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US comics unveil dueling DC political rallies

WASHINGTON — Top US comic Jon Stewart will host a rally here next month to "restore sanity," a thinly-veiled dig at right-wing chat show host Glenn Beck's recent "Restore America" march in the US capital.

Stewart announced the Rally to Restore Sanity, an all-day event scheduled for October 30, on The Daily Show on Thursday.

"We will gather on the national Mall in Washington DC, a million moderates march... to send a message to our leaders to say we are here... to make a strident call for rationality," Stewart said.

The march was a chance for what Stewart said were the 70-80 percent of Americans who try to solve the country's problems rationally and be heard above the more vocal and highly visual 15-20 percent who "control the conversation."

"You may know them," Stewart said.

"They're the people who believe that Obama is a secret Muslim planning a socialist takeover of America so he can force his radical black-liberation Christianity down our throats. Or that George W. Bush let 9/11 happen in order to pass Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock portfolio."

Minutes later, comic Stephen Colbert used his own show on Comedy Central to invite Americans to attend another rally -- called the March to Keep Fear Alive.

Billed as an event to counter Stewart's call for a return to reason in America, that march will also take place on the national Mall on October 30.

Within hours, more than 34,000 people had pledged on Facebook to attend the two rallies, and those unable to come to Washington were planning demos in other US cities and even internationally.