Stewart & Colbert Host "Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear"

(CNN) -- Ethan Williamson traveled from Wilmington, North Carolina, to the nation's capital Saturday with a clear message in mind: To support sanity in politics.

Williamson, 45, was just one of the thousands who ventured to the National Mall in Washington to see the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" -- the brainchild of Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

The crowds spilled throughout the streets near the capital building and onto the grassy Mall. Many found it difficult to hear what was coming from on stage, though word-of-mouth clued them in. People were especially thrilled when Cat Stevens, who now goes by Yusuf Islam, and Ozzy Osbourne treated the audience to a couple of songs.

Williamson waved a sign defending the use of taxes -- something the Tea Party movement has used as a rallying cry to change government. His sign read: "Stop Socialism -- Boycott Public roads, bridges, air traffic control, public sewers, fire fighters, police."

"It [the rally] almost feels like the only answer to the ridiculous extremes that we're seeing -- to laugh about it," he said. "It's the only way to release the inherent conflict and tension that is created by that."

Stewart and Colbert's skewering of the media, Democrats and Republicans has been lauded as a great way to appeal to a large segment of the population, especially young voters, frustrated by politicians and the murky political process that takes place in Congress.

Alex, who didn't want his last name used, displayed his sign, which showed the iconic American eagle with an American flag heart with the words "The heart of America is the Center" over the picture.

"I think it's important that we have some sensibility in our politics these days," he said. "There's a lot of emotions running high. People are using a lot more of their emotions than their sensibilities."

The 32-year-old, who lives blocks away from the event, said the crowd and the atmosphere is similar to what he found when he attended Barack Obama's presidential inauguration.

"This is one of the biggest things I've seen here. Anytime you can't move on to a part of the Mall, you know that's it's really massive."

After watching the show, Alex said that he only had one complaint. He would have preferred that Colbert's fear rally and Stewart's sanity rally would have marched toward each other, face off and then shake hands in a symbolic gesture.

The moment that stuck out for him?

"Definitely when Stephen Colbert's underneath the stage in the fear box and then when he came up in the Evel Knievel suit. That was classic. That was outstanding."

Beth Peter traveled from Las Vegas, Nevada, to rally for sanity -- though she had another reason. She said she was also showing her opposition to Nevada Republican senatorial candidate and Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.

"She scares the bejesus out of me," Peter said. "I am a Harry Reid voter -- he is the lesser of two evils, which is kind of bad that our elections have turned out to be who's not the worst. It's depressing."

Peter, 29, said attending the rally was about having the chance to go and be politically active without having to stand on a soap box and scream.

Like Peter, one Dallas, Texas, native said the rally was a great way to show there's resistance to the growing influence of the Tea Party movement, which is often taken to task by Stewart and Colbert.

"I'm glad people are coming out here and doing this and showing there is resistance towards the Tea Party -- especially during this essential time," said Megha, 19, who is a student at Georgetown University.

"It's a pressing problem right now. If we keep this fear alive, the Tea Party will start gaining some serious seats and that's frightening."

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta
TM & © 2010 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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  • by Anonymous on Nov 2, 2010 at 06:52 PM
    Obama Snake Oil Co and Really?, find a new hobby. You're never going to convince each other or anyone else that you are right. After seeing the way OSOC pollutes this entire web site with junk, I have to assume that this is some bored citizen with absolutely nothing better to do than post ignorant comments on every news story just to get people fired up. He probably posts the most absurd thing he can think of just to see how people react - because none of his statements are without bias and ignorance. Get a life, man.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Nov 2, 2010 at 04:50 PM
    Really? I really don't care as it doesn't really matter. Obviously, the fact that the report from the park ranger in charge of the beck rally was done away with, doesn't bother you. Close minded? Really? Since you are Soros sheep, you need to get ready for passover tonight....all those close minded people will vote today and take our you Soros appointees. Well, since you are sheep...run Really run.....Forrest Gump. It really doesn't bother you that most of the facts have dissappeard off the net? Do you not understand what is really going on or do you really need to run? You are merely a sheep to the slaughter...you fell for the ploy, however, I knew many that did too, however, again, they learned about it. You are still in that world...good luck with that.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 2, 2010 at 02:59 PM
    to Really? and Obama Snake Oil Co - get a life. As entertaining as this bickering is, you're not convincing anyone and you're both going to regurgitate what ever bias suits your fancy. After seeing the way OSOC pollutes this cite with crap, i have to assume he's just some bored citizen who has created this persona to stir people up and make really ignorant comments just to see how people explode at their absurdity. It was a freaking rally held by comedians. You should channel all this misplaced energy into something constructive, like basket weaving.
  • by Really? on Nov 2, 2010 at 01:24 PM
    So based on your argument, WITN are a bunch of liberals controlling the ENC with their NBC lies? Your arguments are weak, unfounded, and lacking sufficient data to support them. Those images were all taken from ground level which gives the perception of a larger crowd (again not saying that there were not 200K people there, but saying 800K from ground level pictures is not evidence.) At Stewart's rally I could barely see the stage (mainly b/c I am tall), but shorter people near me could not even see the screens, so to them they could think there were 1 million people there, but from a DIFFERENT perspective (mine) I could clearly see it was more like 100-200k. Oh well, we will never agree on anything. I love my home, but sometimes I feel like ENC will never be able to keep up with the rest of the world due to ignorant, close minded people like yourself.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Nov 2, 2010 at 11:41 AM
    Well Really, if Fox didn't have it it isn't true. Again, what part of the Soros war do you not understand? So if the national radio show airs it, its factual....isn't that like a friend of my brothers cousin heard it? Soros web sites and liberal spin sites control at least the 10 pages on each story. Don't believe me...you should look for yourself. Google Beck or any Fox commentator. I don't rely on anybody, especially not....you. It is annoying to search for facts to find the liberal media clouds them with missinfo and spin. Well, it didn't work as most of us know what is going on. If you really don't know about Soros, I suggest you start learning about him. These are photos from 828...notice it had to come from Becks site..... http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/45087/
  • by Really? on Nov 2, 2010 at 09:53 AM
    HAHA you crack me up. There were other sites that had the story, but just randomly picked that one (honestly heard it on a morning nationally syndicated comedy radio show and it was first hit on Google) . No Fox does not have this story, but since it would have shown that the Stewart Rally had a higher attendance than Beck's, it does not surprise me. But seriously, I rode the Metro that day, and it was by far the most people I have ever seen in the metro ever. I also rode the metro during Beck's rally and it was packed, but not nearly as much as this past weekend. During Beck's rally, people were able to get into the cars at stops closer to DC, but last weekend once the train got to DCA, no more people were able to get on. Oh well, republicans will probably win, repeal health care, and boost your pharma business and give you lots of money like you want.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Nov 2, 2010 at 08:55 AM
    Really? So you really trust the DC metro and the news media? Sorry, only Fox gives the facts. The Raw Story is a liberal alternative news counterpoint to the Drudge Report, culling liberal news, politics and alternative news from around the globe. Really? right off of the internet....you really don not get it?
  • by Really? on Nov 2, 2010 at 06:16 AM
    OSOC, I think that this story (reported by the DC metro) pretty much settles the attendance debate (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/stewart-rally-helps-metro-set-record/)...but I am sure you will say "Soros paid people to just ride the metro to make it appear that lots of people were there." What is more remarkable about this is that most Tea Party people DO NOT live in DC, so they were forced to park and ride. Well, if that was the case, and the attendance was really 800,000 as you claim, then the metro would have demolished this record then due to increases from the rally and also normal ridership. Go ahead and find some holes in this story. :)
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Nov 2, 2010 at 05:32 AM
    Snake Killer, so you are one of those Obama voters? Wow, you voted for the worst president in the history of our nation since Jimmy Carter....you really proud of that? I just call it like it is, you call it with denial. So you going to Soros's websites for you spin? Newscorpse? Try again....
  • by snake killer on Nov 1, 2010 at 04:29 PM
    OSOC Has about 5-8 professions at the same time, they change each month of so. He also never finds anything negative to say about the loons on the far right. He is obsessed with Soros and Obama, and will say anything, no matter how idiotic about them, without any facts or documentation to prove it, only opinionated views. 800,000 at Becks rally? What a joke. Remember how Fox lied about past rally's: http://www.newscorpse.com/ncWP/?p=1450
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