WashPost Wrongly Touts Tiny Protest As 'Largest Demonstration Ever' vs. Global Warming

Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold attempted to highlight a liberal rally against global warming that "drew several hundred people to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol yesterday," but he seemed unclear on its historic significance:

The event, called a Climate Crisis Action Day, was billed in advance as Washington's largest demonstration ever on global warming. It was unclear whether that turned out to be accurate, but those attending said they sensed a powerful momentum building behind calls to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Earth to the Post: if you hold a rally against global warming and "several hundred people" show up, it's a little strange to pass that helpfully along as "Washington's largest demonstration ever" and as a sign of  "a powerful momentum building" behind the liberal agenda. It's also not impressive to tout "Organizers said 2,500 T-shirts were picked up by participants in the day's events." Were they handed out to 2,500 people, or just put in the back of some participant's truck? The two color photos splashed along the top of Page A-6 to illustrate the story made the event look very much like a typical, sparsely populated Capitol Hill press conference, even if it featured people dressed as polar bears.In fact, Fahrenthold and his Post editors are letting the liberals down with an utter lack of research. In 1990, after a pile of liberal-media publicity, an Earth Day rally on the Western edge of the Capitol drew tens of thousands. It featured Hollywood stars, and musicians like Bruce Hornsby and the Indigo Girls. (I was there, as an observer.) Other Earth Day events since then have drawn larger crowds than "several hundred people." These events always tout the global warming theory. They just haven't mobilized the masses as much in this new Inconvenient Truth era. Typically for the Post, Fahrenthold couldn't find a liberal anywhere at the event, even as he quoted socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders warning that "Either we see this planet go down the tubes, or we reverse it." The event organizers were listed as including "the Alaska Wilderness League, the Episcopal Church, and a committee formed by the indigenous Gwich'in people, who live in northern Alaska and the Yukon Territory."Fahrenthold also passed along this un-skeptical publicity line from the alleged local grass roots:

"Let's face it, people. We all know polar bears can swim,. But they can't swim forever," said Mollie Passacantando, a Fairfax County third-grader who started a blog focusing on polar bears.

Passacantando is not a typical name, so it's not much of a guess to wonder if young Mollie is related to John Passacantando...the president of Greenpeace USA? On her blog, she writes vaguely about how "My dad's organization" was handing out baseball caps at a congressional hearing, and urging people to use a typical letter to Congress from the Greenpeace website. Do I have to note that "several hundred people" showing up for Bernie Sanders drew a better page placement than tens of thousands of people at the March for Life? Unlike the March for Life, it also drew a story in advance, which somehow failed to boost that poor attendance. It was also written by Fahrenthold, who used no liberal labels and touted the momentum in advance.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis