Obama backs Jon Stewart's 'rally to restore sanity'

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The Independent Culture

US President Barack Obama praised a comedian Wednesday for organizing a "Rally to Restore Sanity," saying it may help instill more "courtesy" in American political life.

The president, speaking in Richmond, Virginia, tacitly welcomed US comic Jon Stewart's plan for the rally, a thinly veiled dig at right-wing US icon Glenn Beck's "Restore America" march on Washington's grassy esplanade known as the National Mall last month.

"I was amused," Obama said of The Daily Show host's rally, an all-day event scheduled for October 30, as an effort for people who expect common sense and courtesy in daily interactions.

"They may not be following every single issue, because they just don't have time. But they are just expecting some common sense and some courtesy in how people interact," he said about average people simply "going about their business," "looking after their families" and "working hard every day."

"And having those voices lifted up is really important."

After Stewart's announcement, Stewart's alter-ego Stephen Colbert, another comedian, used his own TV show on Comedy Central to invite Americans to attend another rally, which he dubbed the "March to Keep Fear Alive."

Billed as an event to counter Stewart's call for a return to reason in America, that march will take place simultaneously on the National Mall on October 30.