Monday, July 02, 2007

More Math Fun

Don Gonyea reports from Kennebunkport, Maine this morning. Gonyea covers the protests that greeted Bush and Putin. As you might guess there were interesting discrepancies between Gonyea's report and those from other news organizations. Gonyea mentions that the protest rally "drew about a thousand people" whereas the AP cites about 1700 and the Bangor Daily News gave a figure of 1500. Punch those numbers in your calculator and you'll notice that even if you go with the lower 1500 number, Gonyea's guess is 33% lower.

Gonyea also states that "most protested the Iraq War; a few highlighted Putin’s crackdown on dissidents," which is interesting because both the AP and
Bangor Daily News stories note that criticism of Putin was a significant message of the protesters.

But here's where the real math fun begins. Gonyea notes that about "two dozen counter-protesters" were there supporting Bush and the Iraq War. So we have at least 1500 protesters versus 24 counter-protesters and guess how the coverage breaks down in regards to airtime? The critics of Bush/Putin/war get 67 seconds (not bad in a four minute piece), but - wait - the 24 diehard Bushists get a full 30 seconds! If you just pull out your trusty calculator and do a strict proportional relationship of 1500 to 67 seconds, then the Bushist "crowd" of 24 should have got about 1 second of coverage.


AboutTheRealWorld said...

What is remarkable is the fact that it is news that Bush still has supporters. Sigh

Anonymous said...

There were 1000 protesters there in Maine. A few weeks ago during the Republican debate in Columbia, SC, there were almost 9000 people at a rally for the FairTax (, and there was no media coverage of the event. In a bizzarre twist, several media outlets aired stories about 50 protestors who were essentially anti-Republican, but said nothing about the 8000+ FairTax supporters which walked right through the small group of protestors.