Jon Stewart closed Saturday's Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear with remarks that took the media -- particularly cable news media -- to task for its role in American political life.
"If we amplify everything, we hear nothing," Stewart told the crowd.
It's the same sort of criticism that Stewart has leveled against pundits for years, but on Saturday, before an estimated 215,000 people and just days before midterm elections, Stewart's on-stage remarks may have resonated more deeply than ever before.
"The country's 24-hour, political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems," Stewart said. "But its existence makes solving them that much harder."
Stewart could have used the phrase "perpetual panic conflictinator" during another of his defining career moments: his 2004 appearance on the late CNN show "Crossfire."
HuffPost Political Reporter Jason Linkins revisited Stewart's infamous "Crossfire" performance in the lead-up to Saturday's rally. Linkins highlighted an email from HuffPost reader Larry Alessandrini.
Alessandrini saw Stewart's "Crossfire" appearance as "the seed" for Saturday's rally:
"Stewart basically laid the seed for his upcoming Rally, the premise of which is that the most extreme, insane voices get all the media attention. His biting critique of Crossfire illustrated that without a sane, rational, objective press in this country, sanity and civil discourse has no chance."
Another defining moment? Stewart's introduction of the first "Daily Show" after 9/11.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|September 11, 2001|
Stewart's other defining moments:
• Rally To Restore Sanity's Roots: A 'Relatively Closer Look' At Hitler References
• Rally To Restore Sanity's Roots: Colbert's Fear Of Bears, 'Godless Killing Machines'
• Rally To Restore Sanity's Roots: 'Is That How You Talk To Your Grandchildren?'
• Rally To Restore Sanity's Roots: 'Real America'
• Rally To Restore Sanity's Roots: A Search For Calm From Day One