Little Green Footballs

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fact checking? My, Charles is an ass!

Just a quick note to Chuckles the Clown:

The BBC has photos from today’s anti-cartoon, anti-freedom Islamic demonstration in London; but they have a rather different description of the event: Pro-Islam protests.

And the description provided in their RSS feed makes the BBC’s sympathies even clearer:

Images of the rally against Islamophobia in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Perhaps they called it that because that's what the organisers were calling it? Just an idea.
Thousands of official placards bore the slogans "United against Incitement", "United against Islamaphobia" and "Mohammed - Symbol of Freedom and Honour".
And as for this.....

Note that this demonstration was supposed to show Islam’s moderate, peaceful side. Organizers predicted a turnout of 100,000 people.

They got about 3,000.

Organisers had expected 40,000 and they got approximately 5000 (according to the BBC, Sunday Herald, The Observer, The Telegraph.....and just about everyone else). Nice to see that famous 'fact checking' in operation.

Lenin's Tomb thinks it was definately more.
It was easily much larger than the four thousand being claimed by the media, but probably not the forty thousand claimed by the organisers. At a pinch, and based on previous demonstrations in the same location, I would guess it was around 10-15,000 at its peak. That's a large turnout by anyone'sstandards. And the square was packed, and overflowing, and loud. And what is more, I've noticed the coverage of the protest on teevee appears to be speaking of the putatively low turnout ("only a few thousand") in connection with the organisers' aims of expressing anger about the cartoons in a peaceful manner that represents mainstream Muslims. Well, excuse me, but how many turned out for
the Danish Embassy protest in Knightsbridge last week? The one that caused all the offense and got acres of newsprint and hours of television coverage? A hundred? If that. A small protest organised by a phone-box organisation, and probably half of those were intelligence assets. That's worth media alarm. Thousands of British Muslims denouncing Islamophobia in a dignified and impassioned way and all it's worth is a few seconds, some unflattering footage and a mournful sigh from the journalist. Okay, I get it: if it isn't panto Evil Doers, it isn't news.

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