As someone who is not overly enamored of large marches as an effective political tool in this media era, I nonetheless understand they have value for those attending as they can be extremely motivating and inspirational, not to mention a lot of fun. The problem, from an organizational standpoint, is that it's hard to justify all the effort that goes into putting them together relative to the amount of media impact they have. In this day and age the media are just basically bored with marches in general and are only slightly more enthusiastic about covering them than the first round semifinals of the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.
Protests are tired in general. Media reporting, however, seems selective — there wasn't much reporting on the "pro life" protests in Washington on Monday, perhaps because there's no way to spin that against Bush.
I'm sure if Mel Gibson had shown up at the pro-life rally with a couple of Cosmos under his belt singing "To All the Girls I've Loved" it would've been all over CNN too, and Reynolds would've had to fall back on mewling about the tragicly unfair dearth of Good Time News from Iraq. But as the Knob of Knoxville once again demonstrates his profound ignorance about how the media operates, it does inadvertently lead to an interesting question — are the celebrities one must produce in order to get the media past their big collective yawns offering the right message for the moment?
Don't get me wrong, I admire all of those who showed up who were willing to publicly speak out against the war, and believe that their willingness to do so despite knowing that they will be demonized by the right wing noise machine is extremely admirable. But with a war opposed now by some 75% of the country, I'm not sure having it promoted as a "fringe left" cause was the absolute best plan. And I say that as someone who would be considered by most to be a fringe lefty — I'm not sure having me standing up there would've been a great idea, either. I don't agree with John Murtha about much of anything other than his position on the war, and that's what made him a great candidate to start pushing back against Dick Cheney and his merry band of neocon nutballs. Trouble is, finding a celebrity with Murtha-type baggage that the cameras want to glom onto is quite difficult — and overnight the Mighty Wurlitzer would instantly turn them into a drooling zealot anyway. Remember, the subject of Michael J. Fox and whether he was "faking" his Parkinson's symptoms for political gain was a serious topic of discussion amongst serious people during the last election cycle. If there is a limit to how far Pills Limbaugh will go to smear someone who isn't doing a St. Vitus' dance of love for George Bush, we haven't found it yet.
I don't have any answers, just making an observation.