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City Paper gives reporters 10 rules for Stewart/Colbert rally
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:41 PM
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Default City Paper gives reporters 10 rules for Stewart/Colbert rally

TO: WASHINGTON CITY PAPER STAFF

FROM: MICHAEL SCHAFFER, EDITOR

RE: STEWART/COLBERT RALLY

Colleagues—

Several of you have asked me about this coming weekend’s satirical National Mall rallies featuring Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. As you probably know, at least one other news organization, NPR, has forbidden news staffers from attending. Others, including the Washington Post, have reminded staffers that newsroom policy permits them to witness events, but not to “participate” in ways that could call into question their impartiality—i.e., by chanting, waving signs, etc.

At a time of grave concerns about our economy and our national security—not to mention a period of tumult in our industry—it is obviously crucial that all media organizations develop appropriate guidelines for staff attendance at mock-political public appearances by cable-television celebrities. After significant consultation with Washington City Paper’s expensive outside team of professional ethicists, we’ve settled on the following guidelines. Please read and follow them closely:

1. You may attend the rallies in a non-participatory fashion.

2. However, because the rallies are comic events, you may not laugh.

3. The act of not laughing, though, can be just as politically loaded as the act of laughing. Therefore, staffers are advised to politely chuckle, in a non-genuine manner, after each joke.

4. To avoid any perception of bias, please make sure to chuckle at all jokes, whether or not you find them funny. As journalists, we must make sure to not allow our personal views of “humorous” or “non-humorous” to affect our public demeanor.

5. Likewise, it could be devastating to our impartial reputation if our staffers were seen laughing at something that was not intended as a joke, thereby appearing to mock the entire event. If we are lucky, the comedians will have a drummer on hand whose rim-shots may be used as a cue for when to politely chuckle.

6. If no non-verbal cues for laughter are available, please observe audience members around you. If they are laughing, imitate their laughter with a non-genuine polite chuckle. If they are not laughing, remain stone-faced. Whatever you do, do not apply your own personal cognitive skills to determining the humorousness of any particular clip. Such an approach exposes us to charges of bias.

7. On the other hand, a situation could arise where partisan foes of the Comedy Central hosts laugh at them in a derisive manner unrelated to the timing of their on-stage jokes. In this case, your failure to join in the mockery could potentially be interpreted as a sign that you disagree with the derision—an equally distasteful indication of bias. Please follow the above guidelines and also chuckle politely, but not genuinely, at any instances of counter-comedy.

8. In our experience, public appearances by comedy figures also draw audiences whose members frequently make jokes amongst themselves. These attempts at humor might not necessarily fit into the rational example of protesters versus counter-protesters outlined in the guidelines above. However, you could nonetheless indicate a great deal about your personal biases via your decision as to whether or not you laugh along when the person next to you riffs about, say, marginal tax rates. Please make sure to follow the above guidelines and respond via polite, non-genuine, mild guffaws to the jibes of amateur comics in the audience.

9. We’re also aware that the large crowds expected at the rallies could produce a cacophonous din, one in which you are unable to discern which jokes are being made by audience members, counter-protestors, or the day’s main attractions—and, worse still, where observers may think you are laughing at an anti-Republican joke when you are actually laughing at an anti-Democrat joke. To protect our cherished reputation against such a danger, I have arranged for each of you to be issued a pair of earplugs. Should the event grow too raucous, please insert these earplugs immediately. Once you have inserted the earplugs, please chuckle politely, and non-genuinely, every 74 seconds, to maintain the appearance of non-biased and appropriate responses to the event.

10. You are free to laugh heartily and genuinely at any jokes that target the terrorists.


Please feel free to see me or Mike Madden should you need any further clarification.

Best,

Mike
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:06 PM
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I am just glad to see that liberals think the current situation is so comical that they're willing to gather by the thousands to mock it. Actually, its not so different from the last inauguration so carry on.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:21 PM
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lol

"We can't afford to restore sanity in this economy!" - Colbert.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:34 PM
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My younger brother is flying across the country to go to the rallies. Young people these days...
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedskinsDave View Post
I am just glad to see that liberals think the current situation is so comical that they're willing to gather by the thousands to mock it. Actually, its not so different from the last inauguration so carry on.
Well Beck's rally was a joke too, but don't blame liberals for being funny when they intend to.

Really, 2 comediens are hosting a mock rally and this is somehow political failing of liberals? Dave you're funny.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RedskinsDave View Post
I am just glad to see that liberals think the current situation is so comical that they're willing to gather by the thousands to mock it. Actually, its not so different from the last inauguration so carry on.
While both sides of the aisle are guilty, the situation they are mocking is more the Right's doing.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:09 PM
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Well Beck's rally was a joke too, but don't blame liberals for being funny when they intend to.

Really, 2 comediens are hosting a mock rally and this is somehow political failing of liberals? Dave you're funny.
Do you really think conservatives will attend? Oh right, they aren't partisan except for the fact that they really are.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RedskinsDave View Post
Do you really think conservatives will attend? Oh right, they aren't partisan except for the fact that they really are.
I know plenty of conservatives who think Stewart and Colbert are funny.

But I agree, this is largely a liberal/Democratic rally.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RedskinsDave View Post
Do you really think conservatives will attend? Oh right, they aren't partisan except for the fact that they really are.
Yes they are liberal. How outrageous.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedskinsDave View Post
Do you really think conservatives will attend? Oh right, they aren't partisan except for the fact that they really are.
Yes, I do, because I know plenty of Conservatives that have a sense of humor.

Why is that material to anything? It is a rally mocking the one Glenn Beck had.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Keino View Post
It is a rally mocking the one Glenn Beck had.
Political ideology aside, it is hard to disagree with the premise of the rally: That being our country would be in dramatically better shape if the discourse was less extreme.

I think Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others are hurting the U.S., but I would feel the same way if the hyperbole they spew was coming from the far Left. Those guys don't want to help fix problems, they want to make money (Beck) or help a specific party win elections (Limbaugh).
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedskinsDave View Post
I am just glad to see that liberals think the current situation is so comical that they're willing to gather by the thousands to mock it. Actually, its not so different from the last inauguration so carry on.
You do realize that this rally is fashioned to mock Glenn Beck, right? You'd be hard pressed to find someone better to mock. It's inflammatory, extremists like him who are hijaaking the GOP and preventing real solutions to real problems.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ibleedburgundy View Post
I know plenty of conservatives who think Stewart and Colbert are funny.

But I agree, this is largely a liberal/Democratic rally.
I was thinking about attending when they were billing it as a rally for moderates. This country needs that so desperately. I'm not really interested in attending a rally for either side side if it promotes the same old partisan bickering.
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The one disappointment of the off-season housecleaning that brought Allen and Shanahan here is that they didn't part ways with Larry Michael as well. He is a prominent and unavoidable symbol of the horrible way Snyder and Cerrator ran this team in the past. Moving on to a new era of Redskins football, on and off the field, should have meant severing ties with him as well.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:16 PM
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You do realize that this rally is fashioned to mock Glenn Beck, right? You'd be hard pressed to find someone better to mock. It's inflammatory, extremists like him who are hijaaking the GOP and preventing real solutions to real problems.
Precisely. And precisely why moderate conservatives, who are also sick of the tone of the discourse in this country will likely attend.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:45 PM
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Precisely. And precisely why moderate conservatives, who are also sick of the tone of the discourse in this country will likely attend.
Moderate conservatives?
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