Maybe it's a good thing many mainstream journalists weren't allowed to attend the "Rally to Restore Sanity." They wouldn't be the most popular people there.
For, in a protest against a culture of yelling, journalists are drawing much of the ire.
In a speech following a much less serious show, Jon Stewart said the media is less concerned with taking a magnifying glass to important issues and more likely to take that magnifying glass and use it "to light ants on fire." Then, maybe the media would take the time to report on the dangerous flaming ant epidemic. And Stewart wasn't the only person at the rally speaking up against journalists.
"It used to be that journalism was about thinking, about interviewing both sides of a story, and providing all the details in a calm and collected manner," said Lisa Schreibman, hoisting a neon green sign that read "Can my soundbite be 1,000 words?" "Now it's mostly about making a point really loudly and not allowing for other opinions."
For Schreibman and many others at the rally, public enemy No. 1 is Glenn Beck, the Fox News commentator who held a “Rally to Restore Honor” on the mall a few weeks earlier. "The only Beck that matters is the singer" said one sign, another just simply said "I respectively disagree with everything Glenn Beck says."
"Being here is to make a point that we don't have to succumb to the Glenn Beckness of the world, where all points are made by yelling four words or fewer and not listening to other opinions," said Schreibman. "The point of rallying at the mall is to be supportive of all the other people who keep hanging their heads every time they watch TV."
For some, the men responsible for the rally represent a rare breed of journalists.
"Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are the only people doing what the mainstream media is supposed to do: pointing out legitimate critiques and inconsistencies about our government and our country," said Anne Fruge, a 23-year-old doctoral student at the University of Maryland. "They are the real watchdogs."
Perhaps the most subtle message came from 18-year-old Catholic University student Christine Wilson. Her written sign harkened back to when yellow journalism helped lead the United States into a war with Spain: "Remember the Maine."