Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 19 Share on Facebook 5 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 8 (32 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   12 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Dear Jon Stewart, Sane People Protest Crazy Wars

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 3   Must Read 2   Supported 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 10/27/10

Become a Fan
  (24 fans)
- Advertisement -
When Jon Stewart was on Larry King's show talking about his Rally to Restore Sanity, he likened himself to Alice in Wonderland and the rally as the Mad Hatter Tea Party. But is Jon Stewart really Alice, trying to find sanity in an upside-down world? Or is he the March Hare, the ultimate "slacktivist" who thinks it's always teatime -- time to sit back and jibberjabber?

The 10-30-10 rally on the capital's mall is looking more and more like a celebration of "slacktivism." Stewart is courting people who do not want to open their window and yell, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" As he says in the Rally for Sanity website, he's looking for the people who've been "too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs)."

So let's get this straight: people who were so horrified when the U.S. invaded Iraq that they joined millions of others to protest are not sane? We shouldn't speak out against Wall Street bankers whose greed led to millions of Americans losing their jobs and homes? It's irrational to be angry when you see the Gulf of Mexico covered in oil because BP cut corners on safety? Don't get upset when the Supreme Court rules that corporations are people and can pour unlimited funds into our elections?

Stewart often roasts the warmakers and corporate fatcats on his show, but he seems to think that his viewers should be content to take out their frustrations with a good belly laugh.

When Jon Stewart announced the Rally to Restore Sanity, he included CODEPINK among the "loud folks" getting in the way of civil discourse. He also equated progressives calling George Bush a war criminal with right-wingers calling Obama Hitler.

So we started a facebook page asking Jon Stewart to invite us on the show to set the record straight. Beware of what you ask for. We did, indeed, get a call from the producers but it was not for a live interview with Jon Stewart. No, it was for a taped session with myself, a Tea Party organizer and a tear-gas dodging, anti-globalization anarchist "giving advice" to Daily Show's Samantha Bee about how to organize a good rally. It was clear they wanted to portray us as the crazy folks who should not come to their rally for reasonableness.

- Advertisement -


I consulted with my CODEPINK colleagues. Some said, "Don't do it. It's a trap and will only further marginalize us." We'd already been ridiculed several times on the show, like when we stood up to question General Petraeus at a Congressional hearing or when we organized protests at the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley. But the majority of my colleagues thought it would be crazy to decline the chance to get an anti-war message out to millions of viewers.

The producers told us to come to the New York studio "in costume." The anarchist, Legba Carrefour, was all in black, including a black bandanna covering his face. The Tea Partier, Jeffrey Weingarten, came in patriotic red, white and blue. I decided to "go professional", with a CODEPINK t-shirt and a gray suit. The producers were disappointed. They had wanted me to appear in one of the wild outfits we have worn in Congress -- like a hand-lettered pink slip accessorized with a hot-pink boa and a glittery "no war" tiara.

But my attempt to look professional was thwarted by the fourth guest who suddenly appeared and was positioned right behind me: A huge, scary puppet head of Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

So there we were, four "crazies" being quizzed by Samantha Bee for over two hours. She started out with softballs -- what did we stand for, what activities did we engage in. Then the questions and the antics got sillier and sillier. By the end we found ourselves spinning a blind-folded Samantha Bee around, then watching her swing a baseball bat at Ahmadinejad's head to see if was really a pinata.

I'm sure that with over two hours of tape, there will be plenty of footage to turn into a four minute segment showing us as a bunch of nutcases. After all, it is a comedy show.
- Advertisement -


But it's too bad that Jon Stewart, the liberal comedian, is putting anti-war activists, tea partiers and black bloc anarchists in the same bag. And it's sad that he's telling his audience -- many of whom are young progressive thinkers -- that activism is crazy.

An anonymous assistant on the Daily Show's blog chastized CODEPINK on line. "Dipping hands in fake blood or screaming over everyone just makes you look crazy and then the rest of the country ignores you." He said that we should, instead, focus on solutions.

CODEPINK has been proposing solutions since the day we started. We risked our lives meeting with UN weapons inspectors in Iraq right before the U.S. invaded to see if war could be avoided. We have repeatedly traveled to Afghanistan to push for reconciliation. For the past eight years we have been posing solutions about how to deal with terrorism, how to extricate ourselves from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how to make us safer at home. Whether under Bush or Obama, our voices of sanity have been drowned out by a war machine that makes billions selling weapons and hiring mercenaries.

Meanwhile, we've witnessed the agony of mothers who have lost their sons in these senseless wars, the unspeakable suffering of our friends in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lavish spending on war while our schools and hospitals are gutted.

It was because of this insanity that we began to interrupt the war criminals during their public appearances, shouting -- yes, shouting -- for an end to the madness. It was because of this insanity that we put fake blood on our hands to represent the hundreds of thousands of innocents who died as result of their lies. In our post-9/11 24/7 news cycle, we learned that the more audacious and outrageous the action, the more likely we were to get our anti-war message into the national conversation.

For this the Daily Show calls us crazy!

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Www.globalexchange.org

Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Ten Reasons to Move Cheney's Book to the Crime Section

Tom Cotton is the Worst Bully in the Senate ---- Here Are 10 Reasons Why

Dear Jon Stewart, Sane People Protest Crazy Wars

The Egyptian General and the Gladiola

Julian Assange: Wikileaks Has the Goods on the Deaths of Innocent Iraqis Killed by the US

Getting Naked to Expose BP

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
9 people are discussing this page, with 12 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Some comedians today are not called "court jesters... by Nathan Nahm on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:45:59 PM
Thank you for your excellent article.... by Nathan Nahm on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 2:03:38 PM
Will Engage for EQUAL Human Rights: 4hv6sQXI1WY ... by eileen fleming on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 8:43:38 PM
Thank you for your info.... by Nathan Nahm on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 1:58:31 AM
He's the modern court jester. His lineup of power... by Joe Giambrone on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 2:46:38 PM
Nice people don't make a big noisy fuss. Nice, we... by Sheila Dean on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:28:41 PM
Thank you, my very fine Code Pink sister.... by Elizabeth Ferrari on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:32:33 PM
Living in San Francisco, I've been observing, and ... by Angelo Festa on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 5:19:26 PM
Although I fully agree with the opinions of those ... by Adam Smith on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 5:52:41 PM
John stewart can be very funny. I have seen him ki... by robert braunstein on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 7:24:55 PM
I used to have a chapter of CodePink where I resid... by Rhoda Ozen on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 9:08:15 PM
I wonder where Medea says she is against giving a ... by Nathan Nahm on Thursday, Oct 28, 2010 at 1:56:12 AM