On Sept. 16, political satirist and Daily Show host Jon Stewart announced plans to hold a Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30. Not to be out??done, “pundit” Stephen Colbert, whose Colbert Report follows The Daily Show, announced a rival event, the March to Keep Fear Alive, for the same day. Coming three days before U.S. midterm elections, the dual rallies are a spoof on Fox News commentator Glenn Beck’s recent Restoring Honor event. Stewart is urging Americans to “take it down a notch,” while Colbert is offering a counterpoint to Stewart’s “creeping reasonableness.” Both events take place at the National Mall, from noon until three, and are free to all.
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The National Mall
The National Mall stretches from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Over 200,000 people have RSVP’d on Facebook for Stewart’s rally, putting his number of attendees at least on par with Beck’s. Constitution Avenue
Old Ebbitt Grill
Washington’s oldest saloon offers fresh local fare in the comfort of mahogany and velvet booths. You can also saddle up to the elegant marble and brass bar for a drink. If you’re short on time, visit the adjoining Ebbitt Express for some espresso and a baked good. 675 15th St. N.W.
Within walking distance of the National Mall, this recently renovated boutique hotel is the original home of the U.S. General Post Office and is a registered national landmark. Erected in 1839, the all-marble building has 183 rooms featuring vaulted and arched ceilings. 700 F St. N.W.
National Portrait Gallery
In early 2008, Stephen Colbert successfully campaigned to have his picture hung in the gallery for six weeks. The portrait was placed above two drinking fountains outside a second-floor washroom. 801 F St. N.W.
Sidney Harman Hall
Stewart will be broadcasting Indecision 2010: When Grizzlies Attack — The Daily Show Midterm Teapartyganza from Oct. 25 to 28 from the newest edition to the Harman Centre for the Arts Complex. The theatre seats 800, and you can reserve your tickets online (limit of four). 610 F St. N.W.
Free-press stalwarts Stewart and Colbert make their bread and butter from the daily news. Visit the interactive Newseum to catch up on five centuries of news history. 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
HuffPost Sanity Bus
Arianna Huffington, owner of news website the Huffington Post, has promised to provide free round-trip service from New York to Washington for the rally. With more than 11,000 people signed up, the estimated price tag for the buses is nearing US$250,000.