AP, Politico Claim Ryan Rally Attended by 'Hundreds,' Local Reports Say 'Thousands'

August 16th, 2012 11:12 AM

UPDATE: In its video report, but not in its accompanying text, Cincinnati Local 12 News reported that the crowd was over 6,000, and that "a whole line of people were turned away, because there wasn't enough room."

It would appear that Politico's Juana Summers and the Associated Press's Steve Peoples have an unusual and nearly identical problem with math. Yesterday, they could have and should have gone to the Secret Service for help. (Also, go to this subsequent post about how the pair also played a very odd duet in supposedly independently written stories, both attempting to portray Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan as avoiding the topic of Medicare on the campaign trail.)

Summers wrote that Ryan's appearance yesterday at Miami University drew "several hundred supporters gathered for an outdoor rally." Peoples claimed it was "hundreds of supporters." After the jump, I will note several media outlets which reported that the crowd numbered in the "thousands" -- including one which cited a Secret Service estimate of 5,500.

Dayton's WHIO-TV ("GOP VP pick Paul Ryan returns to Miami University"; mirrored at the Dayton Daily News) -- "About 5,500 people turned out to hear Ryan speak on the quad behind the engineering building, according to the Secret Service."

Fox 19 Cincinnati -- "More than 4,000 people gathered to see Ryan engage the next generation and rally support from Oxford."

Cincinnati Enquirer ("Paul Ryan: Medicare debate? Bring it on; Touts Romney plan to fix country before crowd of thousands") -- "'We want this debate. We need this debate. And we will win this debate,' Ryan told thousands of supporters outside the university’s engineering complex."

From an ABC News Radio report carried at KMBZ -- “We want this debate, we need this debate and we will win this debate,” Ryan told a crowd of thousands on campus.

Radio station WVXU in Cincinnati -- "Several thousand supporters cheered and waved American flags as he jogged to the podium."

A New York Times reporter also exhibited a similar inability to count. Trip Gabriel, contributing to Helene Cooper's report, wrote that "an enthusiastic crowd of more than 1,000, including much of the current membership of his former fraternity." I think I'm supposed to take from this that the frat guys don't matter.

How odd it is that the locals reported "thousands" and one of them actually went to the trouble of getting a Secret Service estimate, while the alleged big kahunas from the Beltway press corp couldn't count past "several hundred" at the same event. Why, one might think the kahunas are in collusion. Stronger evidence that this is what might be occurring is in the next post.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.