[Updated/Corrected. See end of article for details.]
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2009, 5:42pm PT  

This Fox "News" sponsored protest
happened today in the nation's capitol...

This grassroots protest in the nation's capital
on September 24, 2005 never happened...

At least according to the New York Times...
[See Update/Correction posted at end of story.]

The NYTimes offered 9/12 teabagger-boosting coverage today of the Glenn Beck/sore loser protests against Barack Obama in D.C.. The once-respected newspaper is also running an AP article today on their website describing "Tens of thousands of protesters fed up with government spending."

The two articles on the NYTimes website, both of which seem to have forgotten to mention either Glenn Beck or Fox "News" --- who sponsored the event with hundreds of hours of free promos over the last several month --- were an improvement over 4 years ago when "hundreds of thousands" turned out on September 24, 2005. Back then, the New York Times didn't see fit to cover that demonstration at all. At least not as far as I can find in their online archives. Anybody have more luck than I?

[Update: BRAD BLOG commenter Edward Hasbrouck did. See Update/Correction at end of story.]

In the meantime, the actual grassroots demonstrations in 2005 protesting the Iraq War and George W. Bush --- which organizers estimated were attended by some 300,000 people, while D.C. police estimated the crowd to be "about 150,000" according to the Washington Post --- apparently didn't exist at all back then. Here's an aerial shot from 2005.

Those numbers were tallied, even as WaPo reported at the time, "13 Amtrak trains running between New York and Washington were delayed for up to three hours Saturday morning for repair of overhead electrical lines. Protest organizers said that held up thousands coming to the rally."

The organizers of today's protests said "30,000 people registered online for the march". WaPo described "tens of thousands" showing up. ABC says "approximately 60,000 to 70,000". Members of the Right Wing Nut House have decided the number is in excess of 2 million.

Protests were also held concurrently in 2005 in, among other places, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Florence, London, Rome, Paris, and Madrid. New York Times didn't seem to cover any of them, though they were right on top of today's far smaller, corporate-organized and advertised protests. Perhaps they didn't choose to cover the 2005 protests because Fox "News" didn't have wall-to-wall coverage of those protests for some reason. Goddamn liberal media.

Good thing The BRAD BLOG bothered to post photos at the time. Perhaps it'll help balance the ones featured of today's march in the New York Times' slideshow.

* * *

By the way, though the protesters today are often referred to as "conservatives" and "fiscal conservatives" in media coverage, we've yet to see any explanation for the lack of protests by those "conservatives" over the last eight years, as their President and his Republican allies passed a tax cut that cost twice as much as today's proposed health care reform initiative about which Fox "News" has them dazed and confused; or when an $800 billion dollar socialized Medicare reform bill was signed into law by Bush (without paying for it); or when Bush and the now-protesting teabaggers chose to spend over $1 trillion tax-dollars on a nation-building War on Iraq carried out by our socialist military.

By contrast, the health care legislation being proposed by Democrats is said to cost some $900 billion over the next ten years, all of which President Obama has pledged to a) pay for and b) assure that it won't add "one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future."

I guess "conservatism" comes in waves.

* * *

UPDATE/CORRECTION: BRAD BLOG commenter Edward Hasbrouck was able to find coverage of the 9/24/05 rallies at the NYTimes site via an advanced search showing two articles published the day after the rallies. Michael Janofsky's 9/25/05 coverage of "Anitwar Rallies in Washington and Other Cities" (696 words) is generally comparable to Jeff Zeleny's same-day coverage yesterday of "Thousands Rally in Capital to Protest Big Government" (932 words), even if the Times '05 coverage didn't include the large photos and accompanying slide show (there was generally less use of photos on such news sites back in '05 as I recall).

Hasbrouck also notes an accompanying 9/25/05 article on the 13 NY to D.C. Amtrack trains which were shut down due to "electrical failure", keeping protesters from getting to the rally. That story, it can be said, could be the equivalent of the AP story on Saturday's rally which the Times also ran on their website on the same day as the rally. In both cases, the stories ran the next day, instead of same day, though that was more par for the course in 2005 for mainstream media websites in general.

We thank Hasbrouck for sharing, and clearing up the record here. We also thank the Times for their coverage in '05 while so much of the broadcast media completely ignored the rallies as they happened around the world on that Saturday.

Beyond that, we'll stand by our critique that the Times should have noted the months-long, on-air, corporate sponsorship by Fox "News" in their coverage, as well as the broader point that Fox virtually ignored the much-larger, real grassroots (not corporate-sponsored) protests of 2005 and in the years both before and after, other than to ridicule both the protests and the protesters as generally "un-American" whenever possible.

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