Fox News Freaks Out Over Stewart/Colbert Rally

Jon Stewart as Glenn Beck

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have managed to completely freak out Fox News as evidenced on Fox and Friends this morning, when the network had its propaganda crew claiming that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s rally won’t outdraw Glenn Beck’s. Brian Kilmeande asked, “How can you possibly outdraw Glenn Beck?”

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:

After playing a clip of Stewart on O’Reilly last night, host Steve Doocy said, “Ok and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are going to have a big rally in our nation’s capitol, at the end of October and when asked last night on the O’Reilly’s show whether or not they have a permit or something like that, Jon Stewart said probably not.” Brian Kilmeade then delivered the Foxaganda, “I believe they do, and they are heavily on the line on this, but can you possibly outdraw Glenn Beck? They are putting themselves totally out there.” Gretchen Carlson chimed in with, “That’s what we were discussing yesterday. I don’t know if it’s a such a smart P.R. move, but you never know how many people will show up. Lots of people watch their shows.”

Here is why Fox News is so worried about the Stewart/Colbert rally. Stewart and Colbert average 2.2 million viewers a night each. which is more than what Glenn Beck averages on Fox News. Here are some other ratings numbers courtesy of Comedy Central via the Stephen Colbert fan site, No Fact Zone, “Most-watched and highest-rated summer ever among Total Viewers (P2+), Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, Men 18-34 and Men 18-24. Most-watched late night talk shows with Adults 18-34, Men 18-34 and Men 18-24. Vs. last summer, ratings for “The Daily Show” were up +10% among Adults 18-49, +22% among Adults 18-34, up +20% among Men 18-34 and up +15% among Men 18-24. Viewership grew +9% to 2.2 million Total Viewers (P2+).”

That’s right folks, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have more viewers than Beck, and they are younger, and more willing to attend a rally, but Fox News is out there pushing the spin that it would be impossible for Colbert and Stewart to outdraw Beck. Beck’s rally only attracted 87,000-100,000+ people, and this is with the support of Fox News and people being bused in for free by Freedom Works. Combine Stewart and Colbert’s younger demographic along with the fact that this is a comedy rally, and entertainment has a much broader appeal than fringe political rallies, and it is not only possible that Stewart and Colbert outdraw Beck. It is a virtual certainty.

Fox News knows that if Stewart/Colbert outdraw Beck it is not only an embarrassment for them, but it also damages their delusional narrative about the Tea Party being some mass popular grassroots movement. If Jon Stewart manages to pull more moderates for a rally about toning it down, than Beck and Fox can pull for their Teabagger jihads, the Tea Party will look like the angry little fringe group that they are. Brian Kilmeade had it all wrong. Stewart and Colbert have nothing on the line. They are comedians, but Fox News is looking at a massive humiliation coming their way on October 30th. This is why they are preemptively trying to diminish and spin the Stewart/Colbert rally away.

70 Replies to “Fox News Freaks Out Over Stewart/Colbert Rally”

  1. I’m sorry, but I don’t think the question is about who will draw the larger crowd. More important is what will be taken away from the event by attendees and by viewers. Beck had a lot of people – people who could not make the trip – watch the coverage on TV and take up on the message. Colbert and Stewart need to make sure of two things: first, maintain monumental media access before the event (get it in our heads). But more important, they need to craft a message that, long after the last person leaves the Mall, remains and rings true. As comedians, they can create funny, memorable lines. But there must be an over-arching message that will be heard, even by those who may ignore it until then. A message that the ambivalent will hear later, and make them say “Huh… never thought of that. And it sounds like a better option than all these posturing platitudes.”

  2. Stewart and Colbert’s rally is not about politics, but I believe the point that Stewart is trying to make is more about tone and media coverage. Stewart is trying to make a social point, whereas Beck was all about politics and holding a Tea Party pep rally, along with boosting the Beck brand, of course.

    Stewart and Colbert are satarizing this whole rally phenomon and the media coverage that drives. I believe that they have a different message than Beck did, and I have read a lot of political media coverage that is trying to analyze the political significance of the Stewart rally. There isn’t any, but there is a huge social message to this that will only serve to broaden the gap that exists between the way each generation relates to the media.

  3. The draw of the Comedians Rally will only go to show that comedy will upstage propaganda every time. At least as many people who can’t attend the rally will be watching it on TV as was projected to watch the Glenn Beck Hate Rally. Long live Jon Stewart and Stephan Colbert. And they won’t even have to buy gold.

  4. Mr. Beck left absolutely nothing for people to take home. He spent one day pretending he was the Pope and then the very next day he went right back to his hypocritical self. The hypocritical self was the person that the people came to see, not the Pope

  5. personally I think Fox news is worried that the two comedians are going to slam them to death

    If they have to respond to more than one slam they may go into gridlock. Either that or between all the shows on Fox they will give 50 different stories of meaningless drivel.

  6. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they did have a bigger audience than Beck? Regardless their numbers, we can count on Fox to lie about it. I hate sounding prophetic, but everyone knows exactly how Fox will react. Hopefully MSM will cover the event but that’s no guarantee of accuracy in reporting. See how negative these conservative maggots make me. Nice article Jason.

  7. I watched Beck’s rally broadcasted on Facebook, and got nothing of value from it. It seemed like all he and his guests were talking about were ideas he’s already expressed on his show. There was nothing enlightening that made me say, “Oh, that makes sense.” All I saw was recycled material.

    Besides, half the work’s already been done for Stewart and Colbert. Already influential media outlets are talking about it–and they were even before the idea was announced, back when we were petitioning Colbert to do a rally.

    As for having a message…it does. Or “they” do.

    Stweart’s rally is about extremism, how the majority of Americans have long been drowned out by this nonsensical “feargasm” that’s swept our nation–on both ends of the political spectrum–for a long time. It’s about saying for once–and I quote Stewart here–“We’re here, but only ’till three–we have a sitter,” and to “Take it down a notch, America.”

    Colbert’s opposing rally is as us early petitioners had hoped it would be–a mockery of the extremist views we see on the media today, programmed to make us afraid.

    There isn’t really a political message, saying that one political mindset is better than the other, or to make us reconsider our party/political affiliation. Nor is this a “youth activation” event, that will make all of us naive young people go out and “vote for the unions,” as Beck has stated. This is to show people concerns we’ve already had, and hopefully show others that you don’t have to subscribe to an extremist way of thinking to have a voice in America–you can still be reasonable, no matter your political beliefs.

  8. *EXACTLY*

    I think a lot of people are missing the point.

    The idea for a rally originated with the fans.

    The reason for it is that Beck’s rally was so ridiculous, and so out of touch with reality, and it’s significance so blown out of proportion……..that to give an actual response would dignify it more than it deserves.

    Furthermore, any “serious” response would just be spun anyway.

    The only possible way to show what’s wrong with the political climate in this country is to satirize is.

  9. It is. Politics has been and always will be a popularity contest. Sure you can support someone who has a message you believe in strongest, but in order to win over the masses, it’s all about popularity.

  10. …because it is, to them. The idea that Fox has the biggest viewer base is paramount in importance to their entire business-plan. O’Reilly was, I think, the first to say it outright. But Fox have always tried to make that point, with more or less subtlety, in their advertising. Just about every day, some Fox personality will dismiss some person or issue by saying, “We’re the top-rated news network, so…”

    [Pick one]

    1. “…our jealous competitors make untrue accusations to hurt us.’
    2. “…why bother listening to/watching/believing [them]?’
    3. “…therefore our news stories *must* be fair & accurate.’

    In other words, it’s not just about advertising revenue and it’s not just silly contest about numbers that don’t really mean anything; Fox takes this very seriously. They want to keep viewers from wandering off the plantation, so they play to their audience’s fears or insecurities…the kind of deep-seated animosities and trepidations that seem to boil to the surface by the time people reach a certain age. So, Fox’s pitch goes something like this.:

    “Hey, we’re #1 but that’s just a fact — we’re not bragging. We’re just like you, plugging away and doing the best we can. We don’t believe in accusing anyone, but we do ask hard, commonsense questions. In fact, we hardly ever even raise our voices or get angry, though we’re often provoked. Hey, you already know that the world is full of spiteful, undeserving people who want things you have but aren’t willing to put in the time to earn them…things you worked long and hard for. Some of those people are out to get us, too, but look how we still managed to rise to the top. That’s the American Way, isn’t it? We believe in the same things you do. That’s why you know you can trust us.”

  11. It’s still mind blowing to me that this all came about from someone on this website. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be the OP who launched this, knowing that their brainchild has potentially lowered FOX to it’s knees.

  12. Glenn Beck isn’t a comedian? People take what he says seriously? I feel sorry for the United States if this is the case

  13. I believe that the rally IS about Politics and Media. The difference between Jon’s Rally and Beck’s Rally is who is delivering the message. For me, beck’s Rally was more about “What will Beck say to us?.” The Rally to Restore Sanity, I feel, allows those that want to go to discuss politics amongst themselves, in a manner that isn’t Fear, or freaking out, but clear thinking. “How will we fix this shit?” compared to “Here’s how you’ll fix it”

  14. Dismissing satire is foolish, fighting it is even worse. Satire has been an extremely powerful and subversive force throughout history. It’s also notorious for being remembered with great significance beyond even its target.

    Fox can try as much as they want, but they cannot control history, no one contemporary can. People can fight over control of the current narrative, but there’s nothing they can do about the bigger picture… assuming they even have the vision to try.

  15. whoever wrote this article is an idiot. Fox is not ‘freaking’ out…at least I define freaking out a little more dramatic then just comparing beck to stewart. I don’t watch fox, beck Colbert or Stewart…well, some stewart, but I see him more as a comedian than a serious political media outlet. I’ve followed his career since MTV and always enjoyed him. Do I take his show serious? Absolutely not. Much like Beck, they both may have very good insight, but the delivery of that message is not in a manner I can take serious. If it works for others, great, it just doesn’t for me.

  16. If you want to see a lot of people come to the one nation rally on October 2nd. I call it middle class uprising for working people…we are not tea baggers they do not speak for us and neither does the republican corporatist party….

  17. — “Much like Beck, they both may have very good insight, ”

    What? How dare you compare Stewart and Colbert to Beck. They are by far superior in relaying actual political opinions and facts, albeit with humor, where as Beck is an imbecile that vomits half truths and out right non-factional information. Fox news should be ashamed of the way the spin their reports. Beck should be committed. :)

    — Schween

  18. Unfortunately Christian your point came to a sudden stop right after you resorted to calling the author an idiot.

    You couldn’t even remember his byline so why should I or anyone else credit you with actually reading the post?

  19. In general I too believe that the message is the important focus here. But part of that message does need to be that there is an extremely large population that does not support the “posturing platitudes” already. The activity on the Rally facebook page(s) is significant, although what can one really determine from a facebook page? Satellite rallies are being organized in many major cities, and media coverage is growing daily. Honestly, in light of the amount and nature of the facebook traffic, this seems to be taking on a life of its own.

  20. What most of you are saying about Stewart not having a political agenda with this rally is a bit untrue. I don’t watch Stewart on any regular basis any more, but have casually tuned in at random since the show’s inception. I do remember that when the show started it was a COMEDY show first and foremost, lampooning any/everyone in the news. When I started to tune in less was when it became an obviously politically charged daily “mass” of sorts for those who could not stand President Bush — this was of course during the Bush administration.

    There were PLENTY of rallies, plenty of media events where the ‘other side’ went way over the edge in criticizing President Bush and other’s in the administration (think cries of Hitler, think cries of baby-killer, think Cindy Sheehan or Michael Moore rallies, etc.). But did Stewart hold ‘counter-rallies’ at that point in time? … .. .

    Having said that, I agree with Stewart’s stated intentions/motivations with regard to this rally, I just don’t believe him. It’s obvious to me where his political affiliation lies, and I don’t believe a claim of being “fair and balanced” when it comes from his mouth or FOX News’ mouthpieces.

  21. barry HUSSIEN obama is a kenyan born, radical muslim communist waging jihad against America! Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are fighting to take back our WHITE House. Say no to the 9/11 obama victory mosque at Ground Zero. Say no to more un-employment benefits for stupid, lazy workers. So no to 20 billion chicago style shakedowns of innocent corporate citizens like BP just to help the small people. Say yes to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy! Impeach Obama – the supreme Court can then appoint Jeb Bush President – circa 2000!

  22. Its time to back off of Glenn Beck…..his father and his uncle were both war
    hero’s during WWII…..they both died in a Nazi Death Camp just before
    the end of the war as the British liberated the camp…….both of them fell
    out of their gun towers.

  23. Dear Jeb: you drove the state of florida over the cliff despite big tax breaks for the wealthy…I suggest you hide for ….well…how about for
    the rest of your life. Have a nice day.

  24. I’m sorry for Glenn Beck but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. He promotes hate. Actually, he is doing exactly what was done in Germany toward Jewish people. He lies on this show, it is pure propaganda to further his radical ring wing agenda. Unfortunately, many American believe him. That isn’t good for America. He is disrespectful to OUR PRESIDENT. Whether he likes him or not his is our President. He doesn’t need someone on TV manufacturing lies about him.

  25. Thanks Nurse Nancy. We certainly don’t want another Bush in the White House. Enough of Big Business, Big Money and Corporate America governing. That is what we get with Republicans.

  26. I have a feeling JS and SC couldn’t care less who shows up to the rally, especially since JS said his van only has room for four persons. I really feel in my soul that this is just going to be a heartwarming get-together and we will all be filled with joy.

  27. Rhubarb. What happened during the Bush Administration regarding rallies is nothing compared to what Fox and the tea baggers are doing. I remember one of the Dixie Chicks said something about Bush and she had death threats against her. They went through some very trying times just because they didn’t agree with President Bush. It was almost treason if you spoke out against Bush because of how he manipulated the masses to believe he was the hero behind the war on Terrorism. Now Rush, Glenn, Fox News and crew say horrible things and outright lie about our President, and nothing seems to happen about that. Hummm, makes one wonder if a bit of racism is involved.

  28. H3ll, yes! But never, ever expect them to own up to the fact that it plays a role in their disrespect for President Obama, Judy. When the tea parties first began showing up, and I saw the signs, read the emails, and heard the screams of, “We want our country back!! I knew racism was one of the factors that brought so many people out to rage against the president and the government after they had acted as if their lips were sealed with super glue from 2001-2009 as the Patriot Act was signed into law, Roe vs Wade wasn’t repealed, the rich got richer, the deficit soared, we were fighting two wars, Iraq was invaded for no reason, jobs were outsourced, etc. Some of these people’s relatives were probably some of those who stood outside of “their” school in 1967 and heckled a very frightened 13 y/o African American female who was on her way into a school that her parents’ tax monies helped to support. I was that girl they hated so much that compelled them to show up and protest against integration. The same people who were so enraged after January 20, 2009 acted as if they didn’t realize that the financial meltdown of 2008 had its origins under GWB, a man that most of them had voted for twice.

  29. I’m 57 and my daughter is 29, and we’ll be at the rallies on October 30. These are the only rallies that will get me to leave GA and go to D.C. I certainly wasn’t going to go to D.C. and join up with a crowd of tea partiers who I know wouldn’t like me any better than they like President Obama since I’m also African American. They would have put on a big show of welcoming me, but I have too much experience in dealing with people like them to think/believe that their efforts would have been sincere. I had planned to make the October 2 rally, but I didn’t want to go alone since my daughter would be working on that date. She’s arranging to take some vacation days for the Colbert-Stewart “Best Event of 2010.” Since I’m newly retired, I’ve got to work more on going on trips all by my lonesome. LOL

  30. ‘I certainly wasn’t going to go to D.C. and join up with a crowd of tea partiers who I know wouldn’t like me any better than they like President Obama since I’m also African American.”

    Can’t believe you’re making me defend tp’ers but don’t you think making generalizations that declare mass groups of people to be so intolerant is completely against what Stewart and Colbert are trying to accomplish here?

  31. Perhaps you should get your facts straight, but the DC Police reported roughly half a million people at Glenn Beck’s rally. I dislike Glenn Beck, but there’s a line.

  32. Jon Stewart has never said he was trying to be “Fair and Balanced”. As a matter of fact, he has admitted on air that his show is not. “Fair and Balanced” is Fox News’ slogan/lie.

  33. Yeah… Fox News seemed really freaked out. I could barely understand them through their hysterics.

    The irony of it is this kind of article is EXACTLY what the Colbert/Stewart protest is about – you bitter partisans motherf—ing everyone you don’t agree with and blowing things way out of proportion.

    The rest of us have s**t to do like work and feed our kids.

    Sorry for that freak out. I really must tone it down.

  34. Meaning no disrespect – but the actual number was put at between 87,000 and 100,000. Beck and Fox News have had a history of greatly inflating numbers. There is also instances of Fox News re-using file footage of more popular rallies as “evidence of turn out” at a Beck or Hannity or Tea Party event. Again – no disrespect, but you need to get your facts right.

  35. Sorry Mr. Easley, but that is bullshit. If you have ever watch either show, yes, they are comedy shows, but they are specifically geared towards political comedy. So, the rally is about politics, more importantly, making fun of the state of our politics and lack of political leadership overall.

    The gap between the generations exists due to the way the government is run now compared to how it was run back in the 50s & 60s. We actually had leadership and leaders that cared more about the people then they do about their standings with the public. My generation doesn’t give a shit about our leadership because they are just a bunch of puppets trying to appease the uber powerful, not trying to make the country better.

  36. “He is disrespectful to OUR PRESIDENT.” (Judy Powell)

    Sorry. I agree with just about everything you said except this one. There is no law that says he has to be respectful of our president. Beck does not get his power by grabbing it; he gets his power by saying things certain people will listen to, even if it is mindless garbage or blatantly incorrect. There are plenty of people who will listen, and THAT is the part that should scare you. There are many forces that cause this wide spread ignorance, but Christian fundamentalists in Texas/Kansas sure comes to mind when they try to shove their religion into school text books.

  37. Ha ha, it doesn’t matter how many people go to see Colbert and Stewart. Fox, Beck, Palin and the rest will just lie, as they already have, about how many people attend. Facts and teh truth don’t mean a thing to these people. Most of them can’t do math anyway.

  38. From the CS Monitor on the Beck rally – “…a firm hired by CBS News to estimate the crowd put attendees at between 78,000 and 96,000. The firm,, had three estimators go over high-resolution aerial photos of the event, and then combined the three estimates. “

  39. Colbert and Stewart make a mockery and a joke of our system… as flawed as it may be this is still the USA. When you go to congress with something other than serious business, to perform a charade, a foolish spectacle is a serious offense. The fact that this was allowed and condoned by an elected official says much about the ruling party.

  40. Sadly, its a generalization but a fairly accurate one. I have teabaggers in the family and it really shocked me when i saw the very racist and derogatory emails that were sent out from the party organizers. I lost a lot of respect for them that day.

  41. bull DC police said they did not have an estimate for the rally and refused to give any to any media outlet on or off the record.

  42. I don’t think being honest about the motivations of a large group of people is counter to what Jon and El Stephen are trying to accomplish. They aren’t trying to be accepting, or open minded, or understanding that the ethos of a group does not solely define its individual members, they’re about keeping the “real” newsies and the politicians honest, or at least that’s always been how I view the content of their nightly shows. To shy away from suggesting that the teabaggers are on some level racially motivated is something i’ve seen Jon call several people on, and I watched Stephen call congress on it today, and under oath no less.

  43. Anderson Cooper V. Barney Frank

    – Jello is mandatory
    – 15-minute rounds (4 rounds total)
    – Socker Boppers gloves will be used
    Will have more attendees than all three of these rallies combined. Nothing else to talk about, 10/11/10 is when the scheduled event with occur. $5 admission ticket, located at the Wombats High school gym in North Platte, Nebraska. Pay Per View will be available!

    See you there!

  44. Incorrect. The attending group was counted from aerial photography and was place at approximately 87,000 with about a 10% margin of error.

  45. I love how one of the guys actually thought stewart was serious about not having a permit. The guy’s a comedian, but apparently that’s a concept too difficult for the bright minds at Fox.

  46. Can you back up any of this information that you are providing with references? I am not saying that he may, or may not have had that many attendants, but in order for you to make an educated argument against something, it stands to reason that you would want to prove your point with referenced facts.

  47. Yes, the 50s and 60s, when leaders really cared about the people and not personal power. People like J Edgar Hoover, Governor George Wallace, just to name a couple. How could one ever forget they’re willing self sacrificae to make the world a better place.

  48. We also had a large, dedicated Civil Service, that didn’t have to agree with their bosses. We had unions and a more level playing field between consumers and businesses. We had the in-house capability to make our own decisions. Now we can’t even rescue a drowning city or deploy our military without a contractor’s help and agreement.

    “Privatization” means citizens no longer have a control over what their own tax dollars fund. Contractors and for-profit businesses call the shots.

  49. I think the ‘Million Moderate march’ is about people (like myself) who are sick to death of the right wingnuts who, rather than being grassroots, are bankrolled by powerful conservative PACs (but won’t admit it) and how they’ve hijacked the political process since the Regan administration by playing to peoples fears and emotions rather than engaging in intelligent discourse about serious problem solving. (how’s that for a serious run-on sentence? My English teacher must be rolling in her grave…).
    Back in the 50s and 60s we had a better educated electorate since more was demanded from students back then than today. There were no cell phones or ipods or facebook to distract them and parents actually took a serious interest in how their kids did in school. If your teacher sent a note home you were in deep doodoo.
    You were EXPECTED to go to school and do what the teacher said (sit down fold your hands and be quiet! Yes MA’AM!). None of this ‘Oh my child doesn’t have to do that’. or ‘How DARE you talk to MY CHILD THAT WAY!.’ I work with a former gym teacher who gave up teaching because he got sick to death of parents (usually of overweight kids) calling him on the carpet for trying to get their kids to exercise (as most school systems require these days).
    Anyone who doesn’t believe schools have ‘dumbed down’ education find some answers to the original Jeopardy! as opposed to the current show. A little sobering.
    I’m not saying the ‘good old days’ were better, overall they weren’t, but some things were. And the current emphasis on emotional rhetoric Uber Christian mythology and media manipulation is more reminiscent of Nazi Germany and the old Soviet Union than the country I grew up in.
    I’m all for the “Million Moderate March” to show the extremists that there’s a wide swath of centrists who don’t like what’s going on and want it to stop.

  50. I have a simple wish, that all media in every form would discuss seriously the topics and sources Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart use so successfully in their comedy routines. Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, CNN and C-pan would tell me something that doesn’t leave me wanting to throw things at the TV. Fox News is a propaganda arm for the conservative movement as is the rest of the news media is to a lesser degree. After the 2008 elections there was a study stream of republican and conservative talking heads that far out balanced the progressive talking heads. Spewing miss truths and lies without challenge from the interviewer who mostly supporting the conservative message or remained silent.

  51. An Analysis of C’s Comments

    1st sentence: anti-1st Amendment statement with a pretty blaring sense of nationalism.
    2nd sentence: indicates you don’t understand sarcasm/satire + implies you completely missed the message + you need to remember that the message, not necessarily how it was said, was significant.
    An example of my previous point: despite a more verbally toned-down post, you’re still a victim of thoughtless partisanship. I’m also going to take a guess about you. Do you see yourself as more intelligent than your (probably) louder political buddies?

  52. Thanks for speaking up Rick. I’ve seen a few blog posts lately that completely omit the origin. By the way, last I looked we were above $460,000.

  53. I watch the shows (nearly) every night and was looking forward to watching the rally – then my DVR set the time for East Coast (I’m West Coast) and I missed it! Ouch! Highlights are on the web, but wanted to watch the whole thing at the time.

    Ah well – next time (hopefully!).

  54. An interesting thing is that the points of the rally faded away over the months and things became just as crazy and heated – the shooting in Arizona caused a bit of introspection, but wonder how long that will last.

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