Sunday, August 29, 2004

Convention Media Watch - Media Duck Reporting on Failed Protest Goals

Ned Barnett - (c) 2004

Before the big "anti-war" protest earlier today in NYC, the organizers were promising the media a quarter of a million protesters. But it's now clear that the US anti-war movement is far more hype than reality - at best, they delivered no more than 40% of what they promised (or threatened) ... but you won't hear that from the mainstream media. Instead, you have to parse the media's statements, review the organizers' earlier predictions, then draw your own conclusions.

United for Peace and Justice, the group that sponsored this protest, included the following in one of their press releases:

"The UFPJ-organised march is expected to draw at least 250,000 participants. More than 360 groups — including Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks — have endorsed the August 29 march and rally."

Now, the media (AP is what I'm looking at, but others are doing it too, including CNN) are ducking the implication of a drastically lower anti-war turn-out by not giving numbers and by not citing previous predictions. Instead they are merely referring to "tens of thousands" of protesters."

Sure, lots of folks turned out - but this is like the Left's "Million Mom March" efforts that couldn't turn out anywhere near even a hundred thousand people - but since the group's name is "Million Mom March" they still create a (false) impression of real strength, commitment and numbers.

The highest estimate of the march is ABC's "100,000" - but they are "covering" for the protesters, too, not mentioning that this is only 40% of what was predicted just yesterday.

About Ned Barnett:

Ned Barnett, the owner of Barnett Marketing Communications (, is a 32-year veteran of high-stakes crisis-management public relations, and is a frequent “source” for print and broadcast journalists. Barnett has advised many corporate and personal clients on effective crisis relations – often stopping a crisis in its tracks, even before it gets started.

As a political consultant and speechwriter, Barnett has worked for candidates and officials from both parties, as well as for public interest advocacy groups in areas involving the economy, the environment and healthcare. As a historian, Barnett is widely published in military history magazines, and has appeared a number of times on the History Channel, discussing military technology.

Barnett has taught PR at two state universities, and has written nine published books on public relations, marketing and advertising. He’s earned PRSA’s coveted Silver Anvil, two ADDYs and four consecutive MacEacherns; in 1978, he was the youngest (to that time) person to earn accreditation from PRSA, and in 1984, he became the first person to earn a Fellowship in PR from the American Hospital Association. But mostly, Barnett provides PR counsel to a range of corporations, authors and advocacy groups.

© 2004 – Ned Barnett
Barnett Marketing Communications