Today's Tea Party Express stop in New Lennox, IL was -- by a substantial margin -- the most highly attended political event in the Chicago metro area on this Labor Day holiday. Despite the news worthiness of this event, only one major media outlet covered the story: ABC
Kudos to ABC for covering the story at all -- even allocating a helicopter to show the crowd size. Still, a number of editorial decisions were made which show a bias against this story.
At no point do they say what the crowd size was other than to call it 'big'. Yet they have no problem stating the crowd size for the Immigration Reform rally at Federal Plaza, even using the organizers hyper-inflated estimate of 4,000 attendees. NBC estimated that crowd at 200. Official police estimates for the New Lennox event range from 8,000 to over 10,000, but ABC just calls that 'big'.
They end the story with a real hatchet job in which they videotape two women expressing concerns over their loss of freedoms. The piece then cuts away from the video and back to the reporter who says when she asked the ladies to explain which freedoms they have lost, one gives a lame answer and the other no specific answer at all.
Certainly there are dopes in any crowd and perhaps the reporter found two at this rally. But why not broadcast the ladies responses so the audience can judge for themselves rather than depend on the reporter's interpretation of their answers?
If you didn't see the story over the air, good luck finding it on the local ABC web site. Navigation on their site is confusing enough as it is, but when you bury the story 'below the fold' as the 10th of 12 segments, you pretty much ensure it will never be seen again. And when the 9th segment is a three paragraph blurb about how Metra now takes credit cards -- a story of award winning merit, I'm sure you will agree -- you realize this story was buried in the 10 slot on purpose.
Despite the bias, at least ABC covered the story, which is more than can be said for CBS, NBC or Fox News Chicago. NBC did a small text piece on their web site, but no video coverage.
Even more shocking was the lack of any story by the Fox News Channel (either over the air or on the web) despite having Griff Jenkins present to cover the story. It's possible that FNC may have covered the story in one of their 30-second 'between the shows' news updates, but there was no major coverage during The Factor, Hannity, or On the Record.
How can a significant story like this have been so completely ignored by virtually every main stream media outlet in town? Is this a continuation of the liberal press bias or just a dropped ball on a holiday? You decide.
Liberty Watchman and Illinois Review seem to have scooped the entire blogosphere on this story.
*** Late Edition ***
NBC finally did attach a silent video to their web post, but there was no on-air coverage.