are the definition of C! Cowards.
2:03: Rebecca A. Cooper reports that the Capital City Brewing Co. at 11th and H Street is bananas. "Line out the door," she says. No sitting inside, obv.
2:01: Kearney: "For the record I haven't seen one misspelled sign." He and Godfrey give Tweedy and Staples a B. That seems high to me. I've had three cups of coffee and am vibrating like Kerry King's E string, and that nearly put me to sleep.
1:59: Reports TBD on Twitter: As it did with the #beckrally, @dcfireems is calling in the Mass Casualty Task Force to assist with casualties at #rally4sanity.
1:58: Multiple reports that the TBD logo was on the screens for some reason. No idea why this would be.
1:45: Kearney and Godfrey: Ozzy and Cat got A+ merely for sharing the same stage; combined music was an avant-garde D-. But the O'Jays do indeed get an A+. People dancing all over the place.
1:43: People are abandoning the Mall en masse, report Judkis and Cooper. "Mass exodus," says Judkis, who reckons many people are heading to bars near Union Station.
1:39: Larimer: Cops are kicking people off Porta Potties. Billie Madley tells Larimer that the cops weren't as bad as the people yelling at her because she was blocking their view. They were "that kind of yelling white people," Madley says. They were loud. They were "snarling like one of those rabid dogs."
"Almost like tea party people, really irate," she says. Larimer asked her if riding the plastic pony was OK, she said there was "some aroma" but her only regret was getting down when the cop came. She felt like an idiot for doing that.
Christian Hart was asked by police to get down but did not. Larimer asked if people using the Porta Potty complained about him being atop them. No, he says. "They were concerned if I was gonna fall on top of them."
1:32: Godfrey and Kearney are grading acts.
The Roots (w/o Legend):
(w/ Legend): C+
Father Guido Sarducci (over 40): C
(under 40): F
Sam Waterston: B-
1:26: Larimer reports that at least two Porta Potties by the NGA west building are being crushed under weight of people standing on them. This is bad news! She's also stepped in horseshit (taking the beat seriously!) and tripped over a small child.
1:24: The building Larimer thought was the National Archives is the National Gallery of Art. (She's from Illinois.) I'll correct below when I get a sec.
1:23: Jamieson says things are really jammed up by Joseph Henry statue on south side of Mall. Past there you can move.
1:22: Judkis: Sane Clown Posse is giving up, going to a bar. They cannot hear bupkus.
1:19: Kearney: "French AP woman is freaking out about technical difficulties! "This is a disaster!" she keeps saying. She looks like she's been sucking on a lemon."
1:08: The building Larimer thought was the National Archives may in fact be Museum of Natural History. She's going to investigate, and if necessary we'll correct and then blog about it a bunch!
1:06: Maura Judkis reports from in front of Museum of Natural History that no one can hear. People are shouting "LOUDER." People who can hear are returning a chant of "CHOWDER," which seems uncool.
12:52: Dave Jamieson reports that organizers are sending people to other side of Mall. There is no entering Mall at 7th Street. The crowd is spilling way over onto the non-rally site. Elahe Izadi reports that the only chant she is hearing is "LOUDER!"; that people near her were much more interested in seeing people climb trees than John Legend's set or the Mythbusters guys.
12:35: Patrick W. Gavin, the intrepid Politico reporter, continues tweeting about sign topics. And there's nothing we like more on this live blog than signs: "Sign topics (cont'd): 4) Something about masturbation 5) Don't stomp my head 6) Life's not that bad, chill."
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