I'm wondering why the seeming complete absence of any coverage of the Reason Rally by the major news networks this weekend. On Saturday, after running errands all morning, I came home for a few hours in the afternoon. CNN - nothing. Sunday morning - again nothing. NBC evening news - nothing. I'll grant that I do not watch all the major news outlets. However when I was out running errands, I had NPR on the car radio - nothing. Didn't turn on MSNBC or FOX (then again, I'd rather watch a commercial on incontinence products than have to listen to FOX). Clicked on Google News and lo and behold - nothing. You had to type in "Reason Rally" in the search field, and even then, it was slim pickings at best.
One couldn't help but notice that the Trayvon Martin story dominated the headlines; even over the non-stop political babbling. And, I'm not saying the Trayvon Martin story isn't important. It is. (The coverage is less than stellar, in my opinion, but that's an entirely different topic). However, a peaceful gathering of between 10,000 and 20,000 non-religious people on the capitol grounds of what is falsely described as a "Christian Nation" would seem to merit some mention.
It's possible I missed it, not having surveyed every network out there. Has this been everyone else's experience - or lack thereof? And if so, why do you think it was overlooked.
I scanned CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS News and found not quite nothing. Seems to me that CNN had a LITTLE something, but that's about it.
If you missed it, then I did, too. [sigh]
I had to use the search bar to find the one article CNN did. Apparently, it was buried deep.
It looks like they want to pretend it didn't happen or something. It's like they are ignoring us.
NPR has made several mentions and a few news pieces the last few weeks.
I don't have cable (a wise choice says me) so I'm not a consumer of the various non-independent journaltainment services.
As for 10-20K attendance, it depends on when the estimate was taken (as well, Parks Services are known to be conservative with estimates, they provided the 20K figure), at its peak I'd say it was close to 25k-30k, for at least an hour or two.
We left right at the end of Izzard's set. Leading up to that, I know the area from the port-o-potties at Jefferson to the ones at Madison was packed, and plenty of people were passed the tents. I would say 20K was a very conservative estimate. We left early and still the Smithsonian Metro stop was clogged to the gills.
It seems that internet news has more to say than either radio or television. I think that Colbert might say something, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Personally, I agree with you guys, there should've been more media buzz. The media seems to like ignoring us, but they have no problem airing stories in contexts that make us look bad.
I did see some news coverage before Saturday. Saw an interview with David Silverman on CNN (which I thought was very good), but that was a few days before the event. I guess what I found frustrating was that given the size, scope, and most importantly, the nature of the event, it was totally ignored as it occurred. While this is sheer speculation on my part, I was left with the impression the major news outlets didn't want to get the evangelicals' pantyhose in a knot. Which, had they covered it, would have had the possibility of starting a very healthy national discussion on the influence and role of religion in our society.
So much for the "Liberal Media" argument, there it goes "poof!" = gone.
The reason we may be overlooked is because I think that mediawise, we're the elephant in the room, people don't talk about us (not sure how that phrase came about, if I enter a room with an elephant the first words out of my mouth are gonna be: "What's with the elephant?"). Another reason that most television news outlets may not have reported on us is that it a relatively short amount of time has passed since the Reason Rally took place. I'm certain that by the end of the week, we'll have heard more about it. If not, then we may need to start our own Atheist television network to get some attention, essentially an Atheist version of the CBN, but with intelligent thought. I doubt very much if that's gonna happen anytime soon, but I've already pulled some names for the network outta my ass; ABN (Atheist Broadcast Network), The Godless Network, NoGodTV, the Reason Channel.
Since we're on the subject of media coverage for the Reason Rally, I found an article about it done by the Washington Post and personally, I like it. It really speaks to me. To read it, click here.
Thanks Chris, that is a good article and it sure sounds like it was written by an atheist.
Sadly it seems you have to do something negatively sensational to make the front pages. Theists are still trying to ignore us but it won't work for much longer.
Heh heh heh… well, it was written by Richard Dawkins.
…that was beautiful.