NY Times learns to count!

 NY Times learns to count!

The day after the Oct 26 protests, the NY Times said the DC turnout was poor, with only 10,000 or so. After FAIR organized a truth in reporting campaign against the Times, three days later the Times says, uh, it appears at least 100,000 were present.

What pathetic reporting. How could this not be deliberate? What other explanation can there for the most august newspaper in the US to so badly distort the news?

Three days after its first report on the D.C. antiwar protests, readers of the New York Times were treated to a much different account of the same event. On October 30, the Times reported that the October 26 protests “drew 100,000 by police estimates and 200,000 by organizers’, forming a two-mile wall of marchers around the White House. The turnout startled even organizers, who had taken out permits for 20,000 marchers.”

This directly contradicted the Times’ October 27 report, which noted that the “thousands” of demonstrators were “fewer people… than organizers had said they hoped for.” The October 30 Times report also included much more information about similar protests around the country, and featured quotes from various antiwar activists.

The second Times story may have been a reaction to the overwhelming response to FAIR’s October 28 Action Alert critical of the paper’s downplaying of the protest. FAIR has received more than 1,100 copies of individual letters sent to the Times or to NPR, whose coverage was also cited in the action alert– one of the largest volumes of mail ever generated by a FAIR action alert. The newspaper trade magazine Editor & Publisher (10/30/02) suggested that the October 30 piece was a “make-up article” that may have been written “in response to many organized protest letters sent to the Times since the paper’s weak, and inaccurate, initial article about the march on Sunday.”

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