You may have heard about the protest at the U.S. Capitol this weekend. Or not, depending on your news source. Here, the New York Times estimates the size of the crowd as 30,000. And here the Columbia Independent Examiner estimates the crowd size as 2,000,000.
I don't know about you, but one of the things I learned, even as an English major, was how to count. And although I realize that the tiny, dispirited band/massive hordes didn't pass through any turnstyles, and that there wasn't any kind of official tally, it still seems to me that journalistic honesty demands something better than a range of 30,000 to 2,000,000. One estimate is almost 70 times greater than the other. And when I count, I typically don't go 70, 140, 210. Conversely, when I see 70 people, I don't call them a single person.
I have no idea which, if either, of the estimates is correct. But there is something seriously wrong with journalism in America when that kind of discrepancy can exist among news reports. I'd simply like to know the truth. Here's a good first step for all the pundits and talking heads. Counting goes like this: 1, 2, 3.