It’s been a much debated issue since it occurred at the National Mall in Washington D.C. in October. Before the controversy over media false equivalence (or not) that it caused, the burning question had been:
Was Sanity And/Or Fear INDEED Restored by Jon Stewart and/or Stephen Colbert at “The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear?”
No one would argue that it was not a success, no one beyond FOX fear-mongering windbag Glenn Beck, or ANY fear-mongering windbag at FOX, for that matter. But as to the sanity or fear issue, who really knows?
One thing that is clear, however, it did restore one measurable thing, and for that reason, it could also casually be called this:
THE RALLY TO RESTORE AMTRAK TICKET REVENUES
Take a look at the Amtrak Performance Report from October and you’ll see that among other things, the Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Rally did just that. Well, sort of.
October’s strong performance was due in part to 1) a somewhat improved economic environment vs October FY10 allowing for the continuing recovery of business travel, especially along the Northeast Corridor; 2) the increased appeal and popularity of rail travel; 3) continued high gasoline prices; 4) effective recent advertising and marketing campaigns; 5) increased difficulties with air travel and growing consumer dissatisfaction with air service; and 6) the introduction of Wi-Fi service on Acela. Furthermore, the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” in Washington, DC on October 30th generated an estimated incremental 9,000 trips worth $700,000 in ticket revenues.
So argue all you want over sanity, fear, or even media false equivalence, knock yourself out.
Either way, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert gave a significant boost to the familiar phrase “All Aboard Amtrak!” in October.