Gathering of Eagles (GoE): An Indicator of Old Media Decline

So how many Gathering of Eagles (GoE) counterprotesters were in Washington yesterday, and how did their numbers compare to the Answer Coalition's protest count?

The New York Times (may require registration) reported "several hundred counterdemonstrators" (HT Michelle Malkin, who has the priceless quote of the day -- ".... the NYTimes relied on 'several veterans of the antiwar movement' to give them crowd estimates of the Gathering of Eagles. It's the domestic equivalent of MSMers relying on dubious Iraqi stringers to provide them with war coverage...." -- THWAP!)

The Washington Post, in its article about the protest, wrote of "thousands of counter-demonstrators."

Gathering of Eagles' web site reports that they were told by the National Park Service that their GoE estimate is ..... is .....

30,000

GoE's site is also saying that the protester counts being reported elsewhere were 5,000 to 10,000 (the Times reported "thousands" and WaPo said "several thousand," but both papers acknowledged that the protester turnout was much lower than at a similar event in January).

Bottom line: GoErs outnumbered protesters at least three to one. Remember what you just read here and will read at the center-right blogs, because you probably won't see this "turnout rout," which as far as I can tell is unprecedented, reported in the Formerly Mainstream Media.

"Cherry-picking pictures"

Absolutely. Here's the one and only one WaPo used to represent GoE to the nation in its separate article about GoE (where it waited about 10 paragraphs to name the group):

Meanwhile, here's the WaPo's protester pic (the caption indicates it wasn't even taken during Saturday's protest -- that tells me they weren't able to find a warm, cuddly protester yesterday):

At the protest itself, the Times reports that the reality was anything but somber:

Judging by the speeches and placards, the marchers on Saturday set their sights on sweeping goals, including not only ending the war but also impeaching President Bush and ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Many carried Answer Coalition signs bearing the image of the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara.

Brian Becker, the national coordinator of the Answer Coalition and a member of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, said the group held out little hope of influencing either the president or Congress. “It is about radicalizing people,” Mr. Becker said in an interview.

For those who don't know, the Answer Coalition is a revolutionary group that has no problems with violence, and Che Guevara was a Fidel Castro lieutenant who had no qualms about abusive violence.

The New York Times had no GoE pics; its only pic from the event was of a burly member of law enforcement appearing to drag away a protester, possibly cuffed.

For a better (and more accurate) representation of the GoErs, go here to Hot Air's Flickr collection.

"Obscenities"

WaPo pulled a major mislead in its article covering the protest:

Some counter-protesters yelled obscenities and mocked the marchers as traitors. War protesters responded with angry words of their own, and police intervened at times to prevent shouting matches from escalating.

WaPo made no mention of the protesters' obscenities, even though, as you can see in the Cindy Sheehan excerpt at Hot Air, the obscenities came from the stage.

* * * * *

So .... who got closer to the reality of what happened yesterday? And why should anyone be surprised at the continued decline of both "newspapers of record"?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.