Saturday, September 15, 2007


In the coverage of today's DC protest, one might find some mildly humorous snafus.

The first major protest against the Iraq War in Washington since January kicked off today with speeches near the White House, to be followed by a "die-in" at the U.S. Capitol featuring the playing of tap and a mock 21-gun salute.

This is "tap":

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack. It's loads o' fun for a good five, maybe ten seconds. Then it just sounds like people wearing horseshoes, stepping on bubble-wrap.

Then there's Taps:

Slightly different. But that's the least of it, as we'll see. Here's the thumbnail estimate for attendance, both anti-war and the euphemistically-named "counter-demonstrators":

Protesters and counter-protesters started to gather by 8:30 a.m. for the event, which is expected to be followed by a week of civil disobedience in the Washington area intended to shift the anti-war movement to a more confrontational phase. Organizers were predicting tens of thousands of protesters, though their permit is for 10,000.


The demonstrators were immediately confronted by several hundred counter-protesters, who came to the Mall to demand that politicians see the war through to victory.

Okay, keep those estimates in mind. Now, as to the nature of this virulent strain of yahooism that swaddles itself in flag doo-rags other such jingo bunting:

"It will be a lot of bull horns, a lot of 'singing God Bless America', " said Betty Kilbride, 48, of Arlington, a writer who described herself as supporting the troops.

Bullhorns and singing. That qualifies as "support" if you're cheering on your favorite driver at the demolition derby at the county fair. Otherwise, articulate yourself, and do it in the context of the lies and deception underpinning the policy. Thanks for playing.

Deborah King-Lile, 55, of St. Augustine, Fla. said the Gathering of Eagles prided themselves on not being arrested at protests. "We just want a chance to show America we don't agree with the vocal minority."

Uh, yeah. Dingbat, you are the fuckin' "vocal minority", see? Oh, right, I forgot, everyone is in cahoots to lie to you about what's really going on and make you feel bad. General sentiment has been polled at 2:1 or 3:1 in serious disapproval and disagreement over Li'l Lord Pissypants' idear of successmanship and progress. And the particular event you yourself have chosen, well, it sounds like even 10:1 is a pretty charitable ratio.

And if you disagree, lady, then hold your own fucking march already. The only time these scabs ever show up to anything is in opposition to the actual event. They're circus geeks at a sideshow, looking for an unsuspecting chicken.

I'm dead serious about this. If the freepers and the conservatards and the 30% dead-enders are so damned sure that: A) they are correct in their principles, and their understanding of empirical reality; and B) that they are the silent majority, being wrongly shouted down by MoveOn's minions, then it should be no trouble to organize yourselves for your very own Million Moran March. Please, by all means, knock yourselves out.

Git 'er dunnn, Chief.

Okay, so remember those numbers in the Post article, "tens of thousands" expected, versus "several hundred" yahoos? What a difference a creative interpretation can make:

Thousands of anti-war protesters, including a sizeable contingent of military veterans, rallied on Saturday outside the White House in Washington, D.C., to demand an end to the Iraq war.

Ah, "thousands". Two, ten, thirty, how many thousands? One gets the distinct impression that it could have been fifty or even a hundred thousand, and you'd get this lackadaisical "thousands" thrown out. Given the context and the circumstances, this is inconceivably lazy.

CBS News Correspondent Dan Raviv reports that counter-protester groups, including a contingent of Vietnam veterans called Gathering of Eagles who support the war in Iraq, lined Pennsylvania Avenue and had a verbal battle of chants and slogans.

Nearly 1,000 counter-protesters gathered near the Washington Monument, frequently erupting in chants of "U-S-A" and waving American flags.

Also the guys with the "D" and the little mock picket fence. D-fence! Unh-unh! D-fence! Unh-unh! That shit never gets old, like the dude with the "Jesus Saves" sign in the end zone.

But notice here, "several hundred" has turned into "nearly a thousand" from the Gathering of Weevils crowd. Interesting, that.

Perceptions can change on one or two judiciously placed words or vague statistical estimates. And we all know that estimating crowd sizes is an inexact science at best, not to mention a politically charged one as well. But there appears to be zero sourcing from the CBS article. And the main effort, far more than simply reporting reliable statistical facts to perhaps illustrate the sheer disproportion between the people of all walks of life who are fucking sick of George Bush's goddamned war and the real vocal minority, is to....wait for it....give both sides equal time.


Demize! said...

"The first major protest against the Iraq War in Washington since January kicked off today with speeches near the White House, to be followed by a "die-in" at the U.S. Capitol featuring the playing of tap and a mock 21-gun salute."This can't be for real?The 1st.major protest against this war was in NY,NY before it fucking started!Over 2million people corralled in pens as far as the eye could see.

Demize! said...

I'm a moran.