So tweeted ABC News' Yunji de Nies, responding to Malkin's ballyhooed, and completely unsubstantiated, claim that ABC News had pegged today's tea party crowd at 2 million. As I noted, nobody else but Malkin can find that ABC News report. (Malkin conventiently failed to post a link.) Not even people who report for ABC News.
Did that number, and did that ABC News bulletin, come to Malkin in a dream last night, or did she simply manufacture today? Take your pick. Either way, it's always comical when right-wingers try their hand at journalism.
From Fox News' live coverage of the September 12 protests:
"ASK SANTA ANNA HOW IT WENT FOR THE LAST PRESIDENT WHO TRIED TO TAKE AWAY TEXAN'S RIGHTS?"
"DONT BARNEY FRANK ME!"
"OBAMACARE IS ELDERLY GENOCIDE"
From Fox News' live coverage of the September 12 protests:
"Fox News: America's ONLY Non-Corrupt On-Air Media"
"Glenn Beck: American Hero"
"I'm a Foxaholic"
It's like Malkin just totally forgot, y'know:
12:34pm Eastern: Police estimate 1.2 million in attendance. ABC News reporting crowd at 2 million.
Teeny, tiny fringe, huh?
Yep, Malkin claims ABC is reporting 2 million, but Malkin can't find the link to the ABC report. Funny, neither can anybody else. What I did find at ABCnews.com was an AP report which claimed "tens of thousands" of protesters are marching today. I don't know, in the right-wing blogosphere does "tens of thousands" now translate into "2 million"?
Also, love Malkin's unsubstantiated claim that D.C. police estimated the crowd at 1.2 million. Again, no link or specific sourcing. It's weird, it's almost like Malkin is trying to deceive people. (Psst, I heard from a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend that ABC News is reporting crowd at 9 million. Think Malkin will post it?)
UPDATED: if you poke around the GOP sections of the Internet you'll discover that that nifty 1.2 million number is "unconfirmed." Shocking, I know.
UPDATED: ABC News confirms it never reported the 2 million number. Says it's "a total myth." Anxiously waiting for Malkin to explain the extra-large blunder.
UPDATED: It's like the blind leading the blind with these wingnuts. Complete (purposeful?) incompetence.
From a September 12 Washington Times article:
Not unless newspaper editors are going to create a brand new standard for covering large, D.C. political protests. Not unless for the mainstream media, angry conservative activists are more important than angry liberal ones.
Who knows how many mini-mob members are going to show up in the nation's capitol this weekend for the Glenn Beck/Dick Armey "grassroots" protest. But even if they defy expectations and 100,000-plus Obama haters show up, based on previous treatment of mass rallies in D.C., and Post and the Times must, in the name of consistency, keep the rallies off the front page.
Why? Because during the run-up to the Iraq War, mass gathering of liberal peace protesters were routinely kept off A1.
As I recently noted:
For instance, in October 2002, when more than 100,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., to oppose the war, The Washington Post put the story not on the front page, but in the Metro section with, as the paper's ombudsman later lamented, "a couple of ho-hum photographs that captured the protest's fringe elements."
For that same 2002 anti-war rally, The New York Times also bungled its reporting. The day after the event, the newspaper published a small article on Page 8, which was accompanied by a photo that was larger than the article itself. And in the article, the Times falsely reported that "fewer people attended than organizers had said they hoped for."
In 2002, when more than 100,000 left-leaning activists took to the streets to protest the policies of a Republican White House, the event was quietly tucked inside the newspapers. For the 9/12 protest, we'll see if editors at the Post and Times maintain the same blasé approach.
It's bad enough that CNN collectively smeared egg all over its face yesterday by mistakenly posting as breaking news that the Coast Guard, on the anniversary of 9/11, had opened fire on a vessel along the Potomac River in the nation's capitol. But for CNN to then defend its irresponsible actions is pretty amazing, and depressing, to watch. So much for accountability. But then again, CNN did sponsor this year's birther crusade, so this sad episode shouldn't be all that surprising.
Of course, CNN bungled yesterday after it overheard Coast Guard radio chatter as personnel acted out a training mission in which they simulated firing on a vessel. (i.e. "Bang, bang, bang. We have expended ten rounds, the vessel is operating at stern.") CNN, confusing the drill with real life, contacted the Coast Guard which told the network it knew nothing about any shots being fired on the Potomac. CNN then went ahead and aired the breaking news anyway.
Most news consumer may not know this, but airing reports based solely on radio transmission is pretty much verboten in newsrooms. Reporters have used emergency and police radio or scanners for decades to pick up news tips. But to take raw radio transmissions--to take that chatter--and turn them into news without the slightest bit of independent confirmation? That's a huge no-no.
Yet here was CNN's official response to yesterday gigantic blunder [emphasis added]
After hearing a further radio transmission about 10 rounds being expended, and after reviewing video of rapid movement by Coast Guard vessels as the President's motorcade crossed the Memorial Bridge, CNN reported the story. Simultaneously, during a second phone call, the Coast Guard spokeswoman informed us that its National Command Center and other command posts knew nothing about any activity in the area.
Given the circumstances, it would have been irresponsible not to report on what we were hearing and seeing. As with any breaking news story, information is often fluid and CNN updated the story with the official explanation from the Coast Guard as soon as it was provided.
What did CNN see yesterday that convinced the staff big news was breaking? it saw rapid movement by Coast Guard vessels. Oh brother.
And is it just me, but didn't CNN get it exactly backward when it claimed that "given the circumstances" (i.e. the anniversary of 9/11), that it would have been irresponsible not to air its (leaky) exclusive? Meaning, wasn't it precisely because it was on 9/11, on a day when dark memories of terrorist attacks were fresh in Americans' minds, that CNN should have been extra sensitive about airing a report it clearly did not have a handle on, rather than contributing to a news sense of panic?
Mistakes happen all the time in newsrooms. And especially newsroom that try to break news. But when mistakes are made, like CNN's whopper yesterday, professionals need to own up to their blunders and learn from them. Not only didn't CNN admit its errors, but based on its statement it would do the exact same thing again.
UPDATED: From a CF reader comment:
So what CNN is saying that had they been around in 1938 when the Mercury theater did "The War of The Worlds" on the radio, they would have reported we were being invaded by aliens from another planet.
More than 60 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his September 11 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From the Fox Nation, posted September 11: