[lit-ideas] Re: How to Draw a Crowd

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 15:22:25 -0500

Mike: Those wily Filipino-American leaders lead their people from demand to demand like shyster shepherds, demanding they all flock together or wander lost forever on a cattle farm.

Classic example: Tawana Brawley. It made Sharpton's career! Now he gets the big bucks.

[see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawana_Brawley for more on that bonfire of the vanities.]

Mike: Compared to Eric, I suspect that I have a lot less estimation of people's selflessness.

Here's an international example. When Bush went to Brazil he was greeted with many "Fora Bush!" signs. News picked this up as a spontaneous crowd. After Bush left and the media went away, Brazilians discovered that the money for the protest (lodging, food, signs, etc.) had been paid for by a "donation" from Hugo Chavez to the Brazilian labor unions. Chavez even sent organizers. However, nobody but the Brazilian media picked up the story.

It's not that hard to get a prefab "crowd" out for a "spontaneous" protest. Everyone has seen how in 2000, both GOPs and Dems rallied protesters over the Florida recount. Consider GOP Tom Delay's buses of protesters.

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