Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Shark Jumping proof: Sheehan's "Big Crowd"

Need more proof the "shark has been jumped?" Try this letter to The News & Observer of Raleigh here, accusing the paper of underreporting the crowds at recent Cindy Sheehan rallies about town:
Your Sept. 16 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's visit to Raleigh did a disservice to your readers. Many more people showed up to support Sheehan than you reported.
You describe a modest turnout of 100 at Moore Square. We estimate there were at least 200 there and another 150 on the Brickyard at N.C. State University. You didn't mention how many attended the event at the McKimmon Center, where we distributed 750 programs. In total, at least 1,000 supporters greeted the Bring Them Home Now Tour.

Your photographs continued this bias. Two of your three photographs show pro-war protesters screaming at Sheehan's supporters, making it look as if the crowd was evenly divided. In fact, there were two or three protesters for every 100 supporters.
The Triangle area, of which Raleigh is the largest city, has about 1.5 million residents. Of these, it is asserted a total of 1,000 showed up to 3 events, including 2 events on the campus of NC State University, which has a student population of over 29,000. That's only about .067% of the local popluation if the letter's author is correct in her numbers. Heck, Ms. Sheehan didn't even draw 4% of the NC State student population if all of the alleged 1000 were State students. Given the presence of a number of other universities in the area (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, NC Central U., Shaw University and several others, it's a pretty pathetic showing.

My son's last recreational soccer game probably had over 100 people present, counting players, officials, coaches and families. I guess I should write the N&O and complain about it not covering such a "major" event.

UPDATE: Well, she also managed to draw 150 people in New York City, as noted here (Hat tip to Attila at Pillage Idiot). Apparently her comments did not include. "What do you mean my 15 minutes are up?"

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