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The 9/12 March on Washington attendance deception

Posted by Richard on September 18, 2009

I never got around to posting about the 9/12 rally in Washington (and Denver, among countless other places), figuring it was pretty well covered by many others, on the internet and in other outlets. But in the past few days, it's become clear to me that the fraudulent attendance numbers reported by the mainstream media outlets have been accepted even by people who should know better, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

The New York Times originally called it "several thousand," and later changed it to "tens of thousands." Most of the media, national and local, either repeated "tens of thousands" or quoted an estimate of 60-70 thousand, supposedly attributed to the D.C. fire department (although that agency doesn't have the expertise or authority to make such estimates). That number has been cited even by conservatives like Bill O'Reilly (let's face it, folks, he's really not that bright), and people in my circle who should know better have just accepted it as authoritative. 

Bunkum. Nonsense. Pure hokum. That estimate understates the actual number by at least an order of magnitude. 

You want evidence? OK. But first, consider these points: According to attendees, people were still arriving at 4PM, when the permit expired and the event ended. The traffic situation was impossible, forcing countless people to walk many miles to reach the rally. It was made worse by the fact that (according to some Washingtonians) the city cut the usual number of Saturday Metro train cars in half, making access to the rally that much more difficult (that couldn't have been deliberate and malicious, could it?). 

So, with that in mind, take a look at the panoramic picture from the Capitol at I Own The World. Double-click the little image there to see the full-sized one. But be forewarned — it's over a megabyte and measures 2379 × 608 pixels. If you've got a slow connection, it will take a while. And even if you've got a wide-screen monitor, you'll have to scroll side to side to see it all.

 For those of you who, like me, have been in a 100,000-person football stadium, try to estimate how many such stadiums this crowd would fill. Keep in mind that the crowd extends beyond the edges of the image and people are still streaming in. 

Want another perspective? Take a look at the first picture on this Michelle Malkin post, showing the marchers filling Pennsylvania Avenue on their way to the Capitol. And consider this USA Today graphic of the area between the Capitol and the Washington Monument (be sure to mouse over the marked spots). 

It's pretty clear to me that the size of the crowd at the time of that panoramic image was at or above the 800,000 that attended Bill Clinton's 1993 inaugural. And it just kept growing all day long. 

Tens of thousands, my ass!

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