My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


MSM Fails

Earlier today, I posited that the MSM had an opportunity to cover the dueling protests in Crawford today with a fairness and balance reflective of the balance of the population. Instead, what we seem to have gotten is ambiguity and obfuscation.

From the AP:

Several thousand people descended on President Bush's adopted hometown Saturday, most in a cross-country caravan for a pro-Bush rally and others to support an anti-war demonstration led by grieving mother Cindy Sheehan.

Bush supporters gathered for an event marking the culmination of the "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" tour, which started last week in California. The crowd of about 1,500 chanted, "Cindy, go home!"
[emphasis mine]

From the NYTimes: the AP story--it didn't even warrant coverage from the Times' staff writers.

From the WaPo, on page A03:

They arrived in thousands from all corners of the country, asserting their right to protest in the name of war and peace near President Bush's ranch. . .

Chief Donnie Tidmore, head of the seven-member Crawford police force estimated that 8,500 protesters had descended on his town.
[emphasis mine]

From the LATimes: so far, just the AP story, though the Sunday morning edition is not out yet.

Now, I'm pretty sure that the biggest number I've heard from the Sheehan camp is several hundred protesters, so even if 1,500 is the right number for the pro-Bush rally, that's significant. But take a look at the number Chief Tidmore cited--8,500. And the AP story admits that most of the protesters are there for the pro-Bush side.

Which leaves several questions:

:which number is right? or, most likely, is the number somewhere in between?
:what, exactly, is most? is that 55%-45%? 70-30? 85-15?
:is most of several thousand really 1,500? 'Cuz to me, "several" means at least 4, so "most" would have to be at least 2,000 . . .
:why does this protest not even warrant a staff reporter from the Times? did they have their own person on site for Cindy Sheehan?
:is page A03 really the best place for this story?

I went to the websites for the Waco Tribune and the Dallas Morning News, and didn't find a story there, other than the AP, so the local reporting doesn't seeem to be any more effective than the national reporting. Though, in fairness, their morning editions are not yet out, so it is hard to pronounce yet.

I'm looking forward to seeing real coverage of this event somewhere. I expect it--like Able Danger, Swiftboat Vet, and RatherGate--will get much better coverage somewhere in the blogosphere than anywhere on the MSM.

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