That’s Brad DeLong’s parody of the sort of “objective” journalism that treats matters of fact as if they were matters of mere opinion; he imagines that headline over a story about a claim that the Earth is flat.
Crowd estimates vary wildly for Capitol march
How many angry conservatives showed up to protest Obama’s policies? Was it 2 million? Or 60,000? It all depends on whom you ask
Lincoln understood this habit, and struggled against it:
How many legs does a lamb have, if you call the tail as a leg?
Just four. Calling the tail a leg doesn’t make it one.
How many angry conservaties showed up does not depend on whom you ask. It depends on how many angry conservatives actually showed up. And the actual number was clearly well south of 100,000.
Now the particular question of how many showed up doesn’t matter very much. But writing the story this way rewards lying. The most important thing for readers to learn from this incident is that the current wingnut leadership lies like a rug. (Glenn Beck has now further inflated the numbers, attributing a new estimate to “a university” whose name he can’t recall.)