AMANPOUR: And as we turn to our roundtable this morning, we start with a massive rally that packed the National Mall yesterday that speaks volumes about these divisive times. Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert cast partisanship aside in a music-and-comedy stand-up routine for civility and reason.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was less politics and more just a fun day out in the sun.
With entertainment featuring Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock and others, faux dueling rockers on the peace train. And the crazy train.
It wasn't the Beatles, but the message was come together.
JON STEWART, HOST, DAILY SHOW: Everyone has a right to be patriotic. Everyone.
(UNKNOWN) (singing): It's the greatest strongest country in the world and there's no one more American than we.
AMANPOUR: There was some silliness and plenty of skewering.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, COLBERT REPORT: Unleash the media.
You know what our real problem is?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC: A country full of Joe the Plumbers.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Crazed tea baggers.
COREY STEWART, BOARD CHAIRMAN FOR PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA: Criminal illegal aliens.
(UNKNOWN): Far-right cranks.
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS: Far-left loons.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC: Right-wing nut jobs.
(UNKNOWN): Practicing homosexuals.
FORMER GOV. SARAH PALIN, R-ALASKA: Lame-stream media.
MICHELLE MALKIN: Radical imams.
OLBERMANN: Un-American bastards.
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS: Fabian (ph) socialists.
SCHULTZ: They are what's wrong with America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLBERT: I win again!
STEWART: The image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a funhouse mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim.
AMANPOUR (on camera): What are you fed up with?
(UNKNOWN): I just don't like the way that our politicians aren't talking to each other.
(UNKNOWN): I think that it's raising awareness in the young community -- in the young generation now, and I think that's what's important.
(UNKNOWN): It's great to be able to actually have a conversation about being reasonable and being sane, as, you know -- in a time when there seems to be so much anger.
STEWART: We work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don't is here or on cable TV!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
AMANPOUR: And joining me now, George Will, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Cokie Roberts, political strategist Donna Brazile, and also Dick Armey, head of Freedom Works and Tea Party organizer. And ABC's senior congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl. Thank you all for being here.
George, nothing wrong with a day out for civility and reason?
WILL: Nothing wrong with that.
AMANPOUR: I saw you rhythming a little bit there.
WILL: Nothing wrong with that until you begin to equate civility with the absence of partisanship, as though there's something wrong with partisanship.
We have two parties for a reason. We have different political sensibilities. People tend to cluster. We call them parties, and we have arguments, and that's called politics.
AMANPOUR: Some called it poison. Some called it paralyzed. What do you think? Should there be partisanship? Is it an inevitable role of society, a fact of life?