I was busy at work Friday and Saturday, so I missed Comedy Central’s Laughapalooza on the Mall. Fortunately, I’ve seen how folks have covered Tea Party rallies, and it’s like they didn’t actually show up there either, so I feel fully qualified to offer my opinions and observations.
First up, the crowd was overwhelmingly white. There were hardly any minorities in the coverage I did see.
Second, there were a lot of nuts there, with the prerequisite hate-filled signs. The organizers did a really lousy job at “preserving sanity” and keeping the crazies at bay. Why, it’s almost as if they intended to appeal to the nuts.
Third, one of their key celebrity guests was noted Islamic radical extremist Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. Islam, who supported the fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie’s death. Rushdie earned the wrath of “radical” Muslims for depicting Mohammed in a novel. I seem to recall organizer Jon Stewart ripping his bosses over their cowing over a similar threat when South Park wanted to depict Mohammed; one wonders if that subject came up either before or after Islam performed “Peace Train.”
Oh, and the Salman Rushdie incident wasn’t the only time Yusuf Islam has dabbled with extremism. He attended a fundraiser for one of Hamas’ Canadian front organizations, recorded a song for another Hamas fundraiser, and has been tied to numerous radical Islamist terrorists. Essentially, he portrays himself as the civilized “face” of Islam, raising money to further the ambitions of the more openly radical.
And remember, he didn’t just show up. He was invited there by the organizers and put front and center as an exemplar of “sanity.” (Counterbalanced by a certified expert on crazy, Ozzy Osbourne.)
“Rally to restore sanity?” If this is sanity, I’ll stay “crazy,” thank you. Their vision of sanity requires a bit too much denial — if not actively rewriting — of reality.