Size Matters, Reality Doesn't

"Size matters," notes Columbia Journalism Review, in a post on the September 12 "Tea Party Express" rally in Washington DC (where some protester signs read, "Bury Obama Care with Kennedy"). "Which is possibly why Matt Kibbe -- president of FreedomWorks, the organization that mobilized Saturday's protest -- declared to the crowd assembled before the Capitol that, per the estimates of ABC News, rally participants numbered between 1 and 1.5 million people." While ABC "never reported that the protest had over a million participants," rally attendees, conservative commentators like Michelle Malkin, and right-leaning websites and media ran with the inflated number. Major media -- including ABC News, the New York Times and Fox News -- reported the DC fire department's official estimate of 60,000 to 70,000 people. After some conservative bloggers wrote that they believe allies' guesstimates over official reports, CJR asked whether "the point of the whole exercise on Saturday was not, apparently, to gather a crowd in the numeric sense" but "to gather a crowd in the symbolic sense." Click this next link to see who makes up the Tea Party movement.