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March 13, 2006 9:01 AM   Subscribe

300,000 March in Chicago against Immigration Control Act of 2005. General Question, Why did this not make national news? Compare to their front page now. Its like it never happened. 1/4 million people didn't matter enough.
posted by Elim (71 comments total)

 
I watched coverage of this on ABC's evening news.
posted by Atreides at 9:06 AM on March 13, 2006


I've been disappointed by the coverage as well. I've never seen so many people gather in the loop and was amazed at what happened last Friday. That it didn't make national headlines and - worse, arguably - that it doesn't seem to have fostered much discussion, it's disheartening.
posted by aladfar at 9:08 AM on March 13, 2006


Looks like the guv and da mayor were out with them. Kinda suprised that Channel 2 didn't do more.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:10 AM on March 13, 2006


This is what Larry Beinhart described as "Fog Facts":
Everyone in the world knows what Bill Clinton did with Monica Lewinsky, or the sordid facts about the O.J. Simpson case. ...These facts, or events, or factoids, mysteriously capture the world's attention and creates a media frenzy. But there's a flip side to this. Fog Facts — the important things that nobody seems able to focus on anymore than they can focus on a single droplet in the mist. They are known, but not known; the sort of things that journalists and political junkies know, but somehow the world does not...Beinhart's book is a dazzling and unsettling exploration of how this has come to pass, about "The Soft Machine," a mysterious mechanism that manufactures consent in a so-called democratic society and how ordinary citizens can fight back.
Should they even stop hitting the snooze button, I guess.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 9:18 AM on March 13, 2006


Because 2.5 million people in Chicago didn't march against the Immigration Control Act of 2005? Because people will march for anything, so marches have lost significance? Because media is a business and people don't want to watch it? I'm sure there is a reason other than a massive conspiracy.
posted by dios at 9:19 AM on March 13, 2006


That's astounding, and I can't even just blame the "MSM" on this either... I didn't see a single thing about this on any major left-leaning blog at all. 300,000-500,000 people? Wow.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:20 AM on March 13, 2006


It was on the front page of the Post when they marched in DC. Still, I agree, where did the story go after that? Where's the water cooler talk?

Even in my immigration related government office there is zero talk about this.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:24 AM on March 13, 2006


I didn't know about it either and I get about 50 pieces of Left-Wing Junk Mail a day. Thanks for posting this. It's great news to see that so many Americans are still committed to the immigrant ethos of the nation.
posted by By The Grace of God at 9:25 AM on March 13, 2006


dios, 10% of the normal population of a city shows up pretty much unannounced and marches against something and you thinks its insignificant, Gawd man your ignorance is phenomenal, or your ambivalence.

Jeebus, crawl back into your cave and continue your hibernation...
posted by Elim at 9:27 AM on March 13, 2006


Wow, I heard nothing as well. This seems to be yet another example of how the current protest model is obsolete. Those in power learned that if you don't physically or rhetorically attack the protest itself (e.g., water hoses, dogs or "protest as unAmerican"), those protesting will be nothing more than screeching voices flailing in a void.

Now, everyone marches because its safe, and none of them stand out. This, of course, make one wonder, what would work? Would the silent, white button down shirt, black slacks march be any different? Maybe if the protestors refused to take the legal steps required to have a march?
posted by jmhodges at 9:28 AM on March 13, 2006


Uh, I saw coverage on this. Found it on the main topix.net page, even.
posted by drstein at 9:28 AM on March 13, 2006


Note: The numbers seem to be increasing every time I read about the march - original estimates were at about 100,000. A very significant number. 300,000 - 500,000 is, I belive, an exaggeration.
posted by aladfar at 9:29 AM on March 13, 2006


Could I posit that it was because it was 300,000 immigrants and therefore not people that a great many of us know or work with on a daily basis? At the least, not the kinds of people who are journalists or are friends of journalists, who could get their stories in big papers. But it is interesting that the mayor and governor were there.
posted by billysumday at 9:30 AM on March 13, 2006


Maybe if the protestors refused to take the legal steps required to have a march?

They took over the Mall without a permit, but still nobody really noticed.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:30 AM on March 13, 2006


It was a pretty incredible scene. Very powerful and moving, and hopefully inspirational and empowering for the participants and the observers. And really hopefully a wake up call for legislators.
posted by jennyb at 9:30 AM on March 13, 2006


jennyb: i doubt they heard about it, even.
posted by Elim at 9:31 AM on March 13, 2006


So a little while ago I emailed the Channel 2 "News Tips" line: "300,000 people are marching through the streets of Chicago - why the hell isn't it one of your top stories on your home page?!?"

I just got this email reply: "It was Friday, Friday night, Saturday & Saturday night. We also had two reporters on that story which happened Friday and Chopper 2 was above the march."
posted by twsf at 9:32 AM on March 13, 2006


Because people will march for anything, so marches have lost significance?
posted by dios at 9:19 AM PST on March 13


Hmm, only a few hundred pro-war marchers here. What does that tell you?

(P.S. Linked to right-wing column hosted by Fox News so you don't bitch about the left-wing media, okay brah?)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:32 AM on March 13, 2006



posted by skallas at 9:34 AM on March 13, 2006



posted by skallas at 9:38 AM on March 13, 2006


Wow!
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:39 AM on March 13, 2006


As I mentioned before, I watched coverage of it on ABC's evening news. I'd be willing to bet that NBC and CBS also carried stories on it that night. Probably part of the problem is that these people decided to make noise on a Friday, which is consisently the best day for any news topic to die and whither over the weekend. If they had marched on Monday, I'd be willing to be there would have been more press on the matter. As is, people came home from work, then went out to enjoy the weekend.

There's a reason why the Bush Administration releases damaging information on Fridays, after all.
posted by Atreides at 9:43 AM on March 13, 2006


Dios, do you honestly think that the fact that 2.5 million people in Chicago didn't march against the Immigration Control act is a good point, do you really think your not being stupid right there? Not in general, just with that sentence, do you think that the fact that when many many people choose to do something that requires effort that more people do not choose to do that thing invalidates it.

"Billions did not buy an Xbox 360 this holiday season so much for it being the hot toy. In other news Ford did not lay off 92,000 workers. With more of what isn't happening in the world around you stay tuned to the Bizzaro News"
posted by I Foody at 9:45 AM on March 13, 2006


Nobody said anything about a "conspiracy", dios. Christ. And what do you mean people will march about "anything"? Do you think the issue brought to attention by this march is irrelevant? What other irrelevant things have 300,000 (okay, let's call it 100,000) marched about in America, land of apathy?
posted by Drexen at 9:46 AM on March 13, 2006


"Because people will march for anything, so marches have lost significance?"

That, coupled with the "fog facts" thing mentioned above... that's about the size of it. The most recent election here in Texas? Less than five percent bothered to vote. That's newsworthy to me, but to most people, the Clintons or the Hiltons or the latest about Jolie/Anniston/whatsisface... They're more interested in things that have no effect on them, then in things that could actually affect their lives. Why? I dunno. Kinda creepy tho. We'll let anybody run local and state politics without even blinking, but if Cruise jumps on top of Oprah's couch? Omigod it's front page!
posted by ZachsMind at 9:49 AM on March 13, 2006


...It's not a conspiracy. It's societal stupidity.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:50 AM on March 13, 2006


Dios, Add to the thread in some intelligent way or leave, but quit troll pooping on MY thread.
posted by Elim at 9:50 AM on March 13, 2006


By the way, if the stated police estimate of 300,000 people is accurate, then that puts it in at least the same league (size-wise) as the famous 1969 Washington DC Peace Moratorium march.
posted by Drexen at 9:55 AM on March 13, 2006


I'm pretty sure I saw Ferris Bueller riding a float in one of skallas' pictures.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:56 AM on March 13, 2006


By the way, if the stated police estimate of 300,000 people is accurate...

That wasn't the police estimate, that was an estimate by the organizers. Given the normal discrepancy between organizer and crowd control estimates, I'd guess there were more like 50,000 people running around.

Regardless, even 50,000 people is a huge number of people for a march, and it belongs on the front page.

I'd have to agree with the folks who said it was a mistake to hold the march on a Friday. Media folks take the weekend off too.
posted by tkolar at 10:08 AM on March 13, 2006


(goes back to check facts)

Doh! No, 300,000 was in fact the crowd control estimate.
I'll just slink off in disgrace now, don't mind me.
posted by tkolar at 10:09 AM on March 13, 2006


Nobody said anything about a "conspiracy", dios.
posted by Drexen at 11:46 AM CST on March 13


Ok then, what is the point?

The post doesn't seem to be about the March. It seems specifically framed in a way to suggest that something nefarious is going on because it wasn't on a news page. What the nefarious thing, we are not told. We are left to speculate on our devices. I offered some potential explanations of why it wasn't a bigger story. And, I don't think anyone else has suggested an answer. However, from the tone of the post and some of the responses, it seems that there is the suggestion that there was some conspiracy or nefarious reason why this wan't more publicized. After all, that seems to be the point of the post.

None of us know, so if you think my explanations aren't accurate, feel free to provide your own.
posted by dios at 10:09 AM on March 13, 2006


There was a front page story about it on DailyKos. The Chicago Tribune had several stories in print and online about it all weekend. It was all over the local news.

I work in downtown Chicago and I take the train to and from the city. Friday I got to the train station at 4:30 to catch the 4:44pm train. Usually at that time the train is pretty empty. That day it was quite packed - the car I normally ride in was already full! Metra estimated about 5,500 extra people were on the trains that day to get to/from the rally.

I also read there were lots of buses to the rally from places with large immigrant populations. There were 40 buses from Aurora alone, and 33 from Melrose Park...to name a couple. Gov. Blagojevich, Mayor Daley and Sen. Durbin were all there. It was ginormous.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:12 AM on March 13, 2006


They're more interested in things that have no effect on them, then in things that could actually affect their lives. Why? I dunno. Kinda creepy tho.

Because people are for the most part happy with their lives. The great majority of people are not suffering in some manner, nor finding some deprivation in their lives which a solution is required. People care about politics most when they feel that their lives can be significantly improved or affected by it. If Joe Schmoe can live his life without any major disruptions, he'll find Tom Cruise far more interesting than Tom Delay.
posted by Atreides at 10:15 AM on March 13, 2006


I'm sure I saw a fairly in depth piece on this on one of the cable news channels over the weekend.

You might want to take a look at the merits of the the bill itself, if you haven't already.

And according to the originally linked article above:
"The new immigration bill is not a done deal. The U.S. Senate appears likely to pass much more moderate legislation, without the criminal sanctions and with a path to citizenship for those here illegally."
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:17 AM on March 13, 2006


I don't think anyone else has suggested an answer.

Multiple answers have been suggested in this thread.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:17 AM on March 13, 2006


My explanation is that protesting has been identified as archetypical behavior of liberals, regardless of scale the news media perceives the fact that liberals are protesting and processes this as typical liberal stuff and dismisses it. When conservatives protest regardless of the meager scale it has a certain element of man bites dog to it. Because of this the news media pays in inordinate amount of attention to these little demonstrations as they perceive them as curious aberrations rather than business as usual.

Is this nefarious? It doesn't matter actually because it's something worse it's stupid and harmful and dishonest. I don't care about the why the news media fucks up so much as I care that the news media fucks up. All the fucking time.
posted by I Foody at 10:20 AM on March 13, 2006


Dios, Add to the thread in some intelligent way or leave, but quit troll pooping on MY thread.

Yea dios, you were supposed to chime in and say, "Wow, I didn't hear about this either. This is cool. The U.S. media sucks. I bet Bush had something to do with it".

See? Intelligent.
posted by Witty at 10:23 AM on March 13, 2006


Elim, this is astounding. Thanks for pointing it out. I do think it pathetic if the media don't report significant events just because it's the weekend. Of course, I understand they need a rest but come on, isn't this rally with a police estimate of 75,000 people worth more attention? I think it is.

Looking at Google news I also saw no mention of it. I put "immigration" and "Chicago" into Google news search, not a mention on the first page of links, only when I put in "Chicago immigration rally" did I get any info. Otherwise just "fog facts". (Brilliant term Reverend Mykeru, thank you. I agree with the idea that this administration is committing exactly what Mencken describes: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.", quoted on your interesting site.)
posted by nickyskye at 10:33 AM on March 13, 2006


My explanation is that protesting has been identified as archetypical behavior of liberals, regardless of scale the news media perceives the fact that liberals are protesting and processes this as typical liberal stuff and dismisses it.
posted by I Foody at 12:20 PM CST on March 13


That's what I was basically saying when I said this above: Because people will march for anything, so marches have lost significance?

Maybe the idea won't be so revolutionary when someone other than just me says it, too.
posted by dios at 10:34 AM on March 13, 2006


Did you know...

in a dios post wordcount, the words "me", "I", "myself", and "my" occur at a rate nearly double the average?

Strange But True!
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:43 AM on March 13, 2006


"in a dios post wordcount, the words "me", "I", "myself", and "my" occur at a rate nearly double the average?"

You can't spell "dios" without "i". Or "sonofsamiam", for that matter. Or "mr_crash_davis".

Why is everybody mad about the vowels?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:46 AM on March 13, 2006


Elim, do you have anything for sonofsamiam?
posted by Witty at 10:46 AM on March 13, 2006


Even the Drudge Report put a picture and link of the march on its page. You don't really get much more mainstream than that.
posted by gyc at 10:47 AM on March 13, 2006


sonofsamiam: I think that is due to his clarifications, as in "I think, I said, I Mean't... So I can see why that letter and other posesives, are higher than normal, just his patterne of speech. (Damn! I shoulda been a Linguist!)
posted by Elim at 10:48 AM on March 13, 2006


OR... maybe a speller.
posted by Witty at 10:52 AM on March 13, 2006


Because 2.5 million people in Chicago didn't march against the Immigration Control Act of 2005?

well, 8,097,000 New Yorkers didn't die on 9/11, dios. I appreciate your trolling, but does it have to be this dumb?


Because people will march for anything, so marches have lost significance?

well, they don't seem to be marching in favor of your war, dios
posted by matteo at 10:56 AM on March 13, 2006


I was just at Drudge, I'll Be damned if I can Find any protest mention.
posted by Elim at 10:57 AM on March 13, 2006


Why is everybody mad about the vowels?

This discussion makes me want to move my vowels.

I saw it on the national news and found it in a Google search. Obviously, it was huge news here in Chicago but my distinct impression is that it wasn't under or over-reported.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:58 AM on March 13, 2006


Witty: You wound me, man, that hurt... (sniff)
posted by Elim at 11:00 AM on March 13, 2006


I appreciate your trolling, but does it have to be this dumb?

You don't even know what you're saying anymore. But it is predictable and typical.
posted by Witty at 11:01 AM on March 13, 2006


I was just at Drudge, I'll Be damned if I can Find any protest mention.

It was on the site on Friday and Saturday.
posted by gyc at 11:05 AM on March 13, 2006


There was a front page story about it on DailyKos.

That reminded me of the classic SportsCenter commercial where Keith Olbermann's interviewing Bill Bradley for a job at ESPN:
Olbermann: Any experience in front of an audience?
Bradley: Well, I gave a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
Olbermann: Uh, I meant a large audience.
Bradley: Oh.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:15 AM on March 13, 2006


While the protest was going on, they were talking about it on Fox News Channel and they had that horribly simplistic figurehead woman from the Illinois Minutemen Project. The way they played it, it wasn't a shitload of people protesting a bill, but a bunch of illegal immigrants demanding things. They were getting all these asinine emails saying that we should send "2000 boarder patrol guards to Chicago to round up the illegals". (Yeah, I know it was Fox News)

That afternoon I had a reporter and an activiss from the march call into my radio show and give reports in Enbglish and Spanish, but I'm on a pretty-far-on-the-left-of-the-dial station and I doubt more than five people actually heard it.

Then I played the Minutemen's "The Glory of Man"and got a warm fuzzy.
posted by elr at 11:17 AM on March 13, 2006


I saw Lou Dobbs spend 10 minutes on this.

He was pretty freaked out, but then again, he's got that whole 'fear of a brown planet'/"Broken Boarders" schtick going, so it figures that he'd pay attention to this.
posted by Relay at 11:18 AM on March 13, 2006


'activiss' meaning of course, a real word, spelled similarly
posted by elr at 11:19 AM on March 13, 2006


Clearly, the liberal media is to blame.
posted by wakko at 11:43 AM on March 13, 2006


Whoa. I had no idea. Thanks for this post. I'm fired up now.
posted by tkchrist at 11:45 AM on March 13, 2006


If you want to make news, don't do it on a Friday. Duh. Amazing ignorance of the news cycle on the part of the protest organizers.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:59 AM on March 13, 2006


Am I the only one who suspects that the location (Chicago) was a major factor in the lack of major national coverage? It seems to me that for a rally of almost any size to get serious coverage, it has to take place in D.C. or New York. Looks like a combination of factors prevented the coast-to-coast headlines: the Friday scheduling, the non-sexy issue, not happening in D.C., or N.Y., etc.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 12:06 PM on March 13, 2006


If you want to make news, don't do it on a Friday. Duh.

Ok, how about on a Tuesday?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:10 PM on March 13, 2006


Lots of restaurants were closed here in the suburbs due to a lack of cooks and staff.
posted by goethean at 12:11 PM on March 13, 2006


This is actually a good example of why marches are a waste of effort.

They accomplish almost nothing in today's climate -- the time and money spent to organize the march would have probably been better spent is some other form of action. Lobbying, presumably, but today lobbying just means bribing politicians, so if your not someone with deep pockets, lobbying is closed off to you.

(More people than this marched against the Iraq war, more than once, it got limited coverage, the coverage it did get was often negative, and the media still pretended that the anti-war position was fringe lunacy).

So yeah, the current political model is dead.
posted by teece at 12:14 PM on March 13, 2006


You ever try to organize a protest on a weekday? All you get are college students, anarchists and professional protestors. You lose most of the working people, parents with their children, retired veterans, union organizations, etc. and it's just another case of "the funny lookin'kids are out complaining and stopping traffic again."

I don't see what the big deal is. It WAS on national news for two days and got dropped by Sunday. When we had the record-breaking protests three years ago when war was declared, it didn't stay in the news for more than three days.
posted by elr at 12:14 PM on March 13, 2006


Guy out here running for a political seat said “shoot ‘em” in refering to illegals. He’s one of the minutemen.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Smedleyman, why didn’t you put three rounds into his head and chest?’
Well here’s the thing, if I killed him, all the press would be on ‘local suburbanite goes crazy’ as opposed to ‘shithead gets what’s coming to him.’ Not because the powers that be have any specific hand in it, but because the climate is such that the workings of power and money are always in shadow, while vague moral points are always in the light.
I, a suburbanite, went crazy (because I have money), not, he, a racist politician, was a bastard who needed to die (because he has money). If he had advocated killing, say, folks from Lake Forest, that’s a story. If I had killed someone nondiscript - no story (unless sex was involved in some way).

It’s not a left-right thing. It’s a money, no-money thing.
Consider - everything on t.v. is about fairly well off folks doing interesting stuff. Even the news. A mass of people - even a huge mass of people - isn’t that interesting if they don’t have any money or power.

300,000 people came out and protested - so? What’s that going to change? Not much. So why give it coverage when other more interesting things are going on?

I’m not happy about it, but I agree with teece on the political realities of it.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:41 PM on March 13, 2006


does anyone know if cnn or fox covered it on cable? I'd be surprised if they didn't, considering they'll cover various court-related "breaking news" like murder trial arraignments and county press conferences....
posted by hurting.the.feelings.of.thechinesepeople at 2:55 PM on March 13, 2006


Our lot did a mini version last week.

more than 2,400 Irish-American immigrants, including about 1,000 from the Boston area, stormed the halls of Congress and lent their voices to the rollicking debate over the nation's immigration laws

I hope we don't get a special deal just for the Paddies. Good luck to 'em all.
posted by jamesonandwater at 3:34 PM on March 13, 2006


I support the groups.
posted by srboisvert at 3:59 PM on March 13, 2006


Dios, Add to the thread in some intelligent way or leave, but quit troll pooping on MY thread.

I'm sorry, but you are mistaken in your belief that this is YOUR thread. It is dios's as much as it is anyone else's.

For him to poop on!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:49 PM on March 13, 2006


I had just sat down to enjoy a late breakfast when the waitress told us that we should place our orders as soon as possible. You see, the restaurant was going to close early, because the entire kitchen staff had left early to attend the rally. She said of the workers in the kitchen (read: all of the workers doing actual labor) were Mexican, so they were pretty worried about the new legislation.

On the plus side, my eggs and toast were probably cooked by someone making far more than the regular line cook. Wait, thats on the negative side.
posted by pkingdesign at 11:11 PM on March 13, 2006


Those marching weren't "immigrants", they were for the most part illegal aliens. Together, of course, with their supporters.

In other words, foreign citizens are agitating in our country for rights to which they aren't entitled.

And, the bill in question only affects illegal aliens, it doesn't affect legal immigrants.

As for the restaurant mentioned above, wouldn't it be better for Americans to do the work? Wouldn't they have to be paid more, and wouldn't the restaurant worry about not being able to abuse them in various ways such as ignoring safety laws?

And, isn't that restaurant ripping everyone off? They get highly subsidized "cheap" labor, everyone else pays the bill by paying for the schooling, medical, and other costs for their "cheap" labor. Shouldn't the restaurant pay for that instead of passing the cost off to the rest of us?

And, is that restaurant a part of a group that lobbies politicians? Does that group donate to politicians that look the other way on immigration law enforcement? Sure, they probably don't deliver bags of cash to favorite politicians, but it's corruption all the same.

Wait, there's more! The group of Irish illegal aliens mentioned above were funded by the Irish government. Some of those marching in Chicago might have links to the Mexican government.

So, foreign citizens who are here illegally are agitating and being agitated - in at least one case by another government - and trying to meddle in our laws. And, companies that profit off illegal activity are corrupting our politicians.

There's even more, but perhaps all those commenting above might want to do a bit more research into this issue.
posted by LonewackoDotCom at 11:51 PM on March 14, 2006


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