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WaPo Quietly Deletes Branson’s Venezuela Concert From Article After ‘Fake’ Attendance Figures Exposed

The Washington Post has stealth-edited all mention of Richard Branson’s Venezuela aid concert in Cucuta, Colombia, after the paper originally claimed that the event “drew a crowd of more than 200,000 people Friday.”

Branson hoped to attract 250,000 people to the concert and raise $100 million to “buy food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering widespread shortages.”

The original version of the article, written by WaPo’s South American bureau chief Anthony Faiola and two other journalists, can still be seen at the Mercury Newswhich aggregated it before the changes were made (including a headline change). 

The attention on Saturday remained immediately focused on the single largest staging ground for aid in Cucuta, Colombia — where a massive benefit concert hosted by British billionaire Richard Branson drew a crowd of more than 200,000 people Friday. –WaPo via the Mercury News

It can also be seen in a current Google search for the article:


second version of the article mentions Branson, but eliminates the 200,000 figure: “A convoy of 14 trucks bearing 280 tons of aid was being prepped near a warehouse loading dock here in Cucutá, where thousands of volunteers had camped overnight following a massive benefit concert for Venezuela put on by British billionaire Richard Branson.”

And the most recent version of the article has no mention of Branson or his concert

Why the change of heart?


A Saturday analysis by Moon of Alabama revealed that WaPo’s 200,000 figure was Fake News. 

“200,000 people?” asks MOA.

MOA notes that RT correspondent “Dan Cohen was in the VIP area in front of the stage”


Here’s where the Post‘s 200,000 claim is destroyed. MOA used Google Maps to check the size of the concert area and performs a bit of math:


The stage was build at the top right across both roadways with its front towards the southwest. There was room for a few hundred VIP and reporters right in front of it. The field where the plebs were kept away lies between the north to south treeline at the right and the north to south ditch with the two single trees. According to the Google map scale the field’s northern edge is some 125 meters wide. The crowd was standing at the northern end of the field at a depth of about 50 meters. The density of the static crowd was low to medium with on average 2 to 3 people per square meter.

125m * 50m = 6,250 m2 * 2.5 people/m2 = 15,625 people
One may generously add a count of one or two thousand for the people mingling around in the back of the public area. In total there may have been up to 18,000, but certainly no more than 20,000 people at the concert. –Moon of Alabama 

In short, Fake News.



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