How many Tea Party prostesters went to march on D.C. this weekend? According to Michelle Malkin, it was in the neighborhood of 2,000,000.
Except that ABC News, citing the DC fire department, reported that between 60,000 and 70,000 people had attended the tea party rally at the Capitol.
How could Malkin be so far off? You see, Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, the rightwing group sponsoring the rally, told the crowd that that ABC had reported there were 1.5 million people there. And that number got tweeted around, and then Malkin finally blogged that there were 2 million.
It was a lie. Kibbe lied.
Malkin retracted the number, but is now all concerned that the left will take note of the "error to discredit the undeniably massive turnout today."
Well, 2 million is undeniably massive. That's how many turned up for Obama's inauguration. Hotel rooms were double booked — it was indeed massive.
70,000 is a football game.
The cited figures were not a little "oopsy". They were 25 times greater than the actual figures. Off by 2500%.
Yes, the left is going to take note of this, Miss Malkin. It was a gargantuan lie told by the activist group behind all the tea party rallies.
UPDATE: Powerline's John Hinderaker is trying to spin, spin spin….
There has been a surprising amount of controversy over the size of the anti-Obama administration protest in Washington yesterday. Liberal media have pegged it in the "tens of thousands" (or even just "thousands") range, while some have claimed that there were as many as 2 million people there, which seems impossible. There probably will never be a definitive number, but efforts to lowball the crowd are ridiculous.
Riiiight. Assuming that there was, say, 100,000 people (most reports say 70,000 at most), efforts to lowball the crowd by claiming there are "tens of thousands" are "ridiculous".
And what about the efforts by the march organizers to exaggerate the claim twenty-fold?!? Chirp, chirp, chirp.
I have no expertise at estimating crowds, but this one was obviously huge. If you compare it, in very rough terms, to the 50,000 or so it takes to fill a stadium, it appears to be well into six figures.
I have no doubt that Washington Democrats are well aware of how many people turned out, even as their media outlets try to downplay the event. Ultimately, those media efforts will have little effect, just like the media's silly attempt to portray anti-big government voters as "racists," etc. The rubber will hit the road in November 2010. If present trends hold, the ruling Democrats will suffer a severe reversal that the media will not be able to avoid reporting, however much they may hate it, as in 1994. On the other hand, if the economy turns around and the Democrats hold on next year, no one will care much how many protesters did or did not turn out yesterday.
Now comes the punchline, something added to the post after it was published:
SCOTT adds: The site John linked to for the photo he originally posted above has retracted it, noting the picture was of another rally.
UPDATE: Teabaggers in their own words:
Collectively, they don't seem to have much message discipline. They just seem to dislike Obama.
Sadly, there was an election not too long ago. We won, they lost.