What If A Tea Party Fell On Washington

NPR discusses the widely varying crowd estimates

What if a tea party fell on Washington DC and the press didn’t reported it?  Would it have happened?  Well it seems the mainstream media is betting their lack of detailed coverage will erase the fact that it happened.  If they even report the protest they downgrade the crowd size to a few thousand – I read as few as 60,000 and never saw more than 75,000 reported.  Conservative bloggers, conversely, like to boost the number to as high as 2 million.  Reality is never partisan, so the actual number is somewhere in the middle.  But the middle, in this case, is a very wide chasm.  Wizbang, a conservative blog not known for being “crazy,” estimated the crowd, “at between 500,000 and one million” people.

The WSJ under-reported the size of the protest.

A Google News search this morning found hardly an American press outlet acknowledging this weekend’s huge protest in Washington DC.  The Wall Street Journal reported the crowd to be only “tens of thousands” and included a tightly cropped image leaving readers to conclude it was a relatively small protest composed of crazies.  Perhaps the same crazies that keep showing up at the town hall meetings.  Similarly, the Washington Post under-reported the crowds but they carried more stories related to the protest than any other news outlet.  (I guess I’ll give a limp hand clap to them for that.) NPR waited a day to report the protests, while downplaying the size and significance.  Others kept their stories brief.

By this afternoon, the press were finally covering the story.  Perhaps they had to coordinate a counter-attack with David Axelrod.  Or more likely they did not become interested until Politifact.com discovered something to wet their anti-conservative appetites.  Apparently, some conservative bloggers were displaying an aerial photo of the 1997 Promise Keepers Rally and attributing it to Saturday’s march.  Perhaps by mistake, perhaps to deceive, I don’t know.  Either way it provided the Conservative-hating Huffington Post fodder to discredit the entire protest, while ignoring the very impressive real photos posted on Michelle Malkin. (If you have not seen this blog I encourage you to visit the site.)

Apparently this crowd is smaller than it appears.  Go figure.

The moral of this story might be that if you want coverage of a story the press refuses to cover, just tell a big lie.  It’ll get the left-wing bloggers all stirred up and attract plenty of main-stream media attention.  Presto!  Problem solved.  I hope that wasn’t what happened because lies discredit us.  Those of us who blog do so because we want our opinions heard.  If we frame our opinions in lies we are no different than the Left.  It is the Left that chants the Stalin quote, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Don’t believe me?   Read FactCheck.org’s dissection of last Wednesday’s health care speech, perhaps the President should apologize to Joe Wilson, but I digress.

The fact is that while the press was largely quiet about Saturday’s huge march on Washington that does not mean it didn’t happen.  And just because “Joe Liberal” in Seattle thinks a few thousand people, who don’t represent him, marched on Washington, doesn’t mean David Axelrod believes it.  Sure Axelrod said, “I don’t think it’s indicative of the nation’s mood,” but you can bet the march impressed him that the country is not happy.  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the press reported the tea party in DC, what really matters is that those stubborn Congressional asses, their blue dog pets, and the red-looking Administration saw the crowds, read the signs, and heard the angry voices.
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