The Village Voice Guide to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
If there's a possibility that you care, then you already know: today is Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the National Mall in Washington D.C. A bunch of liberals and reporters are currently making their way to our nation's capital by any means necessary, including a couple thousand people on buses provided by The Huffington Post, whose lead story reads, in their signature capital letters, "RESTORING SANITY." It's going to be that kind of weekend. If you opted for actual sanity and decided to stay home, you can stay up to date on the action with Runnin' Scared's handy guide, available inside. The Village Voice's own Steven "White America Has Lost Its Mind" Thrasher is also on the ground.
You can follow Thrasher on Twitter here for updates throughout the day. He started his journey at 4:30 a.m. and caught a Huffington Post bus from Citi Field, along with Arianna Huffington herself.
Thrasher will also be posting video dispatches during the event, which you can follow along with at his YouTube channel. Here, for example, is Huffington passing out bags of nuts on the bus:
In addition to keeping an eye on our own Mr. Thrasher, the best way to keep up with the event is via Twitter. Feeds are already flooded with reports from both buses and the ground, and the #rally4sanity hashtag is buzzing. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that over 1,000 people applied for press credentials for the rally. Believe it or not, most of them have Twitter accounts. If it's Rally tweets you crave, try these people:
- New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter
- Self-described "media addict" Rachel Sklar
- Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh
- Daily Show producer Rory Albanese
- GQ's Ana Marie Cox
- Runnin' Scared intern Avery Timm
The New York Times has also set up a live-blog of the event, which you can read here. One attendee is quoted as saying, "We haven't seen a crowd like this since the inauguration."
As for the actual, y'know, normal people attending the rally, we'll have to wait and see. The crowds have already been called "amazing," though the number of attendees will likely remain a point of debate well into next week. CBS has hired the company AirPhotosLive, the same group they used for their 87,000 number at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, to come up with some sort of estimate, according to Michael Calderone at Yahoo's The Upshot. (Beck and his organizers claimed 500,000.) The Associated Press meanwhile, notes that "more than 226,000 people on a Facebook page created for the event [said] they would attend." Anyone who has thrown a party in the last five years knows this means nothing.
Check this space throughout the day for more updates!