Rally to Restore Sanity: How Many People Were There?

john stewart rally signsThe Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear is officially over. The show concluded with Tony Bennett singing 'America the Beautiful.' And now the question on everyone's mind is: Did Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert kick Glenn Beck's butt?

Beck's Restoring Honor Rally -- held back in August on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech -- drew a crowd that was estimated at anywhere from 87,000 to 300,000. (Beck himself estimated that far more people actually attended his rally).

Jon Stewart opened today's event by saying, "We have over 10 million people!"

Fox News, on the other hand, estimated the turnout to be underwhelming at best. Its guesstimate? Seven people.


"Our total count includes Stewart, [Stephen] Colbert, and what appear to be a few of their friends and relatives,” said Fox anchor Shepard Smith. "This has to be a smaller crowd than they were expecting.”

Okay, that's obviously a joke (from Andy Borowitz at the Borowitz Report).

Kidding aside, did Stewart and Colbert beat Beck's numbers?

We don't know -- yet.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the numbers are contradictory.

Comedy Central said on its permit for the event that it was expecting 60,000 people, but also that it was ordering 500 port-a-potties, which, at a recommended ratio of 1 for every 300 attendees, suggests that they wanted to be ready for 150,000.

Buses from New York were ordered for 10,000 people by the Huffington Post. And by last night, 229,000 had RSVP’d as attending on Facebook. (There were also 111,261 “maybe attending,” 243,040 “not attending” and 10,000 who hadn’t answered yet.)

Perhaps more important than the numbers, though, was the message of the rally as summed up in Stewart's closing remarks:

You go, and then I'll go. We have to work together.

Stay sane, people, stay sane.


Image via Laura Brunow Miner/Flickr

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