Our Greg Marx does a good job looking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce member-count dispute, which has laid bare that the press has accidentally helped mislead readers for years on the lobbying group’s size.
Three million or 300,000? Think small (360,000 now).
A buddy and I were talking about this on Friday and I wondered whether the Chamber just conveniently ignored all those press fact errors over the years or if it had actively misled. Surely a lobbying organization wouldn’t do the latter! So I looked it up.
See for yourself. Here are Google searches of the Chamber’s site only (my tallies below exclude “very similar” results, as defined by Google):
— “Three million members” pulls up seventeen mentions, several of them with no “federation” qualifier.
— “300,000 members”? Two hits.
— “360,000 members” (the latest member number) gets no firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.