I too watched the entire three-hour Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert rally on Saturday. But unlike my friend and colleague Roger L. Simon, I enjoy both of these comedians, and have at times laughed heartily with them, even when finding I disagree with their political assumptions and perspective. Even at this event, Colbert appropriately skewered NPR for refusing to allow its correspondents to attend, out of fear that had they done so, people would have gained the impression that the network was somehow liberal.
But as most everyone has said — and all the critics are correct about this — either the two ignored or did not pay attention to Yusuf Islam's positions on the fatwa against Salman Rushdie or his very evidently fundamentalist view of Islam. The best comment has just appeared today, and is on the blog of Standpoint, the top-notch British magazine.
As the liberal journalist Nick Cohen has written, "What 'Cat' ought to have done was apologise to Rushdie and commit himself to the right to criticise power in whatever form it takes, but he has not and American leftists have yet to learn that they cannot be a little bit liberal. They can't denounce the idiocy of Fox and ignore the idiocies of religion. Maybe they will never learn."