Why Can’t Anyone Count?

Check out this CNN site with a thingamajig called a “gigapixel”:

http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/politics/trump-inauguration-gigapixel/

It’s a massive, scrollable photograph of the inauguration. Be sure to swing a hard right with your mouse/finger and check the massive cluster of people that reaches back to the Washington Monument.

Whatever the National Park Service (NPS) retweeted, they’ve been forced to delete it. And when putting sooo much faith in their counting, remember that they undercounted the Million Man March in 1995 (emphasis mine):

within 24 hours after the March there arose a conflict about crowd sizeestimates between March organizers and Park Service officials. The National Park Service issued an estimate of about 400,000 attendees, a number significantly lower than March organizers had hoped for. After a heated exchange between leaders of the march and Park Service, ABC-TV-funded researchers at Boston University estimated the crowd size to be about 837,000 members, with a 20% margin of error.

Vox is pimping the “no one showed” up story, but the images they have are from probably 30 minutes before CNN’s gigapixel shot was taken. And this tirade isn’t helping:

Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power, and as the president said, “The transition and the balance of power from Washington to the citizens of the United States.” Member … some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting. For all the talk about the proper use of Twitter, two instances yesterday stand out. One was a particularly egregious example in which a reported falsely tweeted out that the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from The Oval Office. After it was pointed out that this was just plain wrong, the reporter casually reported an con … tweeted out that a Secret Service agent must have just been standing in front of it. This was irresponsible and reckless. Secondly, photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way … in one particular tweet to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. This was the first time in our nation’s history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the mall. That had the effect of highlighting any areas were people were not standing, while in years past the grass eliminated this visual. This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the wall preventing hundreds of thousands of people from a … being able to access the mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past. Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out. By the way, this applies to any attempts to try to count the number of protesters today in the same fashion. We do know a few things, so let’s go through the facts. We know …”

He then goes into “the facts” as the White House is choosing to spin them today. He goes on about the great reception President Trump received this place and that place, takes a dig at the Democrats, mentions Canada and Mexico. Then chastises the press for not writing about those things. Finally, he follows it all up with a schedule of what President Trump will do tomorrow before walking out.

It’s easy to miss in the video and maybe in the transcript, too, but the harshness of the press secretary’s tone when he says, “This was irresponsible and reckless.” This is the sitting government adding a layer of aesthetic interpretation to what is being said about them in a public forum. Other governments have done this too, it’s not special, unique, or even worrisome per se, but it is very worthy of note here, because this is presented within a larger context of “fake news”. The reporter says it was a mistake. Brietbart calls it “Fake News on Day One“. Ddong Today calls it ‘jumping the gun’.

Whatever it was, it is no more irresponsible and reckless than any number of things that have gone down since this fiasco started with a rant about raping Mexicans.

Forget the numbers and counting, as stated in the Vox article, real counts aren’t known for days or weeks until after an event. The thing to watch are the press conferences, the tone the White House sets down as “acceptable” (e.g. not irresponsible, not reckless), and what other stories, events, people, facts, etc. will fall into the newly defined category of ‘irresponsible and reckless’.

#blasttheechochamber #ddongtoday

Update:

Slate has a comparison of Twitter cover images when the @POTUS Twitter account flipped over. Some President Trump staffer uploaded a picture of Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Of course someone caught it and so there is media fodder about it.

These “mistakes” feel more like digs and FUs than ignorance. It takes energy to do stuff like this and unless that image was just one in a default upload folder. And President Trump himself has shown again and again that he’s a big fan of the petty dig.

Meanwhile the counting continues …


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