San Francisco activist Medea Benjamin, who founded the anti-war group Codepink and the anti-globalization group Global Exchange, didn’t appreciate her recent unwitting appearance on “The Daily Show.” A photo of Benjamin was flashed in the September 16 show segment announcing Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington D.C. on October 30. That event, which may or may not have started out as a comedy bit but has now morphed into (perhaps) a potentially genuine political rally, is being billed as a “million moderate march,” a call to action for those who don’t engage in the kind of hyperbole Stewart says those on the political extremes traffic in.
Stewart used these words to describe the Code Pink event that the photo was taken at:
“You may be interested in a topic but not dress all in pink, cover your hands in fake blood, and act like you snuck into a meeting that’s public in the first *&8! place…”
Benjamin recently sent out an email to supporters lamenting Stewart’s equating “progressives calling George Bush a war criminal with right-wingers calling Obama Hitler!” She added: “Jon, seriously??”
Do you love The Daily Show as much as we do? Maybe like a lot of us, you go to bed with Jon Stewart four nights a week, and find him a fun, smart companion at the end of the day. Jon apparently doesn’t feel quite as cozy with us, however. When he recently announced his “Rally to Restore Sanity” in DC to counter the extremists he feels are dominating our national political discussion, he included CODEPINK among the “loud folks” getting in the way of civil rhetoric. He also equated progressives calling George Bush a war criminal with right-wingers calling Obama Hitler! Jon, seriously??
Now, we are used to being called loud. We are proud of being loud. In our post-9/11-24/7 news cycle, we’ve learned that the more audacious and outrageous the action, the more likely we are to keep the anti-war message in the national conversation. Jon Stewart says he wants to restore sanity to Washington; we wish he could understand that we aim for this, as well. We wish he could see that all the “loud folks” on the left are actually part of a rational discussion about the future of our nation as we irrationally engage in illegal occupations. What is more insane, after all, than unjust war? What is more outrageous than a US foreign policy of democracy at the barrel of a gun? And really, what is saner than peace?
So we will be at Jon Stewart’s rally on October 30 and will try to use our best inside voices to bring our anti-war message (no promises on the volume, though). Please join us if you can. And bring your loudest outside voice to DC on October 2 for the true progressive convergence, One Nation: March to Rebuild America and End War. We are excited to join a coalition of unionists, civil rights groups, immigrant rights leaders and social justice advocates to remind Washington to Fund Jobs, Not War. Let’s do it loud and proud.
And like every other cause in the world these days, Medea vs. The Daily Show has spawned its own Facebook page, called “Get Medea of CODEPINK on The Daily Show!”
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