Amazing! The Journalese Law of Crowd Estimating has been broken. As we have often noted, the Crowd Estimating Law requires reporters and editors to accept without question the number of people in an audience or crowd that is given by the event’s promoters, supporters, flacks or police. Even if the number is a physical impossibility, it’s published as a fact. An annual example was the Boston media’s reporting that one million, or hundreds of thousands, of people attended the July 4 Boston Pops concert and fireworks, which would mean the entire population of Greater Boston, plus tourists.
But wait! The Boston Globe on July 5, 2017, broke this law with this lede: “Thousands of spectators crowded the banks of the Charles River in a sea of red, white and blue Tuesday, celebrating Independence Day with a dazzling display of music and fireworks.”
No doubt there were thousands. The Globe left it up to readers to guess whether there were two thousand or 999 thousand. But at least it was not one million or hundreds of thousands.
# # #