CNN Lowballs Nevada Tea Party Event: 'Hundreds of People, at Least Dozens of People'; Politico Reports 20,000

If the media outlets are going to report on tea party events, they're not likely to get any benefit of the doubt much of the time.

Case in point - at the Tea Party Express event on March 27 in Searchlight, Nev., which former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield wasn't quite prepared to give the rally credit it was due as far as participation. She estimated that hundreds, but if not, "at least dozens of people" were in attendance. (h/t fstaff with assist from Mark Finkelstein)

"Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin there in Searchlight, Nev., was the backyard of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but today it's the backdrop of this Tea Party Express - making a stop here," Whitfield said. "Hundreds of people, at least dozens of people - we haven't gotten a count of how many people turned out there. We heard Sarah Palin talk about everything about the campaign, to unseat Sen. Reid to what she calls ObamaCare, on the heels of that health care vote and even talking about her definition of her love of America."

Politico's Kenneth Vogel had a little higher number, saying "an estimated 20,000 tea partiers gathered for a rally in a windswept desert lot," in his March 27 report on the event.

But Whitfield still had her own interpretation of Palin's message at the rally.

"Also trying to kind of explain or structure the language she has used about reloading America," Whitfield said. "Many people talked about some of the language that's been used by Republicans, including her as inciting violence as a result of the health care vote. She says she is not inciting violence. Instead, she says she is inspiring people to stand up for their God-given rights in her language. Sarah Palin there as she takes the steps there and heads onto that crowd. Folks, she said she is off to Massachusetts next."