City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter blamed the media for scaring people away from coming to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia this past weekend. During a morning news conference, yesterday, September 28, 2015, he made the remark that we scared the sh– out of people. He cited a lower than expected turn out for the event, which still drew about 900,000 people. The city put in place an extreme series of security protocols which was reported on dutifully by the media. you can see his remarks here. They are uncensored..
It is not the job of the media to make people attend something. People attended based on several factors. Do they have an interest in coming? Some people are not catholic and had less than zero interest in seeing the pope. Can they physically attend the event? People that are sick or disabled are not able to stand or walk long distances. atombash.com called it right on the money in this article preceding the papal visit. The people in reserved seats had no problem, they can come and go with their spot secured. Behind them was general admission ticket holders, with no chairs. If you had chairs, people could sit, have a new friend or an old one watch their spot, while they got food or water. Once you were secure in your spot on the parkway’s inner area, you were stuck and not allowed to leave until after the mass.
Those general admission ticket holders did not see the pope in person doing his mass, they watched it on a jumbo tron. The media reported that this would be the case and people made their own decision to attend or stay home. The media also cannot clock someone over the head and force them to shop downtown or attend a restaurant. People attending were told they would have to walk. Many walked from 8th and Market Streets to 22 and Spring Garden Street , before having to wait inline for a security screening. Others without a ticket arrived about 1:20 p.m. , only to have a four or five hour wait to get screened. Many people simply left or never got in to see the pope at all. None of that was the fault of the media’s reporting.
It’s also not the fault of the media that many people refused to be raped by the hotel industry, who sought to charge $500.00 per night. On Thursday, atombash.com inquired about a hotel room and was informed they are between $400-500 per night. many people did listen to the media and got dropped off at SEPTA stations, rather than leave their cars there. That made for not so many spaces being used in parking garages.
Mayor Nutter later apologized for his using a curse word , saying he will have to answer to his mother, for his momentary lack of judgement. Take a few minutes to look through the slide show, showing the security protocols people had to navigate.