"JUST HOW BIG WERE THE 'THRONGS'?.... By all accounts, turnout at yesterday's far-right rally at the Lincoln Memorial was pretty strong, but that observation tends to lead to another question: how strong was it?
To underscore how tricky this is, consider two reports from McClatchy. One article said "tens of thousands" of people showed up for the rally, while another said "hundreds of thousands." Same news outlet, same day, covering the same story.
No wonder the National Park Service gave up on offering crowd estimates years ago.
As far as I can tell, the only outlet to publish an even vaguely-scientific headcount was CBS News.
An estimated 87,000 people attended a rally organized by talk-radio host and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News.
The company AirPhotosLive.com based the attendance on aerial pictures it took over the rally....AirPhotosLive.com gave its estimate a margin of error of 9,000, meaning between 78,000 and 96,000 people attended the rally. The photos used to make the estimate were taken at noon Saturday, which is when the company estimated was the rally's high point.
I imagine the right will find this number deeply unsatisfying, but a crowd of 87,000 people really isn't that bad. We are, after all, talking about a rally in late August, held by a media personality with declining ratings, which had no clear purpose or rationale.
It's not a tally that should necessarily strike fear in the hearts of the nation, but it's nothing for conservatives to be ashamed of, either. When 87,000 folks show up for an NFL game in Washington, it's considered pretty good turnout. It looks puny up against the numbers for, say, President Obama's inauguration last year, but the president enjoys far more support than a deranged media personality.
The problem, though, is that supporters exaggerated expectations in the wrong direction. Organizers told the National Park Service they expected 300,000 people to attend. The head of Freedom Works, an allied right-wing outfit, said on Friday he expected between 400,000 and 500,000.
One of these days, these folks will learn how to play the expectations game. For now, they're surprisingly bad at it."
One of Beck's followers blames gays and affirmative action [Dr. King FAVORED affirmative action, BTW] for his inability to move up the ladder in his job. Now there's one example of "restoring honor," tothis country. Blaming minorities for his failures. Good going Beckerhead. You'll surely go down in history as the worst of the cynical demagogues and charlatans. Father Coughlin and Joseph McCarthy are saving a place for you in America's Hall of Shame.
And finally, typical of a demagogue who says anything to stir up the mob and to appeal to its ignorance and hatreds, Beck walks back his claim that President Obama is a racist and has a deep seated hatred of white people. We know that Beck is stupid and says whatever idiocy manages to get through the cement that takes up the space between his ears, but now we can read how even he doesn't believe what he says, or at the very least, has to "clarify" his gross insult to President Obama:
Yesterday, “rodeo clown” Glenn Beck appeared on XM radio with African-American host Joe Madison. Beck seemed to be visiting the studio when Madison spotted him and asked him to come into the radio booth for an impromptu interview.
Immediately, Madison told Beck “I am so angry with you.” “Oh boy,” Beck responded, “Did I just walk into something I shouldn’t have walked into?” “Yes,” Madison said, pressing him on why he called Obama a racist:
MADISON: He’s not a racist?
BECK: What is he? [...] I’ve talked about this at length, and so I’m going to rehash it all. I’ve already said stupid comment, off the top of head. And I said just the other day, an ignorant comment. Now that I really understand how he grew up, where he grew up, what his influences were — it’s more of a liberation theology, a kind of attitude he has. That I immediately interpreted — because I didn’t understand him. His attitude is more of, like Bill Ayers — that America is an oppressor. And I just disagree with that.
MADISON: You do not believe President Obama is a racist?
BECK: I’ve said this before.
MADISON: A mistake? Was that a mistake?
BECK: Absolutely it was. And I’ve said that before. I misunderstood — this I just said the other day — I misunderstood his philosophy and his theology, which is liberation theology.
MADISON: Which was King’s philosophy. Big time.
BECK: Didn’t know that. I’ll talk to Alveda today about it.
MADISON: Oh, talk to his father. You know who you should talk to? Talk to Walter Fontroy. Rev. Walter Fontroy, who grew up with King. That was his philosophy — it was the theological philosophy of social justice.
BECK: Right. I am not a fan of social justice.
MADISON: That’s where we really part. I’m a big fan of social justice.
NOTE TO BECK: "A man with a small head is like a pin without any, very apt to get into things beyond his depth" —Josh Billings