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Slate: Stewart/Colbert Rally Is ‘Bad For Democracy,’ Or Something

DO NOT LAUGH AT THIS. THIS IS NOT FUNNY.Slate will be contrarian about anything, including, from time to time when they want to rinse out their mouths, contrarianism, so it comes as no surprise that one among them decided to warn us all that the upcoming Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert political-rally parody event is a bad idea. Writer Timothy Noah is an old who will be having a bunch of youngs staying over at his house to go to this thing, and he is not happy about this! Don’t these children understand that parodying the teevee newscast or parodying the teevee news opinion show is funny, but parodying the political rally as a vehicle for your satire can never be done? Obviously not. But Dr. Comedy Timothy Noah does, and he also knows that you are not allowed to make fun of Teabaggers for being dumb. That sort of thing is mean!

Stewart is a professional comedian, and ridicule is what he does. He is not a political activist, a point he took pains to emphasize in the Fresh Air interview (“My job is to—again, express our point of view comedically”). He is a satirist.

Right. So what is wrong with holding a comedy performance for your fans in the guise of a political rally? This whole thing is sort of confusing. If Noah wanted to establish his authority with these skateboarders who are coming to his house, couldn’t he have just given them some chores and a curfew? No. Instead, Noah will make some weird point about how you are not allowed to make fun of a well-funded mass movement of empowered stupid people who seek to take over the government.

You can argue, as my friend and mentor Charles Peters does, that the ridicule in Stewart’s and Colbert’s satire, like the ridicule in much contemporary popular comedy, carries a screw-those-uneducated-yokels message that you never found in, say, the humor of Will Rogers. Rogers once quipped: “An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out.” At the risk of spoiling a joke by explaining it, Rogers meant: Resist putting on airs. Your urge to judge another man for what he doesn’t know says more about your status anxiety than about his purported ignorance.

Is that what Rogers meant? Well, sort of, we guess?

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Mencken, Rogers, Stewart, and Colbert were and are all great performers. But of the four, Rogers is the only one I might follow to a rally on the Mall, because Rogers’ style is the only one that could form the basis of a movement I’d consider following.

Oh no! Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Zombie H.L. Mencken (who was, actually, not a performer) will not have very important human being Timothy Noah coming to their rallies! They should just stop their plans now because Timothy Noah would rather watch Zombie Will Rogers yammer out some folksy old-timey witticisms and do some rope tricks, because Rogers, according to Noah, never made fun of dolts who weren’t members of Congress. But Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Zombie H.L. Mencken have sometimes made fun of the masses of dolts who get taken in by Congressional dolts. Don’t you see the difference? That second one is mean! NONE OF THESE RALLY KIDS ARE ALLOWED TO BE MEAN TO TEABAGGERS IN TIMOTHY NOAH’S HOUSEHOLD BECAUSE WILL ROGERS NEVER MADE FUN OF TEABAGGERS IN HIS 1910S VAUDEVILLE SHOWS!

All this works well as humor, but as a sentiment shouted through a bullhorn to thousands stretched between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument, it will translate into, well, judging other people for what they don’t know. It will do so no matter how much everyone laughs. Indeed, the laughter will likely make it worse, because a rally puts its “audience” behind the proscenium; the spectators and the performers are collaborators. A more legitimate (and probably more successful) political impulse would be to try to persuade the unenlightened that you have a better idea.

Oh okay, so there is no point in criticizing people’s politics through humor. You can only criticize them in very direct, serious addresses. And if Stewart and Colbert want to change Teabaggers’ minds (they do?), they have to be very serious and try to reason with the Teabaggers. That’s a very good point! And that’s why Ed Shultz’s rally a few weeks back was such a tremendous success. And that’s why Teabaggers no longer believe Barack Obama is a foreign-born socialist who is ruining their lives with his secret Nazi Kenyan socialist conspiracies. Yep, those two things happened. Trying to reason worked! Teabaggers heard that the gap between rich and poor has been compounding for years and said, “Oh, perhaps we shouldn’t blame all our problems and fears on this one particular black guy who came along.”

There’s still a lot we don’t fully understand about the Tea Partiers and the political independents who have lost faith in Obama. But one thing we should all be pretty clear on by now is that they hate, hate, hate anything that smacks of elitism. The spectacle of affluent 18-to-34-year-olds blanketing the Mall to snicker at jokes about wingnut ignoramuses and Bible thumpers will, I fear, have the effect of a red cape waved before a bull.

Oh, didn’t realize so many “18-to-34-year-olds” are “affluent.” Surely these young adults going to this rally will be affluent. Surely these people all have high-paying jobs and are on secure career-tracks in this great economy of ours. They have no reason to be upset! They are so rich! They have many decades of stable, middle-class suburban lifestyle to look forward to. Noah’s young visitors are staying with him because they love him, not because they are anything other than affluent. Those ruffians could each buy their own hotel if they wanted to. In fact, those young people could probably buy like seven Washington hotels each!

Yes, there’s “still a lot we don’t fully understand about the Teabaggers.” Specifically, how we are not allowed to make fun of a mass movement of people who spurn facts at every turn and are seeking to run this huge country’s complex, modern government on anachronistic sentiment alone. We are supposed to reason with these people who hate reason. And we are not allowed to go to comedy shows on the National Mall that may or may not attempt to give us a release from the anxiety caused by watching a mass movement of idiots (and the obscurantist politicians exploiting them) seek to overturn the Enlightenment and make a country that once thought education was a good thing regress into pure idiocy.

Actually, this “rally” probably will make as many jokes about bears as jokes about Teabaggers, but whatever, the point stands: THOSE DAMN KIDS! [Slate]

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About the author

Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

View all articles by Jack Stuef

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141 comments

  1. mumbly_joe

    Wait, so now Glenn Beck's not "just an entertainer" again, but is leading a bona fide political movement, unlike those terrible comedians? It's really hard to keep up with this.

  2. mumbly_joe

    Also, Will Rogers once made a mock bid for the presidency, which is so unlike the crap comedy that "Stephen Colbert" fellow does that I'm beside myself just thinking about how low the once-lofty art of comedic satire has fallen.

    1. zhubajie

      Let us not forget Mark Twain, both author and performer, who didn't hesitate to call America's leaders "slimy pimps and slaves of the scum."

    2. DustBowlBlues

      As an Oklahoman and an Old, I, of course, worship Will Rogers, zombie or otherwise. But his political humor was very mild and carefully aimed at both Republicans and Democrats. To compare him to Stewart/Colbert (Can we just shorten that to Stewbert?) is impossible. He didn't educate anyone to anything but humor. And that was enough, by the way.

  3. PublicLuxury

    Kids these days… with the hair and the music and laughing at old people that are stuck in hole 'cause their scooter's battery isn't an 'energizer'.

    Are these the teabaggers that cannot name a senator they may reach across the aisle to work with??? Are these the teabaggers that cannot name a Supreme Court decision or understand the first amendment??

    Kids need to make fun of these people. The kids coming to DC for the comedy rally are the FUTURE. Baggers are the past.

    1. mumbly_joe

      And judging by the references, Timothy Noah is the long- past: my grandfather lived through the depression, and I'm pretty sure he can scarcely remember who Will Rogers is.

      I'm assuming "Timothy Noah" was named after his two grandfathers, Timothy and Noah, because nothing else could possibly explain the notion that Will Rogers represents the classy comedy of the previous generation.

      I… I'm saying this guy is very old.

  4. Lucidamente1

    Back in its Air America days, the Rachel Maddow Show had a simple slogan: "Speaking truth to power. Making fun of idiots." Nuff said.

  5. Kidneys4Sale

    Hey Slate…uh…we want them frothing. More froth = more watermelon/holocaust signs. I can only hope that John-boy and Stevie have the good sense to parade their various brown folk around dropping the most inflammatory lines possible. If we could get one of the black fellas and the Muslin to fingercuff a white girl on live TV, that would be best. Messican film crew, also. Maybe we can even get George Soros to pay them all in Rubles in the after-special.

    1. GOPCrusher

      Agreed. The whole problem with the Tea Bagger Movement is that these people have not been ridiculed enough and now we see the results of people like Xtine O'Donnell actually running for the U.S. Senate.
      Think back to the Summer of The Health Care Debate. Could anyone that was supported by a bunch of illiterate, racist, militia members actually stand a viable chance of being elected, let alone make it through the primary process?
      Sharron Angle running neck and neck with Senator Harry Reid? Really? After the stupid shit that has fallen out of her mouth, she is a viable candidate?

  6. PublicLuxury

    Glen Beckistan buy gold! Buy food insurance! Buy uderground sercurity shleters for $50,000.00 each.

    Glen, the mormon, Beck is the biggest assclown of the bunch.

  7. Lascauxcaveman

    I think Mr. Dr. Comedy Timothy Noah PhD. has thought about this whole thing waaaaay to much.

    Either that, or he's getting paid by the word and has shit for ideas.

  8. undeterredbyreality

    "A more legitimate (and probably more successful) political impulse would be to try to persuade the unenlightened that you have a better idea."

    What idea could Stewart or Colbert expound that could possibly be better or more persuasive to the unenlightened than those enlightening words spoken so clearly by their lord & master Beck: "I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet" or their uberlord Limbaugh: "An American president has never had facial expressions like this. At least we've never seen photos of an American president with facial expressions like this…. I mean, I feel like I'm watching The Omen: 666 and all that" or perhaps their virgin Sarah–oops I mean Christine–"The first amendment, really?" ????

      1. Beowoof

        He would be he can't tell which image is him, the big douche bag hanging from the shower rod behind or Beck.

  9. Beanball

    Has this Slate person never heard of 'performance art'? No? OK, how about Mark Twain, probably America's finest satire-comedy writer/performer evah (cit. needed)? And what did the 'ol steamboat driver write and talk about? Politics! Politicians! and Society and how fucked up it is.

    But, shit, I don't laugh at the fuckwits because they're ignorant, which they are, but at the fact that the chickenshits can't find the balls to look Reality in the face, and at their cowardly retreat into magical thinking and AstroTurf and skyGhods.

    They're retards, actually, both mentally and emotionally, but that doesn't mean they're not bloody dangerous, so I laugh and laugh as I paint myself blue and sharpen my knives.

    1. Chet Kincaid

      Yes, you would think an "educated" old fart would think to himself, "oh, Mark Twain", press "delete", and then suck on his pipe 'til he had a better idea for an article.

      1. Starfish

        What kind of pipe are we talking about here? 'Cause I can think of a few pipe-related reasons for this article…

    2. x111e7thst

      I laugh at TeaTards cause they are ignorant, and at the idiots with the the Confederate flags in the back windows of their F-150's cause their side lost. Also occasionally one of them takes a swing at me. Then I get to fight which I like despite being kind of old.

      1. fishskicanoe

        Ignorant means not knowing. Not sure that is the problem. Baggers know that Barry is a socialist. They know that Sharia is in charge in Dearborn, Michigan. They know that the 1st Amendment doesn't restrict the mingling of government and religion. And all the wiggling of facts in their faces isn't going to change their minds. They already "know" different facts.

        They aren't ignorant, they're wrong.

        1. DashboardBuddha

          They're more than ignorant and worse than wrong. They are willfully ignorant. Even when presented with cold facts, they will not be moved. We need a name for these folks sort of like how Potter et al called non-wizardy folks "Muggles". How about Willigs?

  10. mavenmaven

    I thought the teabagger rallies were already parodies, parodies of the 60s happenings they were too tight assed to be part of at the time.

  11. kenlayisalive

    What doouche this Noah guy is. We happen to know that these aren't uneducated yokels we are making fun of, but are primarily well-heeled, upper middle class, rural types funded by very well educated big city billionaire types.

    Making fun of people who are willfully ignorant fucktards is totally acceptable.

    These people aren't poor, radio-less 1920's sharecroppers who don't know any better and are waiting to be turned into progressive, fair-minded democrats. These are totally-on-purpose assholes we are dealing with here.

    1. SimonGirty

      Who's pappies and mammies were at the lynchings and church/ synagogue burnings Will Rogers seemed never to have attended. These folks know just what they're about, we still have tens-of-thousands of warheads deliverable… but non-Catholic Christians are only 1/2 the populace… and ~15% of that ain't peckerwoods. Now they have their own wetbrain, cranked-up Sturm Abteilung driving around in cop cars, armed by our taxes… Ha, ha, ha, ho,ho… them there crakkkers sure am funny!

  12. CapnFatback

    Abandoning all snark, this is not the first time I have seen this criticism (I read something similar, if shorter, in EW of all places). What's truly disturbing is how the critics seem to be vested too deeply in the popular theory that since a certain population trust Stewart/Colbert's handling of issues and news over mainstream media sources, these people must be incapable of any political depth outside of the Comedy Central TV shows. Therefore, the audience attending the rally will expect to have their "angry" wolves fed (thank you, Rick Sanchez) by a browbeating of "the Other," which in this case can clearly only be the goddamn Tea Party, no matter how many videos of Code Pink histrionics TDS includes in their examples of "insane" behavior.

    These critics fail to give Stewart, Colbert, et al. credit for being masters of satire and designers of great theater (the conflict between the two rallies should be a tip to Noah and his brethren that entertainment, not a specific political message, is center stage here. Noah also critically forgives to give the "affluent" attendees any credit. Yes, the attendees are heavily collaborating in the performance–but one thing these "elite" people just might have going for them is an appreciation of nuance and the ability to get more cerebral jokes than your typical "One's an African lion, the other's a lyin' African" sign bearer.

    1. CapnFatback

      Abandoning all snark, this is not the first time I have seen this criticism (I read something similar, if shorter, in EW of all places). What's truly disturbing is how the critics seem to be vested too deeply in the popular theory that since a certain population trust Stewart/Colbert's handling of issues and news over mainstream media sources, these people must be incapable of any political depth outside of the Comedy Central TV shows. Therefore, the audience attending the rally will expect to have their "angry" wolves fed (thank you, Rick Sanchez) by a browbeating of "the Other," which in this case can clearly only be the goddamn Tea Party, no matter how many videos of Code Pink histrionics TDS includes in their examples of "insane" behavior.

      These critics fail to give Stewart, Colbert, et al. credit for being masters of satire and designers of great theater (the conflict between the two rallies should be a tip to Noah and his brethren that entertainment, not a specific political message, is center stage here). Noah also critically fails to give the "affluent" attendees any credit. Yes, the attendees are heavily collaborating in the performance–but somethings these "elite" people just might have going for them are an appreciation of nuance and the ability to get more cerebral jokes than your typical "One's an African lion, the other's a lyin' African" sign bearer.

      Of course, it could all just be that someone's angling for an invitation to the Keep Fear Alive rally . . .

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        Insert comment about how great it is that in America, opposing viewpoints can meet and discuss publicly their divergent ideals without violence or fear of official repercussion blah blah blah…

      2. Kitty_Sanchez

        "Noah also critically fails to give the "affluent" attendees any credit. [...] somethings these "elite" people just might have going for them are an appreciation of nuance…"

        And the very people Stewart and Colbert mock — the ideologues on both left and right — are the least able to identify and appreciate nuance. Perhaps that's Noah's problem?? (I don't know, because I never read the guy. He certainly seems dense, though.)

      3. Iam_Who_Iam

        Regarding your thoughts as to the audience: It reminds me a bit of my experience here on Wonkette. I come here for the humor but I am often amazed by how much I learn through the experience. A topic is mentioned and maybe taunted, but it leads me to look further into the topic.

        I have no doubt the political awareness of some of the Stewart/Colbert audience has been widened by their introduction to some topics they may well have otherwise disregarded. Humor is a wonderful way to encourage interest and curiosity.

        And if this posting nice stuff gets us rally perks… bonus.

  13. GuanoFaucet

    "I feel the same way about Slate, and the contrarian cretins that write there, as I do herpes."

    /Hunter S. Thompson

  14. lulzmonger

    Old "Teh Nihilist Demon Hackeysackers Will Destroy Us All!!!" story is old.

    Thinking is bad for "Democracy."

    Colbert actually supports US troops (with big-ass year-in, year-out fundraising) & Stewart just did a live celebrity show to help kids with autism.

    LOOK OUT DEMOCRACY – YOUR ASS IS SURE TOAST NOW!

  15. EdFlintstone

    "A more legitimate (and probably more successful) political impulse would be to try to persuade the unenlightened that you have a better idea."

    God Mr. Noah, why didnt somebody think of that. It's worked out so well for Obama, that the so called "unenlightened" only think of him as a kenyan, maoist, marxist, muslim antichrist. It worked wonders during the healthcare townhalls, you remember those calm, rational discussions that turned into screamfests of socialism!!! It works wonders when I try to convince teabag friends with things like facts, that Obama doesn't want to take your guns away and he actually expanded gun rights. That there is no such thing as a death panel. That Obama does have a Hawaiian birth certificate. Or when I try to explain a third of the stimulus was their beloved tax cuts and he actually cut their taxes and they still don't believe it. I usually get blow it out your ass, thats not the way I heard it.

    Has this writer been paying any attention the last 2 years?

    1. zhubajie

      The T-tards are the same people who supported George Wallace long ago. They are not going to be converted.

    2. revmod

      Making fun of the ignorant is mean. But making fun of the willfully ignorant is our democratic duty.

  16. ShaveTheWhales

    So, how old is this Noah fella? (I know I could go look it up, but I'm almost 63, and therefore intellectually lazy, BUT NOT AS MUCH SO AS THIS ASSHOLE).

    I'd have to read his entire article to formulate a fully adequate response, but I'm not going to do that, because I'm almost 63 and have no interest in wasting my deteriorating neurons on pointless shit.

    Therefore, I will simply invite Herr Professor Doktor Arschlok Noah to ingest a plate of lightly salted, but non-satiric, rat dicks.

    1. elpinche

      Who knows , but I'm sure John Stewart and Colbert aren't canceling their rallies on behalf of this Noahbody.

  17. ljgantz

    Apparently Mr. Noah overlooked Will Rogers' film work with Stepin Fetchit. So, just to clarify:

    Making fun of ignoramuses: Bad.
    Making fun of black people: HI-LARIOUS.

    Man, this dude sounds like a bagger more and more . . .

  18. iburl

    JACK STUEF FTW.

    We must never criticize those who wish to destroy our schools by polluting them with superstitions and myths, if not outright shutting them down and replacing them with American madrassas.

    We must always respectfully listen to every racist, conspiracy-addled, teabag american, because we need for them to shout mind-numbing nonsense in our ears for 20 more years before we can even HOPE to understand what the fuck they are talking about.

    We must NEVER betray a sense of disgust as they rip meaning from our language and speed the delivery of American democracy over to the most Plutocratic, Racist and Theocratic elements of the extreme right oligarchy.

    If we quietly acquiesce to their every addled whim, then, and only then will we be worthy to live in their Real America.

    1. BarryOPotter

      I feel your snark there, brother. Life's just too damn short, and to give even an iota of credence to the fucktardedly illogical and unenlightened spewing of the Real 'Murikan Sheeple amounts to time poorly spent.

      Real Americans have reached across the aisle to our Real 'Murikan sheep-brothers and sheep-sisters time and time again with offers to discuss our differences honestly and openly only in turn to be shouted down with spittle-flecked words full of incoherence and irrational fear.

      We're not getting those hours back. So it's on to Plan B, Timmie: fuck 'em.

  19. Kitty_Sanchez

    "…the Obama inauguration was an occasion of genuine moment, while the Stewart-Colbert rally is shaping up to be the most successful pseudo-event in American history. I am delighted to host my far-flung loved ones, of whom I never see enough…"

    (I'm guessing that T-No is about as popular with his relatives as he is with the people on this thread. He scoffs at the event they're planning to attend, then complains that they don't visit enough/ever. What a dork.)

    This wankery just isn't coherent. He's complaining that wisecracking comedians are too unserious to respond to Tea Partiers but they're also too elitist. And he thinks that a rally for moderates to just, you know, chill and laugh and have fun will be "a red cape waved before a bull." And then he finishes up his feeble, doddering scolding by saying we should all just stay home — as if there's a chance he might actually persuade more than a half dozen worry warts to decide to not attend.

    Of course, he'll show all us insolent kids by refusing to attend. I don't think anybody will notice.

    1. Triscuits

      I'll notice the lack of bitching and complaining, and I'll appreciate it. But only for a moment, until I start laughing.

  20. Radiotherapy

    This is like that Dick Armey/Posada ad from yesterday:

    DON'T VOTE BROWN PEOPLE — Maxine Waters Sucks!!

    DON'T COME TO THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL RICH WHITEY KIDS — Teabaggers Don't Suck!!

  21. DoktorZoom

    Ahem. I actually DO have a PhD in Parody (OK, it's Rhetoric/Composition, but my dissertation was on parody…), so I feel thoroughly qualified to tell this Timothy Noah to blow it out his ass. Nyeah.

    Also, I am drunk. Stinking drunk. So rather than going on and on about just how wrong TN is, I will simply cut and paste Mark Twain (a strategy which, as I recall, also helped in finishing the goddamned dissertation):

    "Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution — these can lift at a colossal humbug — push it a little — weaken it a little over the course of a century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Pretty good powers of composition and spelling for someone who's drunk. What's your secret, repetitive practice? It works for me.

        1. mumbly_joe

          I think I audited that grad course as a psych undergrad.

          At very least, I remember being completely loaded while writing my final paper for Judgement and Decision-Making.

    2. Beanball

      I once wrote a 180 page novella (unpublished) in just under a week, on a Smith Corolla portable typewriter, and no rewrites until about page 120. I was dead drunk the whole time.

      If Charles Bukowski can do it, I can do it, too.

  22. JoshuaNorton

    I mean, don't you really just want to give these hand-wringers and pearl-clutchers an atomic wedgie and stuff them in a locker?

    If they had their way, we'd fight off the wingnut brown shirts armed only with "Roberts Rules of Order" and verses of Kumbaya.

    It's a wonder we get any votes at all.

  23. SayItWithWookies

    Sounds like Mr. Noah is feeling vaguely ashamed about criticizing people who so openly revere the things we're supposed to hold dear (constitution, bill of rights, freedum) and consequently buying into the teabaggers' criticism that mocking the ignorant is somehow not mocking the ignorant but is instead classism — as though in our barely-literate society, where vellum is dear and a properly illuminated manuscript could take a platoon of monks a year to complete, knowledge is available only to the select few.

    Yeah, bullshit Noah. Knowledge and critical thinking are available to everybody. Except of course that poor liberals are just suckling at the teat of big government, rich liberals are rebellious hippies practicing class betrayal for fun, and middle-class liberals are idealistic anachronisms who nobody could possibly emulate — and bam, we've taken a diverse movement, ignored the facts and left room for whatever oversimplified fiction we want to put in its place.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      (and dammit, why can't I post a whole damn drunk and stoned rant without cutting it up into little pieces? It's not like complete sentences are easy at this point, much less cutting and pasting paragraphs in reverse order until that little notice that my run-on sentences have exceeded the limit stops showing up when I try to save my comments. Which reminds me I better post the last paragraph of the previous comment)

      Exactly the same evisceration-and-substitution can be done to the teabaggers too — and thus you have an elite few laughing at the ignorant herds in one picture and the soiled foreign masses surrounding the few pale blond Defenders of the Faith in another, and both pictures being true at the same time. And that's just acquiescing to the other guy's inanity.

  24. Iam_Who_Iam

    "to give us a release from the anxiety caused by watching a mass movement of idiots"

    Well Jack, I wasn’t so sure about you (cuz you know I’m slow to trust and love) but you’ve won me over with that quote alone. There was plenty of good fodder in that post, but that was the bit that summed it all up nicely.

  25. bumfug

    I read this piece of crap earlier on Slate and it pissed me off so bad I went and got drunk and now I can't even express my disgust with the wit and humor that Wonkette deserves. Sorry. Oh, and Timothy Noah, go eat a bowl of fuck.

  26. Badonkadonkette

    An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out

    Right. Which is exactly why, on January 20, 2009, all the Teabaggers rose up, dentures bared in righteous fury, because didn,t the libtards reelize the Goverment is spending all teh money??????!1`

    Thank you, Slate, for pointing out that, not only are Stewart and Colbert two brilliant contemporary comedians, they also do a pretty damn good job of channelling Will Rogers.

  27. CookieGuggleman

    Noah is right: the teabaggers do "hate, hate, hate anything that smacks of elitism" — like being married to a Supreme Court justice. That's too high falutin' for the baggers.

  28. PsycWench

    "they hate, hate, hate anything that smacks of elitism."
    Like, say, being able to name a sitting Senator in the other party. Or knowing what the Vice President does. Or being able to name ONE Supreme Court decision with which they disagree. Or being able to spell, use proper grammar and use the caps lock appropriately (which is almost never, right? Am I the only person who uses the caps lock a couple times a week or less?)

    1. One_who_wanders

      It is the real Know Nothing party. I can only assume that were they to come to power one of the first things they would do is round up the intelligensia. And all of those who don't fit their definition of Real American ™ which would include the muslins, the browns and not coincidently anyone likely to post on Wonkette.

      1. HistoriCat

        What do we really know about this Ken Layne person anyway? When the Real Americans ™ take power, will he stand by our side or will he sell us out – a ready-made list of people to be rounded up?

  29. HedonismBot

    Well, since the 'Baggers will likely soon become our lords and masters, making fun of them IS making fun of "elites." But I get it. We can't criticize them or laugh at them, in the same way Sarah Palin is beyond reproach because she's a woman with a special needs baby; in the same way that every kindergartner gets a medal in the peewee sports tournaments. They're special, so we have to treat them with kid gloves, no matter how much they smack us around and spurn our fancy-pants ejumacashuns while they drag us back to the dark ages.
    Gawd, but sometimes this country sucks. I'm going back to bed.

    1. LibSmacker

      "Well, since the 'Baggers will likely soon become our lords and masters"

      It's good to see you are finally accepting the truth…

  30. One_who_wanders

    I can only imagine the withering mockery that zombie H.L. would pour down on the modern boobguise – read his coverage of the Scopes trial for a taste of what it might be like. And Beck and Sarah and Christine. His typewriter might burst into flame.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      Wasn't it Upton Sinclair who said, "When fascism comes to America it will be dressed in a flag and carrying a cross?

  31. deanbooth

    If my neighbor doesn't know how to use a toilet, that's his problem; but when he wants to come into my house, his ignorance becomes my problem.

  32. metamarcisf

    Let's hope this Noah guy retires soon, so he can spend the remainder of his days doing what he loves: standing on his porch, shaking his fist at passing cars.

    1. HedonismBot

      I gave you a thumbs up. Not just because your comment was funny, but because you for some reason have negative 122 points. What happened? Did you commit a cardinal sin? (i.e. badmouthing trucknutz.)

        1. BaldarTFlagass

          Metamarc's p has been holding steady in the -120's, he must be going through a slump or resting up for his next foray.

          1. metamarcisf

            No, it's because, suddenly, the postive scores I'm getting on Wonkette are offsetting the high negatives on Breitbart. It isn't as if I've stopped trying. Yesterday I initiated as especially nasty thread over there when I questioned someone's assumption that if "don't ask don't tell' is junked, gay soldiers would be forced to wear pink dog tags. And no, I couldn't make this up.

  33. Katydid

    We're over-analyzing this. Noah's column reminds me of an essay my kid wrote in 10th grade. She had to pick a side: should we re-evaluate Columbus, or just shut up and celebrate Columbus Day.

    I explained why she should explore writing about re-evaluating, but she wrote about just shutting up. When I asked her why, she said, "It was easier."

    I think that's what Noah did. It's easier to slam the rally, and, of course, keeping with Slate's mission to suck. Most people who aren't Teabaggers think the rally is funny; there are no page views in that.

    There are, clearly, page views in buttsex. So, buttsex.

  34. BombyMcGee

    Tim Noah completely misses the main point of the rally. Sure, there's an element of reaction to the Beck-led "take our country back" crybaby festivals of this past summer, but what I think the main idea (and the reason I'm going) is, is a show of solidarity for the rational majority.

    Most people are not climate change "skeptics." Most people accept the theory of evolution by natural selection. Most people know that you need more than "down home common sense in Warshington" to run any government, particularly one as complex as ours. The list goes on. But there aren't rallies for people who aren't enraged about something.

    Well, until now. The prevailing media narrative has been about the roiling anger of the rubes, who have descended on DC who knows how many times in the past 18 months, and the fact is, we've provided precious little in the way of an alternative storyline. It's tough to pitch a primetime story with the headline, "Most people really not all that pissed off."

    TL;DR – I like the rally, and Tim Noah is a cunt.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      With a name like Tim Noah, are we sure this guy isn't a folksinger who entertains children? Because his name sure sounds like he should be one.

  35. doxastic

    Would it be too screw-those-uneducated-yokels of me to point out it's clear why Dr. Comedy gets paid to write and not to think? Leave the social semiotics to the professionals, Timbo.

  36. finallyhappy

    Teabaggers hate anything that "smacks of elitism"- books, education beyond 8th grade(unless you only did voc ed after 8th grade), religion that isn't fundie Christian, salad, vegetables that aren't fries- but why go on- we are all affluent elitists here anyway.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      These are the people who hate broccoli and spinach and whole grain because the First Lady says they are good for them. As long as Medicare picks up the full cost of their scooters, they don't need no stinkin' healthy food.

      And they are the people who only respect power. Liberals act like a bunch of pussies who keep trying to reason their way through the Teabag universe. I think what they hate about Hopey, beyond the fact he is a native Kenyan, socialist etc, is that he doesn't scare them. Not really. Smart people just look weak to these morons. Making fun of them is the best way to deal with them, other than that whole second amendment solution they keep talking about.

  37. DashboardBuddha

    I used to think that political commentary was hard work. Now I see that many of these "pundits" have a dartboard in the office with each section given to a different topic. They throw the dart, look at the topic, take a dump in the computer…and viola! We have the day's article.

    1. Alex_P

      Yeah, but they still have to type up their dumps! I'm not getting into political commentary until there's, like, literally a device that just turns your poops into articles. Anything else is asking too much.

  38. transfatz

    Teabaggers are dumbfucks. They want to govern but they have no minds. Because things are really complex they will end up being puppets. Government is about to become a complete puppet show. Puppet shows are funny. Stewart and Colbert will narrate and we will laugh. If it weren't for them we would just cry.
    Oh, and welcome to America Noah. Now STFU, the show is beginning.

  39. prommie

    Jack Steuf, hats off to you, one ray the more, one shade the less, would half impair the nameless grace of your essay, no extra snark needed, the brilliant commenters pale beside this one.

  40. deelzebub

    “An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out.”

    There is a difference between being uneducated and rejecting factual evidence that contradicts what you want to believe, i.e. that black guy in the White House can't be a U.S. citizen that loves America but instead a secret Kenyan Muslin Indonesian manchurian candidate. That is ignorance.

    1. StillGoinGreen

      i.e. creationism is just as real as evolution! i.e. a tax cut for the extremely wealthy is the ONLY way to help the economy. i.e….. we could go on for days.

  41. Sue4466

    I get it. Everything is now to be packaged for Teabagger approval, even ridicule of Teabaggers. It used to be "how will we tell the children," now it's "think of the Teabaggers." Makes sense given their respective intellectual capabilities.

  42. Midway117

    So we should respect the teevee show that Glenn Beck taped in front of the Lincoln Memorial in August, but should NOT express interest in a comedy show taping there next week? Whatever. Sometimes I hate being a liberal.

  43. HistoriCat

    If your readers' first response to a name drop is "who?" then maybe you should reconsider said name drop.

  44. chickensmack

    Noah spittle: "All this works well as humor, but as a sentiment shouted through a bullhorn to thousands stretched between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument, it will translate into, well, judging other people for what they don’t know."

    Judge the sentiment after it's spoken. Beforehand makes you a lousy critic, or a prophet. And if you think the unemployment line is full of horse-buggy makers, you should see the queue for fortunetellers.

  45. thefrontpage

    All of these morons and idiots talking about Stewart and Colbert literally have no idea what the hell they're talking about

  46. awesome_dude

    "All this works well as humor, but as a sentiment shouted through a bullhorn to thousands stretched between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument, it will translate into, well, judging other people for what they don’t know."

    People who are proud of their ignorance need to be mocked. Mercilessly. If they don't abandon the pride in their ignorance, it needs to be constantly pointed out in every venue.

    This asshole is making it sound like the Honors Students are making fun of the Special Ed kids.

    What he doesn't seem to understand, though, is this is not High School, and there is no reason for the ignorant to remain ignorant and revel in their ignorance, AND THEY ARE FRIGHTENINGLY CLOSE TO BEING PUT IN CHARGE OF THE COUNTRY, again.

  47. SwattieSwat

    Wait, isn't Stewart's rally supposed to be pro-moderate? From what he's said, it isn't solely anti-Teabagger nor is does it seem to be anything but sincere.

  48. Alex_P

    I'm pretty sure Will Rogers wouldn't have that same opinion about *willful, prideful, self-serving* ignorance.

    Srsly, Tim Noah! Building political movements out of intentional self-deluding hate-ignorance is the major political innovation of the 20th century. Even olds should remember that! It's what makes all those grainy tank pictures show up on their History Channels.

  49. Gainsbourg69

    "There’s still a lot we don’t fully understand about the Tea Partiers and the political independents who have lost faith in Obama. But one thing we should all be pretty clear on by now is that they hate, hate, hate anything that smacks of elitism. The spectacle of affluent 18-to-34-year-olds blanketing the Mall to snicker at jokes about wingnut ignoramuses and Bible thumpers will, I fear, have the effect of a red cape waved before a bull."

    Fuck the teabaggers and their imminent Hovearound stampede.

  50. Triscuits

    Wow! I had no idea that *I* was affluent! Holy shit…I mean, I thought, being unemployed and looking for a job at the moment and all, and seeing as I'm dating a grad student, that I didn't really have any money. But then I opened my browser today, and read Mr. Noah's words of wisdom. (The man has *two* Bible names, therefore he is a veritable font of truth.) Screw getting a hotel in D.C., I'm just going to buy the whole damn city!

  51. kittylittr

    I like the way you slipped in that nice little echo of Karl Popper's Paradox of Tolerance there. Because an Austrian who fled the Third Reich wouldn't have anything useful to say about the growth of loud, angry mobs of people and how you should respond to them.

  52. AngryGeometer

    "Stewart-Colbertism scorns extremism of all types, but especially conservative extremism, and most especially conservative extremism driven by ignorance or religious fundamentalism."

    So they're radical common-sense moderates? What would David Brooks say?

    Who exactly is the person that's going to be persuaded to vote differently because of this? Is there anybody in the world that wasn't going to vote, or was going to vote Democratic, before they saw Stewart and Colbert making fun of Republicans, a thing they never used to do before? Who is this mythical person? Noah seems to be implying there are enough such people to swing the election. "I used to be a Democrat, but ever since Stewart made fun of the teabaggers on the TeeVee, I'm concerned about the inheritance tax."

  53. anonymousofficezombie

    Speaking as a young(-ish), on behalf of the rest of the voting American youngs let me just say, "Who the fuck is Will Rogers?"

    Will Rogers, nay.
    Will Ferrell, hooray!

  54. revmod

    You know – Charles Peters, Noah's source for comedy expertise. Don't make fun of teabaggers, "or somebody's gonna get a hurt real bad."

  55. axmxz

    The only Rogers Noah would really follow is Ginger Rogers, but he couldn't do it backwards and in high heels.

  56. Baconcat

    You know what Zombie Will Rogers never said but should've?

    "What's the only kind of Post that you can't send airmail?

    Wiley Post."

    What, too soon?

  57. PhilippePetain

    My first thought when reading this doofuses material was, "I wonder if anyone is organizing a scooterperson contingent to the Stewart Rally?"

    Because someone really should. Oh and maybe come as this Old and proclaim loudly that "This is not funny."

  58. Gleem_McShineys

    "A more legitimate (and probably more successful) political impulse would be to try to persuade the unenlightened that you have a better idea."

    Except for the main problem with that "legitimate impulse:" THESE ARE FUCKING IDIOTS. Ideas and idiots are 100% incompatible. Idiots are fact-averse enough to parrot things about "birf certificatez", what makes you think they'll recognize anything, let alone a well-formulated political argument?

    Yes, let us take Americas Funniest Home Videos, but instead, present alternate scenarios to explain how "this here would be a much better trajectory for the baseball, because it would NOT hit the man square in the ballsack!" Yes, Timmy, it sure would be better for the ballsack. You prefer to murder comedy, to do what? keep ballsacks informed?

    I have a better impulse: You don't actually elevate an idiot's idiocy to the level of legitimate discourse.Yes, Timmy. You just framed incoherent shouts about Kenyans as if it should be debated.

  59. DustBowlBlues

    Seriously, Jack? You did this at midnight? Wrote such a long, brilliant dissection of this idiot's argument? His douchebaggery of dull really inspired you.

    The most moronic aspect of his argument is that the comedic rally is meant to persuade Teabaggers they are wrong. Because, to date, no one has pointed out to them that they are part of a movement created and funded by billionaires like the Koch brothers and multi-national corporations who like the status quo just fine, thank you very much.

    No way anyone has ever explained to them that they are pissed about a bailout and being led by Wall Street to prevent any significant regulations from being enacted to prevent future bailouts.

    And besides, it isn't as if they're going to pay attention to the Stewart/Colbert show, except for those parts excerpted on Faux News.

    While I was spending 30% of my fucking 6 days in a car with my airplane-adverse husband (never again–my arthritis was borderline fatal by the time we got home) we listened to a few minutes of Hate Talk Radio when NPR wasn't available (or we'd heard the same news/story three times already). There is no possible way this Noah person is familiar with the scary people on these radio hate-screed shows. Yet there are people who listen to nothing else.

    Yeah, reason with them, Noah. Good idea. Let us know how that works out fer ya'.

    BTW–I think this rally is more about waking up a few people to the kind of insanity they're letting ruin this country. We elected Hopey, then sat back and waited for him to change everything. As Jim Wallis keeps saying, without a grass roots movement to keep pushing a liberal/progressive agenda, jack shit will get done in Washington. (Wallis being head of the Chrisitian group Sojourners, he didn't use that exact language.)

  60. Trinket

    They're worse than ignorant. They're WILLFULLY ignorant, which is unforgiveable. They deserve whatever scorn we heap upon them.

  61. thecryingeagle

    Dear "Mr." Noah. Stop pretending that this is some kind of class issue bullshit. As a poor, who grew up really poor I want to let you know that the people most annoyed by ignorant poors are other fucking poor people. Poor does not mean ignorant, but thanks for equating the two and being a the patronizing douche bag you are protecting me from (oh no, jokes, I'm melting). Willful ignorance is completely inexcusable no matter who is peddling the secret muslin conspiracy theory. I don't need your help, and I am taking my broke ass down to the rally so that I can hang out with people who aren't fucking retarded, if only for a day.

  62. Delicious_2

    Wikipedia: Noah's nephew is Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine.

    Noah's column: Seven people—young relatives and their friends—will stay at my house the weekend of Oct. 30 so they can attend Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear" in Washington, D.C.

    No wonder he's so irritable.

  63. jbinsb

    This has to be the best collection of hysterical comments ever–particularly the guy who called teabaggers wannabe know-nothing fucktards, or some such. Bodes well for the event in DC.

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