Carol Platt Liebau: A Little Agenda Journalism

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Little Agenda Journalism

In this AP story, reporter-with-agenda Jennifer C. Kerr noted yesterday that "thousands" rallied against the Iraq war yesterday on the Ellipse. Well, actually, make that only two thousand as of the time the story was first written (HT:Hugh Hewitt and Protein Wisdom).

Given the fact that, in an earlier dispatch, titled "100,000 Expected at D.C. Anti-War Rally" the same writer covering the same subject had noted:

Organizers of Saturday's anti-war protest predict about 100,000 people will crowd the Ellipse near the White House for a rally and march

Ms. Kerr must have been very nervous about the early numbers. Fortunately, she had an excuse at the ready:

In a hitch for some coming to the protest, 13 Amtrak trains running between New York and Washington were delayed for up to three hours Saturday morning for repair of overhead electrical lines. Protest organizers said that held up thousands coming to the rally.

But as it turns out, the excuse wasn't needed -- Ms. Kerr "reported" that the protestors probably made their numbers.

As she doubtless "knew" they would -- which is why she used the headline touting "thousands" when only 2000 had actually gathered. How helpful to have a reporter who knows what the story is before it even happens. When you've got an agenda, the piece just writes itself!

Update: James Robbins adds a little perspective to the 100,000 number.


Blogger cookie jill said...

carol -

If you folks would actually check facts...instead of just relying on "talking points"


In the post, Johnson published the photo below as evidence of the “media’s tendency to exaggerate,” arguing that “it looks like the turnout was much less than 100,000 people.” Johnson noted later in the day that “Al-Reuters” had also used the 100,000 number, despite the fact that the picture below “refutes” that claim.

Note to Johnson and Malkin: Maybe the reason the photo didn’t show many marchers is because the photo wasn’t of the march. That actually went down 15th Street....

To judge the size of a demonstration down 15th Street, it’s probably best to use a photo that actually includes 15th Street,

2:41 PM  

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