City Desk

The Needle: Sanity Restored Edition

Jon Stewart Rally Draws 215,000

Fear the Sanity: Turns out a crowd equalling about one-third of the District's population showed up on the Mall on Saturday to demonstrate in favor of... well, Comedy Central, and the Roots, and also clumsy metaphors involving the Lincoln Tunnel. CBS News, which estimated the crowd at Glenn Beck's August march at 87,000, used the same technique to declare 215,000 people packed into the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. That helped set an all-time Saturday Metro ridership record of 825,437 trips. After tomorrow's midterms turn into an unmitigated disaster for Democrats, chances are Jon Stewart's rally will serve as the closing bracket on the "We Feel So Good About Politics" thing that had been common to the Daily Show-watching, college educated, hipster slice of the Obama coalition for the last two years; a year from now, people will look back at the fact that they went to a Viacom-produced TV event on the Mall just before the GOP took over with no small amount of bewilderment that it happened at all. But hey! At least they had funny signs! +3

Gary Condit Returns<: During the summer of 2001, Adams Morgan was a vast wasteland of cable TV satellite linkups and 24-hour-stakeouts—all because reporters couldn't bear to stand the thought of missing the possibility that then-Rep. Gary Condit might say something about the dead intern he was, allegedly, boinking at the time of her disappearance, Chandra Levy. Testifying at the murder trial of the guy police say actually did it, Ingmar Guandique, Condit played the gentleman and refused to say whether he had a romantic relationship with Levy. Which means we're one day closer to that happy moment when we can all forget about Gary Condit again. -2

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas: With Halloween now past, the entire U.S. economy is rapidly gearing up to get you excited to buy whatever gifts you can afford for your friends and family after you splurged, in a recession-caused bit of the blues, on buying too much chocolate this past weekend. (Or maybe that was just us.) Even the federal government is getting into the act; tickets for the Dec. 9 lighting of the National Christmas Tree will be distributed via an online lottery starting Thursday. Yes, this item is officially part of the War on Christmas, which in future years, will probably see early skirmishes starting in, oh, June, if this holiday calendar creeping continues. -2

Detroit Rock City: This NFL season had, for a time, threatened to undo the cosmology of Redskins fans, accustomed—ever since Dan Snyder bought the team—to spending their Sundays watching ever-more frustrating, confusing, and embarrassing losses. Fortunately, with yesterday's 37-25 defeat by the Detroit Lions, the gentlemen in the Burgundy and Gold reverted to form, complete with a mystifying quarterback change and countless unforced errors (like, say, center Casey Rabach tackling quarterback Donovan McNabb so the Lions defensive line didn't have t0). With a bye next weekend, Redskins fans have two weeks to ponder what sins they may have committed to deserve Snyder. -2

Friday's Needle rating: 49 Today's score: -3 Today's Needle rating: 46

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