March 12, 2011- You wouldn’t know it if you were relying only on cable news, but according to the city of Madison, today’s protest was the largest yet. 85,000-150,000 Wisconsin residents took to the streets to stand up for their freedoms. This protest was larger than any Tea Party rally including Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor.
According to a press release from the city of Madison, “The largest gathering of the recent sustained protest movement took place Saturday, March 12th with an estimated 85,000 to 100,000 people coming to downtown Madison. They mixed with about 50 farmers on tractors, and some officers reported one donkey among the masses. At the end of the rally, there had been no arrests, and only a couple of minor medical emergencies. Law enforcement would again like to thank everyone who came to the Isthmus for keeping the peace, for being patient, and for respecting those with opposing views.”
The Madison estimate might be on the low end. According to the AFL-CIO blog attendance was estimated at 150,000, “With crowd estimates as high as 150,000 for the rally in Madison, Wisconsin working people prepared for the next step in their struggle for democracy and the middle class. They are mobilizing to recall at least eight Republican senators who participated in a rigged vote to take away public employee bargaining rights.”
In contrast the media hyped Rally to Restore Honor managed to draw only 87,000 people, and most of those were Republican activists who had been bused in for free by Freedom Works. The high end estimate for Beck’s rally is 100,000 which means that, a national rally put together and publicized by a right wing media feature with national radio and television shows, at best was able to equal one protest in Madison, Wisconsin.
There was no national media hype for the protest in Madison today. Heck, the national media, minus MSNBC, won’t even acknowledge the Wisconsin protests. For weeks now, more people have turned out for protests in Wisconsin than for any Tea Party event, but yet the media continues to ignore Wisconsin.
The reason for the media cold shoulder is that real grassroots movements, like what is happening in Wisconsin, are dangerous to corporate interests. Corporations don’t want more unionization. Workers with rights cost more, so they don’t want this whole power to the people thing catching on. What can’t be ignored is that there is a strong anti-corporate mood helping to fuel the re energized grass roots of the left, and in this era of news for profit, a backlash against corporate power in political process is not good for the bottom line. Instead of covering real news, the corporate media decides to stick with much safer corporate backed AstroTurf like the Tea Party and Glenn Beck.