Monday, September 14, 2009

Christopher Knight on 9-12 March on Washington: Stick to Art Reviews

Christopher Knight, at the Los Angeles Times' "Culture Monster" blog, argues that Glenn Beck's 9-12 logo is based on "century-old communist, socialist and other left-wing designs."

I like Knight's work as the Times' chief art critic (see
here), but the guy really should stick to reviewing the masters. After his attack on Glenn Beck's 9-12 logo, he concludes with a jab on the crowd-size estimates for Saturday:

Turnout for the 9-12 Project's Saturday march on Washington was a bust; 30,000 protesters signed up in advance (MSNBC reporter David Shuster tweeted that D.C. park police called that figure "generous"). But even if three times that many actually showed up, the number would fall far short of the hundreds of thousands (and even millions) claimed to be planning to attend. Even in that reduced crowd, however, surely someone recognized how odd the right-wing gathering's left-wing logo was.

Maybe Beck will explain. Sort of.
There's lots of good analysis on crowd size from bloggers, and the numbers are way more the 30,000 (or 70,000). For one of the better analyses I've seen, check Transterrestrial Musings, "An Impression of the Protest."


shoprat said...

They are age old symbols of revolution, an idea that the left has never had a monopoly on. Revolution, like most other roads, goes both ways.

Ben JB said...

A raised fist is a pretty common organizing logo--it's easy to recognize and easy to mimic in person if you don't happen to have a poster and want to express solidarity.

That Communists and Black Power advocates have used it hardly makes it impossible to repurpose for conservative purposes.

That said, I think the conservative media (including blogs) and especially Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks really shot themselves in the foot with estimates of the attendance.

First, Matt Kibbe lies about ABC's projection, pegging the number at between 1 and 1.5million; this was easily checkable on the internet as untrue as ABC stuck to their "tens of thousands"; but NO ONE checked it? Malkin ran with it, Prof. Douglas ran with it.

Second, people started tossing around the official count by the Park Police, but this is easily checkable also--the Park Police don't release numbers anymore (ever since they were threatened with a lawsuit, which seems silly to me, but that's another topic entirely).

I don't know if Knight is correct in his estimate, but this is just another episode in the "why didn't they google before printing?" recent history of the American conservative movement. I'll shelve this episode next to the "they're targeting Republican dealerships" story that went nowhere.