UPDATE: On Stewart's 'false equivalency' between Right and Left...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2010, 1:14pm PT  

Just three days before the November mid-terms --- and for no particular reason, other than it seemed "reasonable" --- Comedy Central's tag-team news/satire team Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will hold rallies on the mall in Washington D.C.

Game changers? Or just a really really good time? Or both? We'll see. Here are their rather hilarious competing announcements from last night in case you missed them (each coming after a false start in both cases)...

STEWART VIDEO - "Take It Down a Notch For America"...


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity
www.thedailyshow.com

COLBERT VIDEO - "Fighting Creeping Reasonableness"...


The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
March to Keep Fear Alive
www.colbertnation.com

For more information, see their "competing" officials websites...

RallyToRestoreSanity.com
KeepFearAlive.com

* * *

UPDATE 9/19/10: Glenn Greenwald offers a cogent analysis of the "false equivalency" seen in Stewart's intro to his event which suggests a comparison between baseless extremist cries from the Right that "Obama is a socialist who wasn't born in the U.S. and hates America" to the very real cries from the Left for accountability in the case of alleged war crimes committed by the Bush Administration, as cited directly by the U.S. Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib...

In support of his argument, Greenwald quotes a June 2008 McClatchy report noting, among other things [emphais his]:

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," [Maj. Gen. Antonio] Taguba wrote [in his report]. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Greenwald goes on to conclude:

The claim that Bush is "a war criminal" has ample basis, and it's deeply irresponsible to try to declare this discussion off-limits, or lump it in with a whole slew of baseless right-wing accusatory rhetoric, in order to establish one's centrist bona fides.

It's admirable to want to apply the same standards to both sides, but straining to manufacture false equivalencies doesn't accomplish that; sometimes, honestly applying the same standards to each side will result in a finding that one side, at least in that regard, is actually worse. When that's the case, a person engaged in truly independent, non-ideological inquiry --- rather than the pretense of such --- will expressly acknowledge the imbalance, not concoct an equivalency where it doesn't exist. By stark contrast, Stephen Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" seems extremely well-focused and on-point.

Political cartoonist and blogger Tom Tomorrow tweeted this morning in response that false equivalency has always been "Jon Stewart's achilles hell", to which we responded in kind that, indeed, this is the area where Stewart, unfortunately, "still suffers from MSM's Disease."