The “news” media made much of the fact that President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, did not fill the venue.
You really can’t win with the media, though, because in the days leading up to the event, the constant banging on the drums was the health risk posed by packing out the BOK Center to its 19,000 capacity.
The Tulsa Fire Department said only 6,200 attended based on scanned tickets, while the campaign countered that 12,000 went through the magnetometers.
“Let me tell you, we had 12,000 people in the BOK Center and that’s approximately 11,990 more people than attended Joe Biden’s last event,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News on Monday.
I guess people can decide for themselves whether the center was approximately one-third or two-thirds full. I would say OAN’s Chanel Rion’s 75 percent estimate is high, but somewhere more than a half to two-thirds seems about right.
— Chanel Rion OAN (@ChanelRion) June 21, 2020
Media outlets had a heyday reporting on the first Trump rally that was not filled to the brim.
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Let’s compare that to Biden’s latest campaign event, which took place in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The New York Times reported that were about 20 “handpicked” people on hand, with multiple unoccupied chairs.
We found #SleepyJoe!
From a NYT reporter:
Joe Biden arrived at his OWN event, “With such little fanfare that I didn’t even notice him enter the room…he just stood behind a lectern…reading a speech off the teleprompters.”#HidenBiden #TulsaTrumpRallyhttps://t.co/nqIb9kPJwB
— Jessie Jane Duff – Text FIGHT to 88022 (@JessieJaneDuff) June 20, 2020
“Over the course of my career covering politics, I have attended hundreds of presidential campaign events,” The Times’ Lisa Lerer wrote.
“I’ve never been to one anything like Joe Biden’s economic address in the Philadelphia suburbs today,” she continued.
“About 20 handpicked local officials, small-business owners and reporters sat in folding chairs, each placed within a large white circle taped on the floor of a recreation center to maintain — or at least encourage — social distancing.”
The silence before the event was “striking,” according to Lerer, who did not notice when Biden entered the room with “such little fanfare.”
“There was no introduction by an organizer to pump up a crowd that wasn’t there, as is typical with campaign events. He just stood behind a lectern, pasted with the placard ‘Reopen Right: Safer and Stronger,’ and began reading a speech off the teleprompters, assailing President Trump,” the reporter wrote.
The full speech took all of 18 minutes.
Now let’s get back to Trump’s event.
The “disastrous” rally was the most-watched event in Fox News network’s Saturday night prime-time history.
More than 8 million tuned in, Fox reported.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told the network on Monday that fears about coronavirus and potential violence at the event may have kept some people away. Nevertheless, over 11 million tuned in to watch it online on Trump’s social media platforms alone.
11 MILLION people watched @realDonaldTrump’s rally on Saturday.
That does not even include the millions who watched on TV.
Biden will never be able to compete with that level of enthusiasm! pic.twitter.com/OqjMEzQfxS
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 22, 2020
Additionally, 2.1 million viewers tuned in to watch Fox News’ stream of the rally on YouTube.
That sure seems like a campaign communications win by any measure.
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