'Million Alien March' Protest Estimates Falling Apart

Early reports on Thursday's planned Washington march for amnesty for illegal aliens said a million protesters were expected. At the top of the Metro section of Thursday's Washington Post, we learn lowering expectations is under way -- well, not at the top of the story, but in paragraph eighteen: "Organizers initially predicted a turnout of 1 million, but they now are projecting a crowd similar to the one at a rally on the National Mall on April 10. A police official estimated that the demonstration drew at least 100,000 people; organizers pegged attendance about 500,000."The story's headline is "Rally May Gauge Future of Immigration Movement." The headline inside Metro after the jump is "Non-Latinos Taped To Bring New Energy And Serve As Allies." Neither headline says "Protest Leader Estimates of Attendance Collapsing." Despite the note of disappointing turnout, the Post is still giving prominent pre-protest publicity to what they call the "immigrant rights" movement, as reporters Darryl Fears and Karin Brulliard began the Thursday story:

Immigration activists plan to mass in front of the Capitol today, renewing their appeal for legislative reform as Congress reconvenes after a recess in which many members experienced a backlash against illegal immigration back home.The turnout at today's rally may provide a barometer of the vitality of the immigrant rights movement, which sent millions to the streets this spring but has generated less public attention in recent months. Local organizers said they expect hundreds of thousands of demonstrators from the East Coast, but protests this week in Phoenix and Chicago drew disappointing crowds.

Predictably, Fears and Brulliard never describe this "movement" as "liberal," although they do note "A month of House Republican hearings in August helped entrench conservative opinion against a Senate-passed immigration bill that would couple stringent border security measures with new pathways to legal work and citizenship for undocumented workers."The Metro section also included a helpful map of the protest sites, and instructed that "Confirmed speakers include Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), and Democratic Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee (Texas), Luis Gutierrez (Ill.) and Mike Honda (Calif.)." But it's not a "liberal" protest/rally?  

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