Jon Stewart's people said this week that the city "denied our permit" for his Oct. 30 "Rally To Restore Sanity," scheduled for downtown Los Angeles' publicly owned Pershing Square park.
But Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks officials say that isn't so. They spin the story this way: Pershing Square simply wasn't available.
The proposal to hold the rally wasn't even considered. And, they said, city officials offered to help Stewart place the event at one of L.A.'s 400 or so other parks-and-rec locales -- an offer they said Stewart's people rejected.
Why is Pershing Square off the grid for this event? Parks and rec spokeswoman Andrea Epstein told the Weekly:
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"We're preparing for our largest annual winter event, Downtown on Ice, and the request conflicted with our plans for preparations for that event."
"The request didn't even go through the approval process because the venue wasn't available," she said. "We'd definitely be happy to help them find another Recreation and Parks locations."
Downtown on Ice, by the way, happens Nov. 18 at Pershing Square and runs through the holidays.
Jon Stewart's Oct. 30 rally? Not so sure where it's happening, but we'll keep you posted.