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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Sorry – Wrong Number; Actually, Don’t Know for Sure; LA Times Article — Are You Kidding?

By Reta Moser

Note:  After reading the LA Times story this morning, this writer no longer wants to participate in this ridiculous numbers game. This writer was there during both the inauguration and march the following day.

LA Times Saturday morning showed a packed mall for inaugural and claimed an estimated “couple hundred thousand supporters gathered.” Article continued … Next day … “anti-Trump protesters responded in force with ‘millions gathering’ for a women’s march on Mall in Washington” … article said Friday “America’s religious right, which largely supported Trump, swam into the political cataracts as at least ‘tens of thousands’ gathered for March of Life rally at the foot of Washington Monument.”

(Photo by Rickey Carioti AFP/Getty Images) This photo was shown in print version of LA Times Saturday morning. This is the inaugural crowd the LA Times claims to be a “couple hundred thousand.”

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis / AFP/Getty Images) This is a photo of the LA Times web story showing the crowd gathered on the street to march the day after the inaugural. This is the crowd LA Times said had a “gathering of millions.”

The following is the original story and written in response to a complaint by Jane Morris regarding a statement made in Update.

“Millions from across the United States came to witness the inauguration of a new president.”

This was statement made in Venice Update story about inaugural and where the action was last week with picture of golden Capitol building. Jane Morris questioned the use of the word “millions” came to Washington to watch the inauguration. Jane is absolutely right. Bad word. She said maybe 600K attended, millions watched on TV. I have no idea how many attended;picked up number from police, crowd. I was there and was one of the sardines and could see nothing but a sea of people.

Think the disparity in the oft-shown photos of comparison of the Obama 2009, not 2013, and 2017 was partly due to security. Contrary to the two-photo comparison, the photo showing what was seen by President Trump on podium displayed a dense gathering. It is a given among many that the first black president drew a larger crowd than Trump.

I was in standing area next to cherished chairs in center section. Not everyone was seated by the time Trump became President. Suddenly, there was a sea of people flowing to the seats … that was 11:30. If the comparison pictures were taken 45 minutes before the ceremony, they would have found the seating section partly barren too.

They came by transit, bus, limos, cars.

I know that the “Orange” gates were opened early (before stated 6 am) because of crowd. We arrived between 4 and 4:30 am and waited. Then the gates opened. Security was awesome. At last minute, the radio said we could take an umbrella. Security said “no” and put them in cans. I took my camera. My camera case has three zippered areas. All were opened and inspected, twice. My camera was turned on and off, checked for photos, and left out of the case. Battery and SD areas were opened. This was before going thru the metal detector. Going thru security took by far longer than at the airport. Think the security group was overwhelmed by the number of people (?) by the security protocol (?) and was the big hold up.

My unscientific, improper number was picked up from officials (police) and crowd remarks. One policeman who was checking tickets told one group they would have to go back to Maryland Ave where they were letting people in. Good grief!!! Many policemen mentioned crowd was bigger than last time, which would have been 2013.

Should I ever attend again (and I never plan to do such. This was a one-time thing.), I will make a special effort to count each attendee. And thanks Jane for correction.

Crowd at “Orange” gate started at 4 to 4:30 and was massing quickly. Gates were opened before 6 am because of crowd.

This was crowd beside me or behind me. Who knows…it was all too many people. It took more than an hour to move two or three blocks to hotel restaurant.

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