Monday, April 14, 2008

Left-Wing Blogs and "Blurring" the Truth


I usually peruse some of the left wing blogs every day... not because I believe in self mutilation, but because I just like to see what they are up to. And most of the time it is misinformation.

Just as an example, here is an excerpt from a leftist activist blog, picking at nits and selectively reading in order to "prove" some overarching "truth" about "wingnuts":

I usually peruse some of the right wing blogs every day... not because I believe in self mutilation, but because I just like to see what they are up to. And most of the time it is misinformation.

Just as an example, here are some excerpts from posts about the Tax Rally at the Capitol on the 13th -- notice the numbers:

Seeing somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 people show up at the Tax Cut Rally
yesterday, in spite of the frigid weather....
--Wright County Republican

Crowd estimates were the same as last year (7,000), surprising
given the weather....
--Posted by Lassie at True North

Warming???? Not so you could tell in Minnesota today. That still has not stopped
several thousand people from showing up on the Capital Mall for the KTLK Tax Cut
--Ladies Logician Blog

Now, here is the number mentioned at MPR:

Nearly 1,000 people rallied at the State Capitol against higher taxes.
--Minnesota Public Radio (First sentence of story) 4/13/2008

Now, I realize that crowd estimation is not an exact science by any means -- but the difference between 7,000 and less than a thousand is pretty substantial. I also found it interesting that "Lassie" used the phrase "estimates were the same as last year"..... coincidence???
--Dave Middleman Mnpact blog

Now, I realize that hyperlinking is difficult for some people - but the fact that Mindleson provides no links to the "right wing bloggers" (or even bothers to get their blog names right) he cites might be an indication that there maybe something there he doesn't want you to see. Like this picture of a portion of the crowd. (Here's one from Brad C from a different angle). That looks like a hell of a lot more than 1,000 people.

And had Mandolin bothered to scroll a little further down the page he might have noticed this nugget:

Chief, Lassie, the Junior Logician and I came to hand out True North Cards and see how many people would brave the cold and the snow showers to come hear a plethora of conservative speakers.

Given the fact that when you order business cards, the printer just doesn't give you a random number of cards, Lassie Chief, LL et al might be in a better position to estimate the crowds based on how many cards they handed out. (FTR, I believe Chief had 5,000 cards made).

But taking those facts and documentary evidence (the pictures) into account might disabuse Mindemork of the prejudice he's spent years developing and nurturing.

I do, however, invite him to count the heads visible in those pictures (even more here), since he's interested in truth and all.

UPDATE: Bob Collins at MPR's News Cut actually counted the people (that could be seen) in one of the pictures taken at the event.

And here I had always thought Bob had no life.

FTR: he counted 395.

If you handed out True North cards at yesterday's rally, I'd be interested in knowing how many you handed out. (Yes, that means that you'd actually have to leave a comment. So sorry to put you out like that.)

THE FINAL WORD: After emailing around, I've got some numbers:

Minnesota Majority had a tent at the rally in which it was taking petition signatures. According to someone at MM they got 884 signatures on the petition at the rally, plus over 200 email addresses from those who didn't want to wait to sign it. They also reported distributing over 1500 business cards.

The True Northers I have been in contact with say they handed out no more than 2500 cards but no less than 2000. Given they were working the crowd, rather than cloistered in a stationary tent, it makes sense that the True North guys would have made more contacts in the crowd.

Therefore, I'm putting the rally attendance in the 2000 to 2,500 range. Hence, everybody got it wrong. Except for me. So suck it.

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