Sunday, September 13, 2009

Obama protests hit DC: what are the numbers?

Matt Welch at Reason covered the protest against the Obama campaigns. Welch says the crowd was easily over 100,000 protesters. The media seems intent on playing down the protest. For instance, if you want to make a large protest look small, only show people close up and don't mention numbers. That seems to be what CNN did.

I was wondering if they would show any shots which would give an indication of the size of the protest. They quite scrupulously avoided doing so. I went to the New York Times, which leans so far left I'm surprised they haven't fallen over. Their headline on the rally only says "thousands." Farther down they say it numbered "well into the tens of thousands." The police monitoring the event refused to release a crowd size estimate. All the photos I saw there were relatively close-up shots which also never depicted what the article called "a sea of protesters."

The Washington Post said "tens of thousands of conservative protesters," apparently the Post believes one either supports Obama or is a conservative. No other option exists in their universe. Buried in the middle of a slide shows of photo is one that gives an inkling of the size of the protest.

Google news shows there are 10,427 stories on line about a rally Obama held in favor of government control of more areas of health care. On newspaper says that 15,000 appeared at the rally Obama orchestrated. While that rally got 10,427 mentions the counterprotest, which was multiples larger, got a total of 147 mentions. And most those mentions are not from mainstream media.

Someone did remember that there are traffic cams on line and here is a picture showing the protest marching down the street. It appears pretty massive to me.

The British press, however is a bit more interesting, though they may exaggerate in the other direction. The Daily Mail says: "Up to two million people marched to the U.S. Capitol today..." They showed the following photo which gives some crowd size indications.

Allow me to show you what the traffic cam showed. This is a time delayed sequence, meaning it only takes a shot every so often. From the indications of the timelapse video of the crowd marching past this intersection then Matt Welch is far closer to the mark than the mainstream media. Some press are pretending only 30,000 showed up. Some will estimate 70,000. But it sure looks like more to me.

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