November 19, 2003

A READER EMAILS:

So, it will be interesting to see whether big media cover the absence of protesters after drumming up expectations, change the subject, film it so that it looks like a big crowd or just interview Harold Pinter.

The NPR story that I just heard didn’t mention any numbers — it just interviewed protesters. From that alone, anyone used to reading Pravda could have figured out that the numbers were small. . . .

The BBC has numbers, though:

Police estimate that about 1,200 people staged a protest through Oxford city centre on Wednesday night against the war in Iraq and President Bush’s visit to Britain.

A US flag was burned during that demonstration and an effigy of the American president was toppled and set on fire.

About 500 people took part in a march in Manchester against the president’s visit.

Interestingly, though, there are no numbers for London, making me suspect that other reports of 200-350 protesters are about right. Not very impressive, really. I suppose a quarter-million might suddenly show up tomorrow, but I rather doubt it.

But even if they do, they won’t match the much greater number who showed up to protest the hunting ban. . . .

UPDATE: Charles Austin emails:

Maybe I’m just hypersensitive too it, but what I found most striking was how much time NPR devoted to some truly pathetic protestors compared to the time they spent on the President’s speech. You can almost imagine that they laid out their schedule much earlier in the day and then had to really struggle to fill those 2 minutes with something, anything, that sounded like a protest.

Yes, I don’t think the protester interviews helped the cause.

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