It looks like Comedy Central is REALLY trying to stage manage a successful rally:

Steve Albani:
Please note, taping for television or any other filming is strictly prohibited between 3rd and 7th Street without a media credential.

Richard Pollack sets him straight about the law:

Although it may not make any sense to you at this moment, the National Mall is not a TV set, although it may look like one.

As the former chief Washington producer for ABC’s “Good Morning America” for nine years, let me assure you that you cannot bar cameras from public walkways on the Mall. It has never happened.

And so we will be there crew and all.

It does seem a bit incredulous that a rally for “reasonableness” should exclude freely based camera crews exercising their First Amendment rights to cover your attendees walking on public property. Unless this is Prague in 1968. And unless Comedy Central own tanks. Or unless it deploys a Comedy Police with enforcement powers.

An attempt to protect their live show, or an attempt to manage news? It will be fun to see them try to stop people on public property filming and tweeting. I don’t think it will go over well with their fans. Are these people really this stupid?

I smell crashing and burning.

Update: After 2 hours of watching this I know why they were forbiding filming. It really REALLY Su*&^!

Update: Tweet of the day:

This really says it all

Attendance:

I predict a rally attended by maybe 50k maybe slightly more a ceiling of about 75k pretty close to the Freedomworks rally but nowhere near Beck’s. Stewart is a legitimate star as is Colbert, the idea of what their fans consider and “open air show” and what the establishment left consider their best chance to convince their base that they have a chance will help bump the numbers up porta potty issue or no.

The Draw

The draw will come in three flavors. The primary flavor that decided to go right at the start will be college age Comedy Central fans. They are coming for fun, and if Arianna Huffington and Oprah want to pay their way so much the better. Their purpose is not primarily political (although some might have strong political beliefs) they are there for a good time, some partying and the hope of getting laid. (yeah that’s blunt but true)

The secondary flavor will be the Democratic political class/Unions. There are the hardcore dems who hope to use this rally in the way that OneNation was supposed to be used, to convince the democratic base that they have momentum. They are aware that the MSM are going to do their best to advance this narrative so Union leaders and Various activists will compel their membership to go. I suspect they will be dwarfed by the first flavor and will find the Stewart fans a whole lot less enthusiastic for what they are selling.

The final flavor will be the true believes like the lady I met in Newton two weeks ago they believe in Obama, Obamacare, global warming, cap and trade, etc. This includes a lot of the socialist groups that attended one nation in the hopes of getting joiners contributes. They will be the smallest group and their reaction will be based on how they look at it. Publicly they will talk numbers and be “inspired”, privately they will notice that the non-activists have very little interest in their causes. Watch their body language when they get home, it will speak volumes.

The Show

This I have absolutely no idea about, don’t know what Stewart is planning, how he is planning it, how much will be comedy and how he intends to do it. Since his primary shtick is to play off of others I don’t know how he does that. Will he show parts of the Beck rally and comment? Will he try to parody bits and pieces of it? Will Colbert do a fake Beck while Stewart laughs at him? I’m presuming that he has good writers but there is a difference between writing for a live show with an audience that he can’t predict vs a studio audience. I’m presuming Stewart’s team is likely to and has been collaborating as much as possible with the democratic left to whatever degree they can without risking their brand. I also trust Stewart’s team will make sure that there is not trash left everywhere.

The Media

The media is in the worst of all positions. They support this march and the goals of all three groups. They will be portraying the march in the most favorable light possible, but people from the right will be there with cameras and phones tweeting so they are in a box. If the attendance numbers are VERY low then they will be very embarrassed since the story will be of an epic fail. If the air photo is smaller than Beck’s by degrees as I suspect they will be it will be used against the media as it portrays it as a win. If there is drunkenness and public nastiness then it is going to be shown by conservatives but ignored by the media. If the crowd gets too rowdy and/or destructive then the story and the narrative goes very astray. I don’t know if CSPAN will cover the rally, if they do then watch out. Bottom line, the media has a narrative they have already written and are hoping for, everything will depend on how far from that narrative that the actual event goes.

The End Result
Bill Press is exactly right in on respect, activists here are wasted instead of being in the field. A lot of the young people there frankly are not likely to be getting OTHERS out to vote and I suspect the greatest quantities are already coming from the bluest of areas. This is not going to create any actual votes but it might allow the media to try to push a narrative of democratic momentum in the last 48 hours.

In the end The Sunday and Monday shows will be all over this, if it is a success they will trumpet it, if it mediocre they will pretend it is a success, if it is a failure and/or an embarrassment then they will declare it simply a comedy show and nothing else. The problem for the media however is they no longer have the monopoly on the message and the alternative message will be getting out in real-time via twitter and the blogs.

What started as a show/publicity stunt has basically become a high stakes risk for Stewart and Comedy Central. If they make democrats look bad he will find there is plenty of room under the Obama/Democratic bus. If he pulls it off then he will have even more power then the left has already ceded him. God help him if it is boring.

I will know if I’m right within 48 hours, so will you.

BTW how telling is it that there is not a single Memeorandum thread on this subject at this time 7:48 a.m. Could it be that the media has already decided it will not pan out and is starting to downplay it?

Update: One thing I neglected to mention. Politics aside Stewart’s primary goals for the rally are tied up with fans of the show and the audience there. The lefts & the media’s goals (I know redundant) are tied up with the viewing public not there.

Update 2: My God that was boring. He did however draw more folks then I thought but not nearly as many as Beck.

Update 3: Pajamas Media has some more and wider shot photos and better methodology (including the ridiculous CBS stuff) Still not as much Beck but still pretty impressive. This quote is vital:

Big name acts, extensive crowd control, rules against video or audio taping even with your cell phone, boring political speeches … this wasn’t a rally, this was a U2 concert!

And that tells us the real story: they held a rock/comedy concert, with pro acts including two of the hottest TV comedians around, and professional production, with free admission and with Arianna Huffington paying for bus rides — and no matter what you think a “dense” crowd is, it was still only about six-tenths of Beck’s open-air church service.

Actually I thought the acts were so so (I thought the dueling trains stuff was very clever) but I think the real question that I still don’t have a good answer on is the composition. I’ll keep digging

I actually didn’t get my question on camera, I asked about the appeal of the show to a conservative audience and if it makes waves at MSNBC

I actually think the audience was a bit surprised at my “outing” myself as a conservative. The Jim DeMint thing was a running gag of the night.

Betsy was the only attendee who was willing to do a short interview with me

I’ve really got to stop announcing myself as a conservative in rooms of liberals if I want more people to talk to me.

Willie Geist talks to me at the Book signing in Framingham for his volume American Freak Show

It was a pretty good crowd and they are pretty good speakers it was a lot of fun to hear from them.

The only thing that annoys the media more than Catholics being Catholic, is when the leaders of the Catholic church demand that political figures who call themselves Catholic live up to the name:

Arbp. Burke said that the culture today pushes a “cafeteria Catholicism,” whereby some Catholics pick and choose “what part of the deposit of faith to believe and practice.” As a result, “there has developed in places a false notion that the Christian or any person of faith, in order to be a true citizen of his nation, must bracket his faith life from his public life.”

“We find self-professed Catholics, for example, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage,” said the archbishop. “It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself publicly in this manner.”

Expect the media to be outraged and democrats to try to use this against republicans, under the theory of course that a believing Catholic by definition is not qualified for public office.

Any reporter who asks a pol to comment on this should be instantly asked this question: “Do you believe that a believing Catholic who follows the tenets of the Church should be disqualified from public office in the United States?”

As for the bishop, as far as I’m concerned this is what you call Pope material!

For reasons I still can’t explain after a night of fast dancing and a fine wedding meal (there is nothing like fast dancing with a fedora) I ended up wide awake at 4 a.m. to be greeted by an e-mail from Barbara Espinosa from the American Freedom blog and host of blog talk radio’s hair on fire Thursday nights or anytime via this link asking the above question concerning this Globe story:

In a move that school officials believe is the first of its kind in the state, Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.

The school will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.

Well I’m sure this isn’t the same as the situation with Wellesley schools segregating their students by sex and praying at a Mosque for a field trip (Still unsure when they will be scheduling their trip to St. Anthony di Padua for mass but I digress). They of course have a significant Muslim population and a ton of absences that day, don’t they?

Cambridge School Superintendent Jeffrey Young said the district does not collect information about the religion of its students. But Young said that there is a significant Muslim population in the city, and that, at least anecdotally, the Muslim population in the schools appears to be growing.

anecdotally? Cambridge is making its decisions in their schools based on anecdotal evidence? There’s gotta be more to it than that. There is:

Marla Erlien, chairwoman of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission, said the discussion about closing Cambridge schools for an Islamic holiday began several years ago when the commission conducted a survey at Rindge and Latin asking students about discrimination, and at a follow-up forum students raised concerns about how Muslims were a “discarded group’’ whose holidays weren’t recognized in the schools.

So Cambridge has a “human rights commission” and it was that commission that has been pushing for this change.

What do I say to this? Several things to several different people:

Soon to be agitating for Halloween off before the Cambridge Human Rights Commission
To Cambridge, hey it’s your city, the people there elect their school committee and their city council, if the taxpayers of Cambridge want to vote in these guys and they to close their schools because the “human rights commission” wants to accommodate followers of the Great Pumpkin it’s on them.

To Barbara’s e-mail? I answered it’s Cambridge if they didn’t do something like this I’d be shocked.

To Democrats: Congratulations, here is another gift for you just prior to election day. I’m sure that Cambridge the symbol of Massachusetts liberalism is happy to give you this gift in the year you need it the most.

and to followers of exotic religions everywhere, if your holy day is not a day off in Cambridge Mass, it’s only because you are agitating loud enough (like maybe one angry letter).

Q: How insanely paranoid is Andrew O’Hehir’s review of the movie Secretariat?

And Ebert is about as far let as it gets.
Ebert’s article starts thus:

Andrew O’Hehir of Salon is a critic I admire, but he has nevertheless written a review of “Secretariat” so bizarre I cannot allow it to pass unnoticed. I don’t find anywhere in “Secretariat” the ideology he discovers there. In its reasoning, his review resembles a fevered conspiracy theory.

Read the whole thing along with Ebert’s review of the film here.

Of course if you prefer your red meat from a red source there is always John Nolte at Big Hollywood who says:

O’Hehir’s divisive, race-bating language should look familiar to you. This is what the Left does when they’re losing power and out of attractive ideas to launch any kind of comeback. It’s the language of desperate left-wing politicians and their media allies when facing everyday Americans with the temerity to speak out against ObamaCare and a failed stimulus in townhall meetings; it’s the language of White House surrogates desperate to dishonestly shame into silence the millions who organized Tea Parties after waking up to the nightmarish realization that Obama wasn’t kidding about fundamentally transforming America, and now O’Hehir has opened up this new front.

I had no interest in this movie, I was alive when this happened. The Horse ran and won, but I’m tempted to do so just to make him go Kryten