Thousands to Voice Frustrations at Stewart and Colbert Rally

Those in attendance will voice frustrations with politics and be entertained.

October 27, 2010, 6:21 PM

Oct. 28, 2010— -- From across the country – and Canada – thousands of supporters are expected in Washington to attend Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and "March to Keep Fear Alive" this Saturday.

More than 220,000 people have RVSP'd that they are attending on the event's official Facebook page. The National Park Service application, however, only estimated 25,000 people would attend the event, which is scheduled to last from noon to 3 p.m.

The rally is billed as a chance for people to voice their frustrations with American politics and the media, and, of course, be entertained.

"I personally have been frustrated with what I view as a lot of hypocrisy in politics," Miko Wilford, a 24-year-old psychology graduate student from Iowa State University said. "I feel 'The Daily Show' and the 'Colbert Report' do a good job of pointing out the hypocrisies."

Wilford will be making the 17-and-a-half-hour drive each way from Ames, Iowa to Washington for the rally. She said she has never made the long trip for an event before.

Politicians and media representation of politics have distracted Americans from the important issues, Wilford said. She said that she is looking forward to the rally to meet people who feel the same frustrations she does.

"I don't think people are going to the rally because they are liberal or conservative," Wilford said. "It's not about political ideology, but about the way politics are being sold."

For those coming from outside the U.S., it's a way to understand American politics better.

"I just think it's a really good opportunity to meet people who have a sense of humor about American politics," said Keirstead Farris, a 44-year-old custom T-shirt business owner from Vancouver. "Coming from an outsider, it sounds like Americans are constantly being told to be afraid, but they aren't being told what to be afraid of. Despite the fact that Jon Stewart is a TV host and the rally is based on a platform on comedy, I feel that Jon Stewart has more to say about politics than any pundit."

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To Canadians, she said, Americans just seem angry.

Farris will be coming with her 6-year-old daughter to Washington for the weekend.

"Maybe it's because you're beat down or don't have health care," Farris said. "Canadians face the same problems, but it's dealt with differently. I suspect at this rally on Saturday there's going to be a lot of laughs and a lot of people feeling positive. Hopefully people will go home, talk about and be sane about the issues."

Many of those who plan to attend agree with Jon Stewart's message.

"I'm driving more than 150 miles each way because our beltway politics have lost their sanity," said Sheldon Good, a 23-year-old Christian newspaper editor from Philadelphia. "I think it's time we restored truth and civility in this country. Our politicians need to acknowledge that this generation is beyond right-left categories."

Good is heading down on Friday for the weekend rally. He said at least eight other people he knows from Philadelphia will also be going.

He said he has never come to Washington for a political event before.

"The rally appeals to me because I agree with the underlying premise, that the tiny percentage of people screaming at each other on television should not be the only voices we're paying attention to," said Alexis Siggers, a 32-year-old television producer who is coming from Brooklyn for the rally. "Secondly, I think the rally will actually be entertaining. I want to be there to witness it rather than just read about it. I want to see who is there and who agrees with this idea that the national shouting match has gotten out of control."

Despite any disappointment with American politics, Wilford, Good and Siggers said they all plan to vote in next week's midterm elections.

Although thousands of people will attend the rally, hotel rooms are still available in Washington, according to the DC Convention and Visitors Association.

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For those who cannot attend the rally, meet ups and satellite rallies are being arranged in 83 countries, according to

Local rallies are also being held in various cities across the U.S., including Chicago, IL, Springfield, MO, Buffalo, NY, Tucson, AZ, Newburyport, MA and Santa Clarita, CA.

Comedy Central Spokesman Steve Albani said that while Comedy Central is "certainly flattered by the enthusiasm ... the only thing we're affiliated with is the rally."

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