The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Tale of Two Photos

There was a big hoopla in the MSM over the Glenn Beck rally the other day. They seemed to want to make the main storyline about the size of the event. And, of course, most of them said the number was low, below 100,000. CBS even hired a group to do a "professional" estimate. As I said, I believe the MSM's main motive in all this was to turn attention away from the peaceful gathering and it's message.

[Update: They're still running with this angle: today the LA Times has an opinion piece--what else is there in that rag-- on Google News called "The Science of Crowds" which focuses on what they call Beck's "controversial rally." They even get into a little "mine's bigger than yours" with a reference to Obama's Inauguration rall. This all tells me they're still worried about the Tea Party movement and want to make sure they've done what they can to crush this sizeable manifestation of it.]

Since the "teabaggers" as they love to call them weren't foaming at the mouth and randomly attacking black people on the Mall, the MSM had to make the narrative about something else: its size. They used a low ball pitch, both visually and verbally, knowing that it would generate hostility among the conservative pundits and blogs. They pretty much succeeded in this and also in leaving those few misguided souls who still get all of their news from the MSM, with the impression that the event was not that well attended.

I was struck by the photos they used to support their contention of a low turnout. The following photo suggests that attendance at the Beck rally was light. 

I found this, I believe, on Drudge. A little different perspective, dontcha think? [And I wonder if the "scientific" analysts in the LA Times article counted any people under all those shade trees on that hot day?]


  1. The most impressive thing about the Beck rally to me was the way the crowd left The Mall: spotless and trash-free. Compare and contrast the pics after the Beck rally and after The One's inauguration. Instructive, that.

    I read somewhere (Krauthammer, mebbe?) that if Beck had asked the crowd to mow the grass afterward they would have.

  2. It is a simple matter to use Google Earth to calculate the crowd size.
    They have a tool called Ruler that you can use to measure physical features in length. Create a rectangle, calculate its square area and extrapolate to people per square foot.
    Overlay of Lincoln Memorial:
    Height of rectangle=1,000'
    Length of rectangle=2,500'
    Area= 2,500,000 sqft
    Space per person= 4'x5'=20sqft (generous calculation. Go to for sample photos. The four corners of this rectangle are sparsely populated)
    125,000, give or take an ice cream vendor.

  3. Interesting P.C. I figured it just by trying to relate it to a large stadium (Rose Bowl), The Big House at TN, etc. I reckoned that it would overflow any of those by a good bit, but not fill both. So, I can buy 125,000.