Glenn “Joseph McCarthy” Beck, our nation’s stalwart defender against godless communism, has brashly declared that “really conservative” estimates of the recent completely spontaneous tea party march on Washington are around 500,000. Beck however claimed on “Fox and Friends” that it was really between one and two million, based on photos, and by an independent estimate made by a university, the name of which he couldn’t remember.
Others, Rush, Hannity, et al., have claimed it was larger than the crowd that gathered for President Obama’s Inauguration in January.
Official crowd estimates place the total number of attendees at somewhere between 60,000 to 75,000; while estimates for the inauguration were between 1.8 million to 2.5 million. Let’s see? 1.8 million is slightly more than 75,000; so, no Rush, Hannity, et al., your “completely spontaneous” tea party crowd was not only not larger; it wasn’t even close.
In fact, it was smaller than a lot of marches – or crowds – which have gathered in D.C. Here are only ten:
President Obama’s Inauguration = est. 1.8 million
The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, Nov 1969 = est. 500,000
Vietnam War Out Now Rally, Apr 1971 = est. 500,000
Million Man March, Apr 1993 = est. 400,000
The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation, Apr 1993 = est. 300,000
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place, during which MLK gave his “I Have Dream” speech, Aug 1963 = est. 250,000
Solidarity Day March, Sep 1981 = est. 260,000
The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam, Oct 1969 = est. 200,000
Kent State/Cambodia Incursion March, May 1970 = est. 100,000
March for Life, Jan 1973 = est. 100,000
Basically, Beck and company not only exaggerated, but greatly exaggerated, the number of marchers, in fact they grossly inflated the numbers. Why would they do that? For one very good, very large, political reason; so their own power would seem greater.
Truth is they got fewer numbers for their “completely spontaneous” march than they did for tea party day back in April. Beck, Rush, Hannity et al., are going to have to realize – as will their sponsors – that their day has passed. After months of promoting his 9-12 march on Washington, with the unabashed help of Fox News and all of his conservative buddies they can only marshal 70,000 marchers.
70,000 divided by 12 million listeners = .005 multiplied by 100 = 5%. The conservative propaganda machine could only get .5% of its listeners to respond.
70,000 divided by let’s say 60 million Republicans = .001 multiplied by 100 = .1% of all Republicans.
70,000 divided by 169 million registered voters = .0004 multiplied by 100 = .04 % of all registered voters
Your march wasn’t spontaneous.
Your march wasn’t grass roots organized.
Your march wasn’t successful.
No one is hiding in their closets in fear of the tea bag grass roots movement. At best Mr. Beck’s groupies are the extreme right wing fringe. They’re numbers don’t prove substantial political power, their numbers prove they’re inconsequential.