Fox News: Fluffer for Michele Bachmann

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart confessed to being embarrassed some time ago when two young amateur journalists scooped them on the activities of ACORN in several cities. He’s made up for it a good bit this week when he caught Fox News Channel spicing up their coverage of Michele Bachmann’s health care rally / tea party protest in Washington, D.C. this week. Without any mention of doing it, their editors spliced in obvious footage of a much larger rally from a couple of weeks ago to make it look as if attendance was much larger than it actually was. Check it out, not only for the humor but the red handed catch of the Fair and Balanced Network in action:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck’s Protest Footage
www.thedailyshow.com
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The really strange part about this is why Fox would bother with this type of deception. The event was quite well attended, with even the Washington Post saying there were at least ten thousand people there. Why use old footage to fluff up the numbers by another order of magnitude?

Some of my conservative contacts like to refer to Fox as a “much needed counterbalance” to the more liberal media outlets. But there is a difference between putting a spin or slant on a story and simply hacking in fraudulent footage without notifying the viewer. Obviously, when covering a story like this you don’t use all of the footage you shoot, and mistakes can happen when you chop it up for broadcast, but totally separate footage from previous shows doesn’t simply drop unbidden into your editor and splice itself into the final package. This was on a totally different level than simple, partisan spin.

All the defenders of the “needed counterbalance” should be feeling a bit silly today, but I’m not holding my breath to see if they will take Fox to task for it.

UPDATE: As usual, my predictive powers are kaput and Ed at Hot Air gave full coverage to this story with no apologies offered for Fox’s performance on this one.

45 Comments

  1. Nothing surprises me that comes from the Party of No and Fear, modern day Wizards of Oz, hiding behind their curtain of sin and deceipt as they try to keep the people circlling the yellow brick road to nowhere so they can keep their power behind their curtain of deception.

  2. Can anyone provide examples of the horrid liberal media doing similar things?

  3. Facts and truth have a natural liberal bias. You don't see or read a story about a child suffering or a business legally screwing little old ladies or an insurance company making obscene profits by deigning coverage and instinctively think this is good, we shouldn't do anything about it.

    But protectors of the status quo tire of being on the wrong side of most issues and therefore will flock to anyone who lies and tells them they aren't. Couple this with the need of the wealthy to protect the status quo that enriched them, which in turn leads to the wealthy's need for people who can be fooled into voting against their own self-interests and you have the explanation for Fox and talk radio. Propaganda requires frequent repetition in a place shielded from facts for it to sound like the truth.

  4. I would love to disagree with you on reality having a liberal bias but I can't. In my opinion that is due to how far to the right the nation has contorted though and not due to liberal ideas and ideals always being right.

  5. I don't believe liberals are always right. Far from it. That would imply that they understand the issues involved well enough to apply the proper solutions. Recognizing the problem is the easy part and not even half way there.

    Historically it is the moderates who get the conservatives over the hump of denial and the liberals over the arrogance of thinking they are always right, meld the ideas and get constructive, workable solutions in place. Our problem today is lack of moderates.

  6. Fluffer? Oh my . . . ;-)

  7. I will say that the longer they are in power, the more often the conservatives are wrong . The longer you put off solving a problem the harder it is to solve. That is painfully obvious with today's health care reform and climate change problems. How much easier they would have been to solve10, 20 or 30 years ago. Sorry this is just stating the obvious, of course.

    Conversely liberals jump on problems too soon and tend to carry the solutions too far.

    We really don't have very many liberals anymore. So I agree with you that we have been too conservative for too long. Certainly Obama has so far run a center to center right administration. Especially in terms of our history or the current European norms.

  8. I can't agree with your two responses enough. That is pretty much my view on the “why how and oh dear” of our current political age as well.

  9. For Fox to inflate the audience and substitute video, it helps those who disregard the teaparty movement….disgusting !!!!

  10. If you are as outraged about this as I am, I strongly encourage you to file a complaint to the FCC here:
    http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

    The appropriate Complaint Type is “Broadcast (TV and Radio), Cable, and Satellite Issues” and the Complaint Category is “Unauthorized, unfair, biased, illegal broadcasts” (the form states that this includes “Biased or distorted news stories by the media”). The original show aired on Fox News at 9:00 pm Eastern on November 11th 2009.

    We have an avenue to correct this type of falsification and to make change we must make a complaint.

  11. Fox News? Haven't watched it in ages, and I never look at their website. The winsomeness of conservative principles needs no falsification. Thinking people are won over, with time.

  12. “Nothing surprises me that comes from the Party of No and Fear, modern day Wizards of Oz”

    Come on, baca. Give me a break. Your partisanship is showing.
    Do you mean to tell me that you think that the Democratic party is honest and only cares about your needs? If you really think that, then I've got some beachfront swampland to sell ya.
    Both parties will stop at nothing for power. They have both left their basic foundations and, frankly, suck. They are corrupt giants and they should both be defeated.

    I'm disappointed in Fox doing this. This is the same crap the liberal media has been pulling. I always balance the libmedia out with fox just to get both sides. I've got no choice. I refuse to just take someone's word for anything – since they all have a spin on it.

  13. “Can anyone provide examples of the horrid liberal media doing similar things?”

    That one is easy, MSF.
    They did the opposite during the DC Tea Party, trying to say that only a few thousand showed up. That was all over TMV that day, remember? They purposely slanted the bias in the opposite direction that Fox did. MSNBC, NBC, and CNN all reported extremely low numbers in an attempt to belittle the protest.

  14. Now I am confused. I remember a photo that Malkin was pimpin out that showed a huge turn out and turned out to be…not a photo of the event and it was debunked all over the web and if memory serves here as well. Do you have a credible link, say wikipedia or the like, of this incident? If so I will be outraged but at the time the only big numbers debate that I remember about the event was not over photos but the crowd estimates. Those estimates were taken from the same officials in the same ways they had been in all past rally estimations and, if I remember correctly, I stated that I did not have a problem ignoring the official estimates and multiplying them to the numbers the tea parties desired but only if we multiplied all past and future estimates in the same manner because otherwise we are making up special rules for the tea parties.

    On a side note you realize that Goldberg that wrote the book Bias and launched the News culture wars now is angry with Fox News Hosts that are “Pretending to be journalists” because they have gone so far out on the limb at this point.

  15. I also did the “Fox News” balance game for a while. It ended in late 2001 early 2002 when I realized that instead of being a rabid investigative news channel it was actually a Dem hating Repub loving attack when it helps the GOP channel and I am still pretty bitter that they pulled me along so long but I was young and gullible(early 20's at the time). Luckily I have avoided being pulled into the MSNBC idiocy due to the hatred of propaganda I picked up at that time, I was also studying Goebbels at the time so it made it a bit more obvious.

  16. According to Wikipedia the protest was around 75000 which is of course the number we have heard over and over again as that was the official estimate but it makes no mention of any photo controversy even though it has a media controversy section. If you have proof otherwise or you know where it could be gathered you may want to inform the Wiki staff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_protests

  17. Fluffer? Oh my . . . ;-)

    I think this would be anatomically impossible actually.

  18. I understand your point, MSF, and I agree to a point. The thing is, with Fox a “tool” of the right, and the rest left of center; that still leaves a void in the realm of “real journalism”. I have no doubt that the majority of the “specialty” shows (Beck, Hannity, Fox & Friends, etc) are blatantly biased conservative tools. But the “regular news” (Shep Smith…) appears to be fairly reported. Yes it remains right of center, but with every other news organization left-of-center; that is how I get my “balance”. I also go to the web for more info, but it's getting increasingly hard to find unbiased sources there too.

    And most media outlets are pretending to be journalists. That was evident with the left during the 2008 campaign, and with the right under Fox News.

  19. With the exception of presidential elections I still fail to see any left wing bias though I do see a socially liberal bias. Where as that is a liberal bias it is a useless one since it really helps neither side from my point of view(pushing visuals down peoples throats that offend them just incites them to vote for people that think like they do) and though I think certain social issues are important they are not near as important as the other issues our nation faces, in fact I have a word to describe them even “distraction.” Once you take that part out we have a media that is militarily hawkish and conservative when it comes to regulation and the brilliance of the free market which would actually make them…republicans.

    I do though make an exception for presidential election years. I was told by someone I thought to be a loon in 1990 or so that “the media picks the president, watch who they favor and who they continue to bring up innuendoes about and you can see who will win.” Note not who they want to win, who will win. EIther way it worked both times with Clinton, it worked both times for Bush and once for Obama(if you think Bush was not favored by the media until he won in 2004 let me know since I have an entire arsenal of examples). It also makes a great deal of sense when you realize how much media consolidation was allowed under Clinton and Bush, at least they got their moneys worth I suppose. Not sure yet what they will get from Obama but keep in mind the media still loves McCain, just not in the campaign. I know what I am saying is frustrating but it comes from the mega corps that also happen to be huge investors in the military industrial complex among other things. Want to see what an election looks like when the medias choice does not win or at least pull it out, I give you the 2000 election debacle. Yea drop a tin foil hat on me but how is it the media attacked Obama with more fervor than they ever did Clinton and Bush after he got in? Oh yea because he had already achieved the goal they wished him to. Here is another paranoid tid bit, all of those European papers that so breathlessly bleated on about the wonders of Obama, yup those same publications are tied to the CIA as historically during the cold war they were allowed to post CIA propaganda and misinformation in them. I am not saying that the correlation equals causation but from my point of view Obama was the chosen candidate of the CIA, I still voted for him but Palin made me want to flee the country in fear of being burned at the stake(sounds extreme but I truly feel that way and I am not the only one.) The publications were the ones used in Operation Gladio though, its pretty interesting stuff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio

    The revolution will NOT be televised on any station. Glenn Becks PR guy was also Hillary's PR guy, the MSM incites socially conservative people to vote their values and Fox reminds them of what those values are and no matter how offensive or upsetting the sex and violence on TV gets it will not be calmed nor regulated. Because the group that wants to regulate it votes for the anti-regulation side, this is the part that I some times wake up laughing about. I agree about the election coverage but Obama is not a special case, he instead is the status quo for the media and Fox did no better since they followed their status quo. The only people that had a clue in that election had been involved and keeping up to date on info since before the primaries, everyone else gets the medias version of reality which has been true since at least 1960. So you can scream about Obama but Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush II also benefited from the exact same types of “bias” that is claimed to have been “newly found” in 2008. Its not new, with every new president we get to have this debate all over again.

    I do enjoy Shep Smith though, I mean I really really do I just refuse to give them or MSNBC any viewing time or youtube watches if possible on principle, I do not accept nor condone open propaganda networks I just cant stomach it.

  20. You make a very good argument, MSF. I never really looked at it in quite that light. I'll give it some research with that in mind. But for now, I still do not know what televised choices I have, if any, for unbiased journalism. CNN doesn't seem to be it. NBC is definitely not it. Possibly CBS? I don't know. What do you think?

    But I have to blatantly disagree with the Bush thing. That's when I started watching Fox News in the first place. The media laid off Bush for the first term since there was a backlash after small first attempts at leftward biasing fact on the President. He was seen (at that time) as the “great defender against terrorism) and people didn't want to hear crap about their “great defender” whether it was true or not. You just don't overly dog a President when he's fighting a common enemy. That was the case, until Iraq (2003) where the country was divided. Afghanistan was fine, but for many, Iraq was over the line. That's when the left-wing media pulled out the doorstops and unleashed.

    I knew the real deal then with Iraq. I know it now. But the liberal media attempted to destroy him in 2003 and every other year until his departure. They continue it even today. Of course the Obama administration helped perpetuate that with blaming the guy for every problem they've encountered.
    I'm no fan of GW Bush. I'm not a big fan of Obama either. But I do recognize Obama as a better executive than Bush. I'm slowing coming around on Obama – not because of his thousands of TV appearances and narcissistic attempts of image managing – but because of research on the guy and the way he's managed the nation. He has made many mistakes, mind you. And I will never get behind any plan of his that leads to further debt that we cannot pay back.

  21. On a slightly less conspiratorial note I have some basic media ideas for you though you may wish to take them with a grain of salt. First as far as TV goes PBS's The Newshour is the most balanced thing out there and study after study has supported that.

    Online though I favor a large mixture but I focus on places like Reddit and Slashdot which are actually tech versions of Digg. Reddit and Slashdot rocketed Ron Paul and Obama around the internet and also became those guys foot soldiers on the ground in their districts but they did that after a great deal of research and a good deal of community debate(it was an amazing thing to watch come together honestly). Reddit is Obama central now and Slashdot leans more Libertarian as that is where the Libertarian Reddit people landed when RP was ignored in the primaries but it is also because they tend to be programmers or IT types that not only make a good living their wages continue to rise. Either way the good thing about those sites is that the debate with supportable and linkable facts. They treat peer reviewed science and mathematics as the gospel and they show their work. Unsupported statements and propogandists get buried rather quickly but whether they agree or disagree with you they generally protect people with supported facts. They are also wonderful repositories of cutting edge science and tech which will have a great impact over the next election cycle and of course everyone following that(meaning for ideas and research) many of the readers are science geeks or professional scientists so you also get good links and fact(you can tell by the points or do the work again they generally show theirs). I will warn you though they are heavy on atheists I just tend to avoid those threads but if you like to debate it is a good place to check out. They also are very picky about where they get the article for citations and the like. Both sites are also very tech activist and that is nice whether you agree or disagree because you still get to vote.

    The Bush thing has a few pieces that I felt were odd from the 2004 election. First ever notice how long after the Swift Boaters had been debunked all the MSM people kept refrencing them followed with “but they were debunked”(sometimes you could almost hear the air quotes)? Next we had a chickenhawk president who lied to get us into a war against a decorated veteran yet Kerry was portrayed again and again as a “dangerous” choice by the big three's election talking heads. Mission accomplished, yea nuff said on that. They did not lay a hand on the man until 6 months before the election and then they held back the actual problems that had built up over years and instead focused on the back and forth game. Before that 6 months many things had happened that the big three did not cover for fear of re-inciting people so for many people, it never happened. Lastly, I could probably think of more but these are some good ones, The New York Times the bastion of ultra liberalism withheld the wire tap story until after the election at the request of the white house. Let me repeat that, they withheld breaking a gigantic story that may have swayed the election heavily to Kerry until after the election at the request of the Republican White House. What did they do for Kerry? They obsessed about his rich wife and the debunked charges of the swiftboaters, he was an empty suit remember. The man was a sitting US Senator and decorated veteran, neither of those positions have room for empty suits though you may not like what they do.

  22. Thank you SO much for the media ideas. I'll have to DVR The Newshour and do some judging. I'll check out Slashdot as well. Libertarians are typically good at calling things honestly – but they are also chalk-full of conspiracy. I'd have to weed that out.

    I see your point on Bush/Kerry. The Whitehouse wiretap story was a big one. You're right on that one. In their defense, a portion of national security was at stake though. You ought to know that I'm not a fan of President Bush. But I would have been miserable under a President Kerry. I researched him to death – and he just wasn't the man for the job. His conduct as an officer in the Army was, at best, dishonorable. I don't buy into all of that swiftboat crap either; but he has lived his silver-spoon life accordingly. Bush wasn't much better, but I'm glad he was there over Kerry. Instead of rich aristocracy, Obama climbed up the academic aristocracy with silver-spoon ideals. The jury is still out on him.

    Are you as tired as I am with the crap that keeps ending up on the Presidential ballot every four years?
    It's enough to drive a man insane.

  23. “I still do not know what televised choices I have, if any, for unbiased journalism.”

    Like a Unicorn, that animal never really existed. In times past, there were at least two, conflicting newspapers in every large city. The media oligopoly and reporters have always bragged about how seriously they strive to be unbiased, and it is a noble goal, but it's not truly possible. The internet, with its variety of blogs and blatantly bias sources, has allowed to go back to the old standard of checking things out from all angles again, but you've got to put some effort into finding the opposite sides.

    I remember watching CNN in the hospital, while waiting to see my wife, the day after the first bank bailouts failed. They were trotting out a long list of “experts” who just all happened to agree that we had to try “something” because of the impending doom if we didn't. The bias was so obvious, and yet this was being hocked as news. After years of avoiding televised media, it was both laughable and disturbing, like when someone took a story from The Onion about the moon landing being fake and reported it as a serious news source. I can understand the mistake.

  24. I guess I knew that…. But I'll try some of MSF's suggestions and see.
    Maybe I'll find a magical unicorn after all.

    But you made a point there that may be a clue to the bigger picture.
    “The media oligopoly and reporters have always bragged about how seriously they strive to be unbiased, and it is a noble goal, but it's not truly possible. “

    Media Oligopoly.
    So Corporations not only screwed up our government but also screwed up the media?
    That seems to gel.

    I'm finding myself to grow more and more against Corporations as we speak. It's time for some Teddy Roosevelt monopoly busting to get these megalogiants back to a managable size. This is getting ridiculous. Any suggestions on how to get that done?

  25. “Any suggestions on how to get that done?”
    Well, no. Revolutions, especially peaceful ones, take larger numbers. It seems that the majority of people are anti-megacorp, but the politicians seem enslaved to them. So I can only make two suggestions:
    1. Keep hitting the more liberally-minded with the truth until they stop worshiping Democrats. I'd normally work on the conservative-minded also, but most of them are already disillusioned with Republicans.
    2. Build up your favorite third party. As long as Democrats and Republicans can sucker people into their game, we'll never win. The political machines have to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

    The rest lies in the hands of the Creator, who isn't always doing what we want him to do — which is a good thing.

  26. For starters, Contessa Brewer showed an artfully-cropped pic of a fellow she described as white at a N.H. Tea Party Rally with an assault rifle , but after the full photo was shown, he turned out to be one of those horrid black conservatives.

    Also, the Sept Tea Party Rally drew almost the same numbers in DC that the so-called “Million Man March” had done in the nineties, but the lamestream media did all sorts of downsizing to minimize the event.

  27. Sure thing. How about cropping a video so that you can't see that an armed man is African-American, so that you can go on to imply that the man is a white racist?

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/19/unreal-ms

  28. Great minds think alike blah blah blah

  29. MSNBC perpetrated the hoax and you can see its primetime average this October just beat out VH1 which in turn just beat out pitiful CNN, which lost Lou Dobbs yesterday which will put the former “most trusted” cable news in the lower sub-basement of cable news, where Fox now outdraws the rest combined, and Bill O'Reilly has gone from doubling KeithOnasty to about quadrupling his ratings since K-O declared war on BOR.

    Sometimes the good guys still win, stay tuned…..

  30. Good one I had forgotten about that one, MSNBC sadly is the idiot brother of Fox so I cant say I find it surprising though.

  31. On a side note Stewart also agrees that MSNBC is the new Fox and mocks them as well. I would not say he is fair but he is pretty balanced in his mockery.

  32. Yes, I watch the Daily Show frequently and like Samantha Bee & the Middle East impersonator especially. I'd say Jon is 70/30 listing to portside, but his putdowns of MSNBC & NBC & CNN are as devastating as any he does against Fox. Just not as frequent. Ditto for SNL, which had a few sendups of Obama recently, then semi-retracted perhaps, as the stuff went viral and SNL was actually threatened with a lawsuit when a Jewish couple was portrayed as having made obscene profits off the Subprime Mortgage Scheme. In the skit, Pelosi and Frank were portrayed as clueless morons, as was GWB who nodded to everything everyone said, including George Soros who walked in and said he was buying the US dollar. Great skit, but the YouTube was pulled to take off the Jewish couple's greedy remarks.

  33. I would say Jon is on the strong left without a doubt he just seems to try to avoid being a hypocrite which I greatly respect. The SNL thing reminds me of the SNL School Room Rock which was also a little to good to be on TV.

    http://vodpod.com/watch/699870-snl-school-room-

  34. Right after Sicko came out CNN was on the other side of that. According to CNN at the time, thanks to Gupta of course, we did not have a “problem” its just that we needed to tweak it a bit since our healthcare was best in the world but if we tweaked it too much we would become the worst in the world so we should probably leave it alone. Ignoring of course that it is the best in the world for those that can afford it and nothing but an emergency room and a much worse condition when you get their for those that can't(afford insurance not the care the care is a topic no one really discusses). CNN much like Fox and MSNBC sadly follows their audience though and that made a good deal of their viewers angry and they got a good deal of mail and sadly caved to it. Dont get me wrong they were originally being unfair as well but bolting to the other side of the debate does not make you an honest broker of information just a propagandist on the other side. I would expect no less of the Clinton News Network though.

  35. “I would say Jon is on the strong left without a doubt “

    Yes, that's true. But he appears to be a liberal libertarian type. He tends to sling it in all directions. I respect him for that, even though I don't agree with him. But the man IS funny.

  36. “Right after Sicko came out CNN was on the other side of that.”

    That goes back to concept of “moderate”. They are less liberal than Michael Moore, so they think that they're moderate and unbiased.

    As people have pointed out before, this problem has been building for decades, and those making their fortunes off of it aren't going to let anyone cut off their money supply. You'll notice that the main thing that Republicans rail on is “tort reform”, which is also a great way of ignoring the main players that are messing up health care in our country. Is sanity really that difficult to achieve?

  37. I basically agree with everything you said. I would note that my intention was not that they needed to take his side but more that they should not have been defending the indefensible. They could have done some investigations. They could have discussed valid or even not valid options to resolve the issue but instead they waved an American flag said we are the best in the world and seemed to attempt to close the case which I found offensive on many levels. I love me some MM but mostly from the 90's but I think the fix for healthcare is a multi faceted hybrid approach that will probably take a decade or more before it is totally in place due to the amount of problems in the system and I do not think single payer is the best route anymore. I did before the 2008 election but as ideas began to be put into legislation(even though I do not like all of it) I began to believe as I still do that we are beginning the journey to fix the problem that otherwise I thought would only be fixed with single payer. So their is a positive for the free marketers, this process has actually moved me personally away from single payer since I prefer the hybrid approach but at the same time it has also moved me closer to Obama to be honest though that is not surprising I do not like Dems much more than Repubs they just did not have the ball during a rather ugly time period. I am an Obama Dem, once he is gone or they stop acting like him(if they try to treat him like Reagan) I will likely move to another party. I also do not think CNN is moderate but it is the moderate I suppose between Fox & MSNBC, I think CNN is third way or Clinton version center left but that is my opinion.

  38. That was an excellent example, I answered to Daveinboca but I did not want you to think I was dodging you or a valid comparison and it is a perfect example. Thank you.

  39. Thanks, and by the way, Sean Hannity admitted last evening that Jon Stewart was right and apologized on the air. They could have done more, like admitting that it wasn't exactly an inadvertent mistake and by announcing that they were firing the editor responsible. Still and all, I won't hold my breath waiting for MSNBC or any other lefty outlet to ever do as much about their scumbaggery.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/11/12/video-han

  40. I caught that and I must admit Hannity moved to the top of my “I hate their opinion but have respect for them” list because of it. To be honest it blew my mind, I have become so used to the screamers not retracting or even trying to be honest that I was stunned and impressed. I agree though MSNBC, the rest of Fox(Shep excluded of course) and CNN(Clinton News Network) will sadly not join what is a very honorable act…admitting you made a mistake or were mistaken.

  41. I disagree about MSNBC. I have seen Maddow and even Olbermann admit errors promptly and without dissembling when they err. Am I wrong? Show me a factual error even close to the deception on Fox that went uncorrected. I readily admit that Olbermann goes way overboard with snark and sarcasm, Maddow much less so, though she can be mocking. But I think she's the smartest interviewer on TV and is unafraid to interview “hostile” subjects. Other “lefty” outlets with high integrity, Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz. None of these have supported “lefty” conspiracy theories (e.g. 9/11 'truthers') as Fox does, and regularly, on air, disagree with those who do.

  42. You want an example of Olbermann's dishonesty? That's an easy one. Try this:

    http://www.olbermannwatch.com/archives/2009/11/

    He prunes quotations so as to make his enemies say the opposite of what they actually said. You can't get much more dishonest than that.

  43. That's pretty weak tea, Daniel. No mis-stating facts or substitution of pictures. It was one of his snarky “worst persons” bits and you disagree that Carson deserved the “deward”. I'll look at more of their examples to see if there are anything similar to the Fox distortion that was the subject of this post.

  44. I don't even know Carson or his work, so I don't know one way or another whether he deserves Olbermann's contempt. But smearing someone as a racist by pruning a quote so as to make him sound like he is saying the exact opposite of what he is actually saying? I'm sorry, but what Olbermann did is FAR worse than what Fox did, which is to try to inflate crowd size.

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