Credit Where Due: NPR Accurately Reports Bakersfield Immigration Rally--'Hundreds'
National Public Radio's Kirk Siegler, reporting for Morning Edition, filed a fair story on Wednesday's immigration reform rally in Bakersfield, California, in contrast to much of the rest of the mainstream media.
The rally brought together far fewer people than that "5,000" that organizers claimed would appear in order to pressure House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy--who wasn't even there to be pressured.
Siegler got the numbers right, stating: "At dawn, hundreds of actvists loaded into buses." Later in the piece, he said that "hundreds of people convened" at the local park.
Those reports of "hundreds" confirm what Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Joel Pollak and I saw firsthand. As I tweeted just after the rally's scheduled start time of noon, a rough count showed about 400 people in attendance. That estimate was confirmed by another reporter there.
Also getting the numbers right was the Associated Press, which cited "hundreds of people from across California"--but on the other hand, another Associated Press report claimed attendance of 1,500.
Other numbers bandied about included:
The Los Angeles Times: "more than a thousand immigrant rights activists"
United Farm Workers: "The UFW estimates 4,000 were in attendance…"
SEIU: "With more than 345 cars and buses carrying more than 5,000 people, the largest caravan in California history roared into Bakersfield..."
Morning Edition also deserves credit for presenting opinions on both sides fairly--including the local Republican mayor, who supports immigration reform. Siegler deserves credit for on-the-ground reporting--as opposed to the distant distortions of journalists and activists with little interest in facts or complexity.