Mexico City By The Numbers

As jaded as I am by the reports on the estimated number of particpants in public demonstrations, I am flabbergasted by this one.  The headline read: "Thousands support Mexico City mayor."  Even a cursory glance at the accompanying photo would suggest that there were more than 'thousands' since the Paseo de la Reforma is a wide 12-lane boulevard and the crowd stretches all the way down the horizon as far as the eye can see.  And then I read in the first paragraph in the article: "Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators ..."  

The word 'thousands' usually means several thousand, while "hundreds of thousands" means several hundred thousand.  So why did MSNBC short-change the crowd size by a factor of hundreds?  Could it be that they did not have enough room?  Hmmm ... Do you see that big chunk of white space above?  This is the sort of thing that gives the press a bad name.

The same AP story appeared elsewhere with a different headline.

Other estimates:

This march may belong to the category known as "uncountable."  None of the rigorous counting methodologies can be applied on account of the sheer size.

        Views from Zocalo (the main square) of Mexico City
                     (Photo: Reuters/Daniel Aguilar)