In the penultimate moment of the rally, Jon Stewart got serious.
This rally, he made clear, was about the culture of inflammatory rhetoric, and pinned much of the blame on the 24-hour, cable and blog fed news business.
“Let me take a moment for sincerity, and I know that there are boundaries for comedians, and I am sure I will find out tomorrow that I have violated them,” he said.
“We live now in hard times, not end times,” he said. “We can have animus and not be enemies.”
He said that the media “did not cause our problems, but its existence made solving them that much harder.”
He said, “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing. There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats, but those are resumes that must be earned.”
The event featured nearly level playing field of clips from right and left wing commentators using over the top rhetoric.
He added, “The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we get sicker, and maybe even drunk.”
But he finished his speech by saying, “Yet that said, I feel good,” pointing out that the majority of Americans, despite differences in party and religion, do work together.
“The truth is we do. We work together to get things done, everyday. The only place we don’t is here or on cable TV.”
“Most americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats or Republicans. Most Americans live their lives just a little bit late for something they have to do.”