NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t AIR

On Oct. 30, comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will host dueling rallies on the National Mall. Called “The Rally to Restore Sanity” and the “March to Keep Fear Alive,” respectively, the two rallies closely mimic Glenn Beck’s recent “Restoring Honor Rally,” also held in Washington, D.C. Stewart sat down with Terry Gross on Sept. 29 in front of a live audience at New York City’s 92nd Street Y to discuss his time on The Daily Show, his role in the media, and the upcoming rally — which is being billed as “Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement.” “Like everything that we do, the march is merely a construct,” he says. “It’s merely a format, in the way the book is a format, a show is a format … to be filled with the type of material that Stephen and I do and the point of view [that we have]. People have said, ‘It’s a rally to counter Glenn Beck.’ It’s not. What it is was, we saw that and thought, ‘What a beautiful outline. What a beautiful structure to fill with what we want to express in live form, festival form.” […] But even though The Daily Show often comes up with facts and stories missed by other news sources, Stewart says, it would be wrong to describe what he does as “journalism.” “We don’t do anything but make the connections,” he says. “We’re just going off our own instinct of, ‘What are the connections to this that make sense?’ And this really is true: We don’t fact-check [and] look at context because of any journalistic criteria that has to be met; we do that because jokes don’t work when they’re lies. We fact-check so when we tell a joke, it hits you at sort of a gut level — not because we have a journalistic integrity, [but because] hopefully we have a comedic integrity that we don’t want to violate.”

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