Activists love/hate Stewart rally

Covering the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rally was fun, especially when I had the chance to ask them a question that played on CNN. Here’s what I wrote about the event:

Activists had a love-hate relationship with the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rally that brought tens of thousands to the National Mall on Saturday.

Even as they passed out stickers and petitions for legalizing marijuana, giving D.C. statehood, keeping abortion legal, making birth control free, ending the war, and addressing climate change, some felt offended by the comedians’ mockery of traditional activism.

Others laughed along and suggested that rallies have become an arcane tactic given technological advances.

Stewart kicked off the three-hour event with a joke about rallies, saying they are not judged by the coherence of their message or the level of engagement.

“No, it’s colors and signs,” he said.

Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink, didn’t laugh with the crowd. She said protests are a hallowed tradition that have helped end wars and give minorities and women rights.

“These are things to celebrate and not belittle,” Benjamin said, calling Saturday’s event “a tribute to slacktivism.”

Read on here.

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