Honor, Sanity, Fear, and the Continued Descent of CBS News



Earlier this year, after Glenn Beck held his Restoring Honor rally in Washington D.C. on 8/28, most media outlets estimated the crowd as being one of the largest gatherings in the area’s history. NBC News estimated the event drew 300,000. Others like Joe Scarborough of MSNBC and Sky News reported that the event may have been attended by as many as 500,000. The New York Post’s estimate was 300,000, while ABC News said it attracted more than 100,000. Others like NPR just said that the crowd was too large to estimate but that it was a “massive turnout”.

Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert

On October 30th, comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held their counter-rally called “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear”. The estimates for this rally also proved it to be a rather large rally. Estimates ranged around 200,000 for the most part, with NPR, the New York Times, and the AP all estimating “tens of thousands” to the 200,000 figure. The AP was quoted as saying Stewart and Colbert “appeared to rival Beck’s rally in attendance.”

The photo at the top shows aerial pictures taken of both rallies, with Beck’s rally on the left and Stewart’s and Colbert’s on the right. The crowd size looks fairly close to me, though it’s possible the Stewart/Colbert rally had a slightly larger attendance. However, the number I really wanted to discuss was the CBS News estimate for both gatherings. For Beck’s rally, CBS lowballed it and claimed an analysis of the aerial photos showed only about 87,000 with a margin of error of 9,000. Out of the major news networks, theirs was by far the lowest estimate. However, their analysis of the photos taken from the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear came out to 215,000.

CBS News has a longstanding liberal bias, in my opinion, so it’s no wonder they lowballed the Beck rally numbers while inflating those for Stewart’s and Colbert’s rally. To be fair, though, I would have to say that the crowd size is close enough to warrant being considered a tie. Not that the two rallies were competing against one another. Well, Stewart’s and Colbert’s was certainly done as a counter-measure regardless of what they say but they still drew an extremely large crowd.

The descent of CBS News began, for me, during the 1988 Presidential campaign between Republican nominee George H.W. Bush and Democrat nominee Michael Dukakis. CBS News anchor Dan Rather attempted to ambush then Vice President Bush in a live interview on the CBS Evening News. Then, of course, Rather tried to subterfuge George W. Bush’s reelection bid in 2004 through the use of fake documents. Fortunately, he failed in both attempts and his career with CBS News came to a fairly abrupt end.

All this is to say, how can CBS News possibly be taken seriously with their crowd estimates from these two rallies, considering their history of bias against Republican or conservative politicians and pundits? Fortunately for all, their descent continues on a near daily basis as their evening newscast is perpetually the lowest or near lowest rated among the evening news broadcasts of the major networks. I’m thinking they should just replace Katie Couric with a talking monkey.

Note: A reader brought to my attention that the original photo at the top of this post may not have been correct, so I’ve replaced it with an updated photo.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Dave, I just now realized where these blog feeds I’m getting originated! I’m too stupid to put it all together. I never watch CBS news so I don’t really know of their bias, but I believe what you say. I know I’m way left of you but I really don’t think there’s as much difference between us as the world tries to make it out to be. You are a good writer and a very thoughtfull person…I look forward to reading the rest of your blogs. Oh yea, and “the rent be too damn high!”

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