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Poking Fun at Power

In by Kit, Crossing the pond, International, Zeitgeist on October 31, 2010 at 18:06

y last post was about an unspoken voice standing up for itself- the ‘Protest the Pope’ march held last month against Pope Benedict’s “state” visit to the UK. I’m overjoyed that I get to comment on a similar event (although more ironic than emotional) again in the aftermath of the ‘Rally to restore sanity and/or fear’ which happened yesterday afternoon in Washington DC.

The rally, organised by The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert (and with a lot of help from Comedy Central and some prime time celebs) was a response to a similar but all the more serious rally organised by Fox News anchor Glenn Beck last month called ‘Restoring Honour’. Similar to the Pope protest Colbert and Stewart’s march was a reaction to an often unquestioned unaccountable force, this time it was the force of the mainstream media in America.

The rally was clearly organised to coincide with the US midterm election on Tuesday. However it was timed to raise awareness of media tactics and the fake narratives used to cause fear rather than persuade an electorate. Stewart and Colbert were asking for sanity in the current climate of hysteria driven network news. The satirists accuse Beck and the team at Fox News of fuelling right-wing irrationality and capitalising on the emergence of the tea-party to further their own ideological ends.

Yesterday was definitely a victory for irony and the power of satire to undermine those in power. It’s questionable how much of an impact the rally can have as many attendees were clear converts but like the march against the pope a movement needs a beginning and I’m sure that yesterday was an inspiring event for those lucky enough to be there.


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