Sunday, September 14, 2008

Head Count in Fairfax, VA: 23,000? 15,000? 8,000? Were you there? Do you know? 8,000 is still BIG!

well, sir, the LA Times is trying to nail down the *exact* number who attended last week's rally here in Fairfax, VA (it was more than double of the 4,000 expected...but 23,000? Not that anyone does not care to believe anything but HYPE...

((( e.g., i read it on the internet and 23,000 must be so! )))

McCain-Palin crowd: 23,000, or a third that size


One of the many, many imprecise aspects of daily journalism is estimating a crowd size -- especially when the gathering is large and sprawling. In such cases, reporters learn early not to hazard a guess of their own but to rely on officialdom. But sometimes, in another sign of the vagaries of pinning down a count at an event for which tickets haven't been allotted, the figures from the local authorities vary.

Such was the case Wednesday as John McCain and Sarah Palin wrapped up the road tour that took them to several states since the Republican National Convention ended a week ago.The GOP presidential ticket ventured into the heavily Democratic Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington, where a boisterous and undeniably large audience greeted the pair. But exactly how large? Most news reports, such as CNN's, went with the police estimate of at least 23,000 (a number eagerly embraced by the McCain camp).The New York Times, though, used in its story the reckoning from fire marshals: 15,000. Meanwhile, Marc Fisher of the Washington Post, a columnist for the local section, wrote that he counted it at 8,000 (though he also noted the 23,000 police estimate).

Regardless, there wasn't much question who the star of the show was.

Excerpted from The Times' political blog Top of the Ticket, at

# # #

No comments: