October 28, 2010

L.A. Times on the Jon Stewart rally: "Nearly 225,000 people had RSVP'd on the event's Facebook page as of Thursday morning."

Why do journalists keep writing the RSVP number like that? Look at the Facebook page. The number who say they are attending is (currently) 10,019.

239,164 RSVP'd to say they are not attending. 112,812 say — are they just being polite? — they are "Maybe Attending." Hey, me too. I'm maybe attending! I could wander about, see how people look, get some photos — especially of any signs that are excessively left-wing or just nasty. Perhaps someone will shove me or stomp me and that will prove how nefarious these terrible liberals really are.

But if I were to go, I couldn't be here — on the last weekend before the election — scanning the internet for last minute developments and blogging all sorts of things instantly. I'd be in the car for many hours — off line. And I'd become preoccupied with photographs. I'd be sidetracked. I'd sidetrack myself, in the interest of observing the crowd and bringing those observations to this blog, but it would still be a sidetrack. Who knows what I'd miss?

And what of these other folks who really do care about enhancing the Democrats' performance on Election Day? Aren't they being sidetracked too? Why aren't they at home, working for their local candidates, doing what they can, instead of trekking off to Washington — emitting carbon — lured by entertainment-world celebritites?
—2:15: Sheryl Crow performs for five minutes, followed by speakers and guests (to be determined).

—2:30: Musical guests (still being lined up) come on.
Come on? I think not. Something about the words Sheryl Crow flicked off the movie in my head that showed me, this weekend, traipsing about the Mall, photographing placards and evading head-stompers.

ADDED: Ana Marie Cox and Rich Lowry talk about the rally.

UPDATE: Now, Friday at 9:35 AM, I'm seeing the Facebook numbers completely rearranged, so that 227,170 are listed as "Attending." 111,864 are "Maybe Attending. And 10,000 are "Awaiting Reply." I didn't know it was possible in Facebook for the headings in a sidebar to be switched around like that. Some people in the comments thread have talked about the numbers changing:
Ann, I'm not kidding, the numbers just flipped while I refreshed. It now says 226,000+ attending and 10,000 not attending.
And:
Three minutes ago, it said 226797 attending, 10002 maybe attending, 10001 awaiting reply, and 240932 not attending.

Aaaaaand then I refreshed, and then it said, 10015 attending, 112016 maybe attending, 10001 awaiting reply, and 240940 not attending.
And:
I just saw the numbers in Facebook flip too. Started out around a quarter million, a minute later it was 10,040.

Breaking out the programming forensics, looks like they want the numbers to update in real time, so they track new rsvp's, but instead of adding that to a true baseline, it gets added to 10,000 instead. (A number that must have seemed reasonably outsized when they coded this.)

Oh, now it's back to 227,138.
Sounds like a computer glitch. I'm assuming the 200,000+ really does belong with "Attending." That would explain why I keep seeing that high acceptance number in the newspapers. I was truly puzzled by the 10,000 number. It was so out of whack. I didn't set out to trash the reporting or the rally.

UPDATE 2: The numbers just flipped for me too when I went back to the page to recheck! I took a screen shot:

69 comments:

Trooper York said...

Well at least there will be enough toilet paper since Sheryl Crow will make sure that everyone will only use one sheet.

Trooper York said...

I remember when Rocker chicks were like Janis and Grace Slick and Marianne Faithful and Nico.

You know they just liked to take drugs make music and fuck.

I must be getting old.

Lem said...

The editors at the LA Times had RSVP'd on the event they publish.

1jpb said...

"But if I were to go, I couldn't be here "

And, I don't think Althouse could survive the bus ride. Too elitist.

Revenant said...

More elitist than Jon Stewart? Is that possible?

themightypuck said...

Dear Prof. Althouse,

You appear to be trippin'. Relax and enjoy and be happy they buried the attendance projections in the last couple lines of the piece.

TMink said...

I hope a mess of people show up. All this involvement is good for the country. More people and less politicians.

Trey

Lem said...

I was told at a Clearwater festival that there is a way of using one ply.. involving the middle finger.

I'm reluctant to go into details.

1jpb said...

"More elitist than Jon Stewart?"

On second thought, she could bus it, if she had Arianna's quarter million dollar bus.

[Full disclosure, I only read about the bus on con sites. I can't confirm that it's true. But, it sounds like her style.]

Moose said...

Something occurred to me the other day. Everyone complains about Fox skewing the news for ratings, but no one mentions Stewart? Doesn't he do the same thing? It's not really news, and no one holds him to any standard of veracity. Why not treat Fox the same way? Don't they deserve that same suspension of disbelief?

ricpic said...

However many ply you use you should always clean with water afterwords.

Ralph L said...

ejavascript:void(0)ntertainment-world
That's about right. They'll be caffeinated, scripted, and totally worthless.

traditionalguy said...

The Professor is on fire today. I wonder if she caught some students cheating on an exam. She sure is catching the heck out of the Democrat Propaganda Cheaters today. I will catch up to her on Monday, but must go to my secret internet free location in the mountains for the weekend.

garage mahal said...

More concern trolling.

ndspinelli said...

I read Elvis is performing @ 3:30...he then introduces JFK.

AllenS said...

The Badgers have a bye week, so you wouldn't miss the game. How many college age men would to go that event, and miss their local college play football? Or watch the game on TV. I see lots of litter.

1jpb said...

The tubes need Althouse to be on alert so she can monitor political violence.

ndspinelli said...

And all you Giants fans...your first baseman, Aubrey Huff, wears a red thong. It is SF!

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann Althouse has some more violence to rationalize and otherwise excuse, as she did for the Kentucky mugging by Rand Paul's goons:

Republicans have worked hard to sow fear and anger this election season, and if recent events in the Washington Senate race are any indication, their rhetorical hyperbole is having an unsurprising effect. On October 14, a man was arrested for threatening Patty Murray supporters with a meat cleaver outside a debate in Spokane. Four days later, a man was arrested outside Walla Walla County Republican headquarters for assaulting a young woman who was protesting Dino Rossi, hitting her with "force." And just a few days ago, a man was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for threatening to kill Sen. Murray.

Huh. That's starting to look like a pattern.
Link

I look forward to Althouse's attacks on each of these victims, as she attacked Lauren Valle, the MoveOn worker who was assaulted by Rand Paul supporters.

Let me guess, all these people in Washington asked for it, too. They were expressing views contrary to the Tea Partistas, so violence happens. Tea Partiers ask "Why do you make me hit you?"

Michael said...

Alpha: I have certainly worked hard to sow fear, that's for sure. The Jon Stewart rally will have a million billion people. Hope to see you there. I will be in a brown shirt.

1jpb said...

Alpha,

This right wing violence is getting to be a fiscal problem. Those three situations (after adding up all the costs to the gov, including incarceration) is probably going to cost some serious coin.

I guess we could probably cover the costs by bumping a couple folks out of Medicare. What are we looking at? Two hundred grand? Half a mil? We may need to bump off more than two. Let's do a lottery to determine who has leave Medicare so we can pay for law enforcement related to right wing nuts.

Lem said...

I wonder if Sheryls music is in the Vagina Music section ;)

Trooper York said...

Well it is in the Sucks section.

But not sucks as in the "Superhead" girlfriend of Bill Maher as it is the only kind of woman he can relate to kind of way.

Michael said...

1jpb:

The hideous violence coming from the right is rather like Captain Kickasses' in the Whale Wars. Real big time stomping where the stomps are very very soft and sporadic. But, not to worry, because we might resort to the leftie tactic: "If we say stop and you keep coming we shall say stop again."

As to costs, no problem. There will be a bunch of guys in brown shirts at the million billion person rally who will be taking up "donations." Alpha will be there and he will contribute.

Deborah said...

Jon Stewart was named Most Influential Man of 2010. President Obama came in 21st.

Seriously.

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/10/27/2741466/jon-stewart-named-most-influential-man

Blue@9 said...

I would totally go if I still lived in DC. I love political rallies, protests, gatherings, etc., of any stripe. Not only is it high entertainment, but it's Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.

Protests in SF pretty much suck though--how is that DC wackos are so much more creative than the Berkeley and SF ones?

edutcher said...

Alpha lost, but he keeps trying. When Einstein said doing the same thing and expecting a different result was the definition of insanity, he was wrong.

It's the definition of stupid.

1jpb said...

"But if I were to go, I couldn't be here "

And, I don't think Althouse could survive the bus ride. Too elitist.


The people going are the ones who still believe in The Zero. The Market-Frankford El is more elitist.

deborah said...

Road Trip!

Oh never mind, the traffic alone will be a nightmare.

edutcher said...

A little something for Alpha - man pulls knife on R candidate.

Comment?

dick said...

Trooper,

Before I even clicked on the comments I was thinking the same thing. What a ridiculous woman she is.

garage mahal said...

A little something for Alpha - man pulls knife on R candidate.

Except he didn't pull a knife. LOL

KS said...

I read that the Democrats are setting up phone banks at the rally, but I had the same thought about people going to the rally instead of working their local precincts on the last weekend before November 2.

MadisonMan said...

An RSVP is a yes or a no, so I don't see what's wrong with the statement. It's actually understating how many RSVPs there are.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
An RSVP is a yes or a no, so I don't see what's wrong with the statement. It's actually understating how many RSVPs there are.

I asked Pam Anderson out…eat your heart out…OF COURZE, she said “No.” So MadMan the WHOLE story is important, not just the parts that make us look/sound good.

10,000 actually say they’ll be there…*WOW* That’s impressively scary…

pm317 said...

This rally is the anti-teaparty rally -- a rally for the elites and the cool dudes (like Obama, LOL). In that video, the lefty blogger woman dancing around the fact that it was all about the Dems and gushing over how it is all about Stewart/Colbert makes a mockery of human intelligence, especially if that human is a tea-partier.

** Thank god she didn't say 'nuanced' at least once.

MadisonMan said...

CryptoJoe, your argument should be with people who don't know what RSVP means.

Althouse is continuing the fiction that an RSVP is only needed if you are saying YES to an invitation. There's a word for that mindset: RUDE! If an invitation says RSVP, you reply Yes OR No.

If I hear that a half-million people RSVPed to something, my immediate thought is : How many said Yes? You can argue that the LA Times is not reporting the whole story, but that's because they don't say how many RSVPed YES, not because they somehow misrepresented the number of RSVPs.

Maguro said...

Come now, MadMan, you're being deliberately obtuse. The point is that the LAT is purposely stating the total number of RSVPs instead of the the number of people who RSVPd "Yes" in order to hype the Stewart rally and make into a bigger deal than it really is.

You know if it were some Sarah Palin rally, they would have said that only 10,000 of 350,000 RSVPers have said they're definitely attending or something like that.

A news article can be 100% true and still biased, you know that. It's all in what the author chooses to emphasize.

HDHouse said...

Maybe some folks want to see Washington one last time before the Republicans pave it over.

Titus said...

I have a sense that Rich whatever his name has sucked a cock.

Maguro said...

I should add that the LAT knows very well that a lot of its readers either a) Don't know what RSVP really means b) Don't read closely enough to question something like that.

The deliberate misuse of statistics reminds me of some of the performance reports I used to see in the Air Force.

shadow said...

Facebook seems to be having problems with the volume of people responding to the Sanity Rally - the numbers on their site have been bouncing around - but it appears that the number planning to attend is over 223,000. Although the LA Times said RSVP, the actual Facebook label is "attending".

Of course that many won't actually show up.

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...
A little something for Alpha - man pulls knife on R candidate.

Except he didn't pull a knife. LOL


Oh, that's right. He already had it in his hand.

Clyde said...

Trooper York beat me to it with the very first comment! How many other people were thinking exactly the same thing? She's gonna be "All I Wanna Do Is Use One Square" for the rest of her career.

Clyde said...

@ Deborah

"Jon Stewart was named Most Influential Man of 2010. President Obama came in 21st."

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Clyde said...

@ blue@9

"Protests in SF pretty much suck though--how is that DC wackos are so much more creative than the Berkeley and SF ones?"

Because nude protesters would be arrested in DC, so they have to come up with some other schtick.

Daniel said...

I'm confused. The fb page says 226,330 attending, 112,343 maybe, 10,000 awaiting reply, and 240,162 not attending. Doesn't it?

Mr. Forward said...

Kimberly-Clark announced the new tubeless toilet paper roll this week and Sheryl Crow announced she didn't know there was a tube.

LakeLevel said...

The level of discourse that I have come to expect at Althouse has noticably decreased since this infestation of lefty trolls. Humor, depth, logic, and general entertainment value have all fallen to a dismal level. So this is their plan: boor everyone so much that they stop coming here, and thus Althouse is foiled.

Clyde said...

I went to AskMen.com to find the whole list of people that Obama finished behind. It included not just John Stewart but also Conan O'Brien and Stephen Colbert, Drew Brees, Rafael Nadal, Jay-Z, Lebron James, and some European soccer coach named Jose Maurino. That's right: According to the half-million people who took the poll, some European soccer coach is more influential than the President of the United Effin' States of America! That's a lot of people eating lead paint chips.

Rialby said...

Others have made this point. I'll repeat it. What do Stewart and Colbert really bring to a GOTV effort?

Stewart is straight-forward snarky. Yes, he can be serious but that's typically in interviews where he's either trying to take someone down (John Yoo) or prop someone up (name any liberal). The rest of it is just mugging.

Colbert is a straight-forward parody of Bill O'Reilly saying over-the-top things that all liberals think a conservative (which O'Reilly is not) would say.

How is that going to "rally" anyone? Sounds like a comedy festival. The only things that they're infusing in the lumpen minds of their rally attendees are Bud Light and bong resin.

BlogDog said...

Of course Shurrl Crow will only play for five minutes. she only has one sheet of music.

orbicularioculi said...

Why do I get a distinct "feeling" that the Stewart rally is going to be an embarrassing "bomb"?

Mmatters said...

Ann, I'm not kidding, the numbers just flipped while I refreshed. It now says 226,000+ attending and 10,000 not attending. No I don't have before-after screen shorts.

What in the world...?

Jim B said...

I just checked the linked Facebook page at 1:40AM EDT.

It says in the left column, right underneath the logo:

10008 Attending

then there are a few avatars for attendees, followed by:

112121 Maybe Attending

10000 Awaiting Reply

240615 Not Attending

Revenant said...

Those three situations (after adding up all the costs to the gov, including incarceration) is probably going to cost some serious coin. I guess we could probably cover the costs by bumping a couple folks out of Medicare. What are we looking at? Two hundred grand? Half a mil?

My goodness! In only two weeks, right-wing extremists have done $500,000 in damage to the US Government's budget? That IS some serious coin.

We have to act quickly! At this rate, we only have until the year 78,923 AD to stop the Tea Party from doing as much damage as the Democratic Party's stimulus package. :)

Michael said...

Liberals are innumerate as has been demonstrated through the ages. Anyway, as Larry King once famously said in frustration about a budget discussion, its only numbers. Update: a trillion people will be at the rally.

AllenS said...

Stewart will have more joke lines if there is a poor turnout. Which I suspect will be the case.

mrs whatsit said...

Three minutes ago, it said 226797 attending, 10002 maybe attending, 10001 awaiting reply, and 240932 not attending.

Aaaaaand then I refreshed, and then it said, 10015 attending, 112016 maybe attending, 10001 awaiting reply, and 240940 not attending.

WV is quessi. Yes, the real numbers are very quessi. Also guessi.

Michael said...

Update: A trillion zillion, or one man more than the million man march.

rdkraus said...

Cox

I'll always remember her as the ______ who was happy to appear on Imus' show to pimp her own career, but stabbed him in the back one second after he made a stupid offensive joke.

LarsPorsena said...

"Cox

I'll always remember her as the ______ who was happy to appear on Imus' show to pimp her own career, but stabbed him in the back one second after he made a stupid offensive joke."

You can add in all Imus' liberal 'friends'. It's a long list.

Charlie Martin said...

Why do journalists keep writing the RSVP number like that?

Rhetorical question, right?

David said...

Is Cox trying to look like Althouse in the "law school student" picture?

Brian O'Connell said...

I just saw the numbers in Facebook flip too. Started out around a quarter million, a minute later it was 10,040.

Breaking out the programming forensics, looks like they want the numbers to update in real time, so they track new rsvp's, but instead of adding that to a true baseline, it gets added to 10,000 instead. (A number that must have seemed reasonably outsized when they coded this.)

Oh, now it's back to 227,138.

DaveW said...

The counts are gone entirely just now when I checked. Just the red logo with the date remains.

nooneofanyimport said...

This is strange. I have skulked around that Restoring Sanity event FB page a few times in the past month--I am even one of the "maybe attending," ha.

In the past the "yes attending" number was always over the 200,000 mark. Now it has changed. Why? A glitch? Or were the numbers purposefully inflated? If so, by which side? I mean, it would be funny if most of the site was really inhabited by trolls.

Pastafarian said...

Lem said: "I was told at a Clearwater festival that there is a way of using one ply.. involving the middle finger."

My best friend in high school and roomie in college, a proud Mexican American openly disdainful of Puerto Ricans, referred to this as the Puerto Rican Toilet Paper Conservation Method:

Take one square, fold it over once, then rotate it 90 degrees and fold it the other way. Tear out the corner and unfold it so that there's a 1" diameter hole in the center.

Save that corner.

Put your index finger through the hole, wipe with your finger, and use the skirt of paper to wipe off your finger. Use the torn-out corner to clean under your nail.

Matt said...

I'm thinking it's a joke... it is a comedy show, after all.

Deborah said...

Clyde, isn't that a hoot. Jon Stewart Leibowitz is a currently popular comedian passing for a journalist. Al Franken is a washed up comedian passing for a senator. Joy Behar is a sreeching harpie passing for a political commentator. And they take these people seriously.
wv:mings