Sunday, September 14, 2008

When Troglodytes Try to Think

As I noted the other day, Bloomberg caught the McCain campaign lying about who was providing them with crowd size estimates at recent McCain-Palin traveling circus events. I linked to one of the Centre Region's troglodyte bloggers to illustrate the lathered excitement that these crowd size estimates have generated in the breed.

Today the troglodyte trumpeted the debunking of the Bloomberg story on another trog blog.

Dan Riehl — from just down the road — shreds the latest Bloomberg gotcha!

Somebody’s desperate — and it ain’t Republicans
The blogs have links for a reason. Always click the links.

Let's take a look at the evidence that this genius, Riehl, has marshalled in the defense of the McCain-Palin numbers.
  1. Bloomberg incorrectly referred to the location of a McCain-Palin rally in Washington, Pennsylvania as Consol Energy Arena when in fact it is Consol Energy Park.
  2. A local journalist wrote,"The Secret Service tallied 9,800 people had walked through metal detectors prior to McCain's arrival by bus."
  3. The Web site of the minor league baseball team that plays in Consol Energy Park has a pr piece promoting an upcoming concert there by one one of the country musicians that played at the McCain rally. This story states,"And John Rich of Big & Rich played for a John McCain for President Rally Saturday, August 30 where a record one day attendance of 11,000 filled the ball park."
  4. Next comes the Virginia event. This is a direct quote from Riehl.Put aside that the Fire Society (with some inside knowledge of these things) was apparently awaiting such a count: "The Fairfax City fire marshal did not yet have an official crowd count when the hour-long rally concluded at noon, but it was clear that many thousands covered the grassy hillsides spilling down to a large outdoor stage...." they eventually got a count from, of all people and places, a fire marshal talking to the New York Times:The Fairfax City fire marshal this afternoon estimated the crowd at 15,000, their numbers clearly evident as they covered the grassy hillsides and spilled down to a large outdoor stage.
  5. He also diggs up a local journalist in Fairfax who gives a crowd estimate of 23,000, attributed to a fire official by the McCain camp.
Shall we take a closer look at this brilliance. We'll give junior Einstein the scoop on Bloomberg's outrageous failure to give the correct name of the baseball park in Pennsylvania, but that's it.

The Washington Observer-Reporter story in point 2 does not give the name of the Secret Service officer who came up with the 9,800 number The reporter could have learned the number and its supposed source from the McCain camp and been sloppy in failing to note this.

The pr release pimping a musician is laughable. Of course, this press flack has good reason to inflate the numbers to generate buzz for the upcoming concert. This time the crowd size is an unsupported assertion of fact.

Can Riehl read? That's what you have to ask when you see point four. He attributes a quote to the Fire Society which makes it seem more credible when, in fact, both quotes in point four come from Bumiller's blog. The second one is an update to the first. And Bumiller who used to write a Love Letters From the White House Column in the early Bush years is not known for her accurate reporting. Again, just as in the case of the local Pennsylvania journalist there is no attribution to an individual for the crowd estimate. She could have learned the number from the McCain camp and failed to note this. After all, it is a blog post which no editor would have checked.

Reilh makes a big deal about the fact that the New York Times number doesn't agree with the 23,000 number given to the local reporter in point 5. He claims this as evidence that the Bumiller number didn't come from the McCain camp. Of course, the McCain camp may have thought it was easier to mislead a local rube reporter than a city slicker like Bumiller so they cut back on their juiced numbers a bit when talking to the local guy.

The bottom line. This supposed debunking simply reports a bunch of numbers none of which are directly attributed to any individuals. On the other hand, the Bloomberg article is based on two on the record interviews. I think we can safely conclude that nothing has been debunked.

The extent to which these immature and insecure little boys will go to maintain a lie about size just plain old funny.

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