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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Even when he's right, Tony Perkins gets it wrong

Posted by: Hammer / 8:12 AM

There is a nugget of truth in Tony Perkins's latest Washington Update. It covers the same topic as today's action item:

What a difference an ideology makes. Last Monday, 200,000 pro-lifers descended on the nation's capital to peacefully protest 34 years of abortion-on-demand. Despite record crowds and a line-up of speakers that included President Bush by phone, the March for Life earned little more than a footnote in the nation's news. Days later, radical anti-war protesters staged a march in Washington that mustered only 10,000, and the event made the front page of nearly every newspaper in America.

If you glance at the Washington Post for coverage of the marches, you find that the March for Life landed on page A10 while the anti-war march landed on A1. Anecdotally, at least, we see that Perkins has a beef at least with the Washington Post which treated the marches very differently. The anti-war march strikes me as more timely and newsworthy than the anti-abortion march, but that's arguing at the edges.

On to the fun part -- where Perkins is deeply wrong.

Perkins claims "record crowds" for the March for Life, but only says 200,000 attended. The Wikipedia reports previous crowds as large as 300,000. So it's hard to say what record this set -- perhaps largest March for Life march in 2007? According to Perkins, the March for Life was 20 times larger than the anti-war march. According to the Washington Post, both marches included "tens of thousands" of people ("Tens of thousands of abortion opponents marched through melting snow on the Mall yesterday and vowed to work harder" versus "Under a blue sky with a pale midday moon, tens of thousands of people angry about the war and other policies of the Bush administration danced, sang, shouted and chanted their opposition."). Sounds like the marches were far more similar in size than Perkins wants to let on.

Finally, it's not really accurate to describe anti-war protesters as "radical". Opposition to an escalation in Iraq is the majority opinion in the United States. The only radicals left are the hard-line, dead-enders and Bush apologists who somehow think the war in Iraq is "pro-family".

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