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