Monday, September 14, 2009

When politics determines crowd size.

When the major media outlets fundamentally ignored the massive rally against Obama they were sure to ignite a controversy. But when they started bullshitting the public about how many people attended they poured fuel on the controversy they lit.

Earlier this week we provided some fairly convincing video evidence that the crowd was much larger than what biased publications like the New York Times reported. The only honest estimate was from MSNBC which estimated a few hundred thousand. And that number really does make the most sense.

I wondered how the media treated the beatification of St. Barack. So I checked. Certainly aerial photos indicate crowds of similar sizes at both events.

The LA Times claimed that 1 million attended Obama's elevation to sainthood. CNN said it was 1.8 million. The Chicago Sun-Times was touting 5 million as a possibility. The Miami Herald said it was 1.5 million. The crowd size was widely reported and seemed to grow with each retelling of the story.

I'm trying to figure out how crowds that are a far more similar in size than different could be 30,000 in one case and 2 million in another. It is 2 million when it comes to an Obama worship session but only 30,000 when it is evil protesters committing the sin of heresy and questioning the divine status of the political messiah. To quote the Church Lady: How convennnnient!

But draw your own conclusions. Here is a satellite photo of the Obama beatification. Blow it up to full size by clicking on it. What look like brown collections of ants are the crowd. You have a large group immediately in front of the Capitol. On the other side of the pool you see a much smaller crowd. The mall is made up of eight squares leading to the Washington Monument. The crowds are clustered in the centers of the squares which are where video monitors were placed. But if you look at the crowd from the Capital to the Washington Monument it is large clusters of people. It is not filled with people. (Click to enlarge.)

Note: There was a photo here that various news sources said were the DC rally but which appears to be a photo of a different rally. I have removed it. What I am including is the video which is undeniably taken of the crowd as they are marching to the rally. I will include some analysis below.

Notice the size of the crowd for a photo which is clearly of this rally and not any other. That is the Washington Monument off in the distance.

The second photo shows people arriving at the rally. Please note that off to the right is Pennsylvania Ave. The march came down Pennsylvania and then emptied into the National Mall. If you check this photo you will see the crowd still extending toward the White House.
At this point, without everyone having arrived we see that the area between the reflecting pool and the Capitol steps is full. We also see that the area in front of the American Indian museum is almost full. That museum can be seen on the left. At this point the lawn in front of the Capitol is basically full and between the Reflecting Pool and 4th St., the Mall is almost full with a large number still coming down Pennsylvania. It also appears that a large number of people are walking up Madison Dr. the road directly to the right of the Mall.

If you are not familiar with the area here is a satellite map from Google of the area along with street names included.

View Larger Map

Last year, during Obama's elevation to sainthood, USA Today published this schematic of the area. It said that the Park Service estimated crowd size based on areas that were filled. Here is what they published long before this rally was even conceived.
Notice the area that is highlighted with an estimate of 240,000 people. That is the area the above photos indicate were filled by the rally. Even if we assume they aren't tightly packed or that some areas are not completely full, we still have that huge crowd on Pennsylvania (and perhaps Madison) who have yet to reach the rally. According to this schematic, prepared for Obama's inauguration, it would appear that a reasonable estimate for the crowd size was in the range of 200,000. MSNBC said a few hundred thousand. Matt Welch at REASON, said the crowd was in the healthy "six digits." I argued that based on what was available the size was surely somewhere between 150,000 and 400,000. My low estimate was 150,000. It appears more reasonable to say the low estimate was off. I think it safe to narrow the range even further. The crowd size seems to be between 200,000 and 300,000, depending on how many people are still marching to the site, when the one photo was taken. My most limited gueestimate would be between 200,000 and 250,000.

Nothing supports the claims of the Left that the audience wasn't above 70,000 and could be as low as 30,000. All the clear evidence indicates a crowd much larger than that. Clearly the estimates from the Right, that is was over 1 million is wrong. But equally as clear is that the Left is also intentionally ignoring the evidence in order to dismiss what they don't want to face.