Media Releases

U of T expert to document The Rally to Restore Sanity

October 27, 2010

TORONTO, ON – Is political satire hurting American politics? Turning viewers into cynical “slacktivists”? And will Jon Stewart’s call for “more sanity” and “less shouting” translate into a political message?

UofT Professor and political satire expert Megan Boler hopes to answer these questions when she travels to Washington to interview Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert fans attending The Rally to Restore Sanity this weekend.

“This is a once-in-lifetime chance to investigate the million dollar question that stymies media scholars and activists– ‘Does watching political satire actually motivate people to take action?’”

Boler will be interviewing rally goers to determine whether The Daily Show with Jon Stewart plays a role in their political activism. Interviewees will also respond to the charge that The Daily Show breeds cynicism and its fans are really just “slacktivists” who would rather laugh than take action.

“This rally – a crowd estimated at 300,000 given the “Restore Sanity” Facebook response – provides an opportunity to extend my last five years of research on digital democracy to look at how social media and fan culture is catalyzing new forms of political mobilization.”

Professor Boler can be contacted at the rally on her cell phone, 416-454-5076, and will respond to email sent to


WHAT: Professor Megan Boler documents “The Rally to Restore Sanity”

WHERE: National Mall in Washington, DC.

WHEN: Saturday, October 30 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

For more information, please contact:

Megan Boler
Professor, Theory and Policy Studies
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
416-454-5076 (cell)

Michael Kennedy
Media Relations
University of Toronto