The Big Think

March 28, 2010

Okay, This is Just Silly

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 10:50 pm

I mean, really. Really?

Look at this photo:


Take a second look. How many people would you estimate are there? I routinely see 2200 people in a single room (the main theater in Waco Hall on the Baylor campus), so I have a fairly good idea of what that many people look like. I’m not good at estimating really big numbers, but even I can see that this crowd is somewhere between, oh, 10,000 and 15,000 people. Possibly more, but I’d lowball it to be on the safe side. I’ll be extremely safe and call it 8,000. But there’s lowballing, then there’s lowballing.

How many were reported being here by CNN?

Dozens. Yup. Dozens. They also said “hundreds”. In fact, CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield’s language was a bit weird as she specifically said “Hundreds of people, at least dozens of people – we haven’t gotten a count of how many people turned out there.”


Look, I can understand someone saying a thousand people. After all, it’s hard to estimate when you don’t have the God’s eye blimp-cam view. But dozens? Hundreds? As my friend says: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

I’m not ready to go all conspiracy theory on this one, It may have been a slip of the tongue (although the error was never corrected), but I will say that whoever confused this rally with a Bach family reunion needs a new pair of glasses and some tutoring by a certain Muppet.


Just so I’m clear, I’m not getting all righteously-indignant about this one. I think it’s more a case of misspeaking. Still, it’s funny, and it fits the meme of the media downplaying the importance of the massive public rallies that have been taking place (witness the fact that Time magazine didn’t include a single picture of the Tea Parties in their “2009 in Review” issue). I think miss Whitfield is a bit embarrassed tonight. There are plenty of other things to get exercised about than a badly estimated number. Of course, its very possible that the she wasn’t looking at the video as she improvised on the story. It just kind of makes me laugh in a duuuuuuhhhh sort of way.

By the way, the official number was 20,000.

1 Comment »

  1. maybe Miss Whitfield should be paid dozens of dollars.

    Actually, I think this is one reason why mainstream media will be *losing* dozens of dollars in the near future.

    witness the fact that Time magazine didn’t include a single picture of the Tea Parties in their “2009 in Review” issue)

    Aaaaaach!! No mention at all? Fortunately, I think, many people no longer rely on institutions like Time for their information: there’s a definite cause-and-effect here, and I think it goes in one direction. Get with it, folks.

    The irony here is that big institutions like Time are/were perfectly situated to dominate the landscape as newsgathering changed its ways. It was theirs to lose, and, as is often the case with complacent giants, they lost it quite capably.

    Comment by barrybrake — March 29, 2010 @ 11:02 am

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