I have a scheme

The right-wing blogosphere reports that 500,000 people showed up to Beck’s MLK-appropriation rally. The mainstream media has a slightly different count. But don’t let facts fool you – obviously the only numbers that matter are the ones that we make up out of thin air.

Besides, 87,000 people is actually pretty good for a rally organized by a radio talking head turned Fox news messiah. Really, it’s quite sizable compared to many other cults.

Beck may yet come down as one of the great grifters of our time. The question is – if the people at this rally knew how badly he was scamming them – in it for fame and fortune and not for some higher vision – would they care? Would they even admit to themselves that they’d been suckered? Even if evidence of his insincerity were to surface? Would it matter so long as he served his purpose?

Probably not. Beck is too much the catalyst of delusion – like any good conman must be. And really, if this is what the people want, well, this is what they deserve. What sad nonsense. Jon Stewart is naturally the best source to turn to in times like these (though I imagine his Monday bit will be far better…):

It’s only a matter of time before Beck hires Shepard Fairey to do his (Beck’s) portrait. (Edited for clarity)

Meanwhile, in Australia, the Tea Parties have taken an even more frightening turn…

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148 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Heh. Your status as the father of two young ones is showing itself ED.

    Besides, 87,000 people is actually pretty good for a rally organized by a radio talking head turned Fox news messiah.

    Actually, for as much as it was advertised and promoted on both his radio and TV show plus with the presence of Madame Starbursts herself, 87,000 is a pretty pathetic showing. Plus a few of the pictures I showed weren’t actual attendees, more like folks just wandering by looking curious.

    Oh and that $600,000 had better go to that charity with no skims or they will be pure grifters no doubt in my mind. Wait, I didn’t doubt that to begin with.

  2. 2
    JasonF says:

    Sadly, Jon is on vacation for the next two weeks (Stephen too), so we won’t get his post-game analysis of the Beck rally. Nor, for that matter, his take on Governor Christie’s finger-pointing over the Race to the Top grant. I realize the man is entitled to his time off, but still — where am I supposed to turn for my biting political satire?

  3. 3
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, I’m off to bed now but I had to say something about this nonsense. And yeah 87k is pretty week.

  4. 4
    E.D. Kain says:

    @JasonF: Bummer. I guess there’s always blogs…

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    @E.D. Kain: Oh I totally got you were being snarky there, I just feel like rubbing some salt in that wound. The best part is it has pretty much fallen off the CNN.com homepage. I’m going to call that a small victory and worry about seeing another youngling that just came into my world last week. I’d been letting the parents catch their breath some before I come invade. But I’m thinking of bringing Thai food, cause I bet they haven’t had any in awhile. Plus you gotta get em going young. :)

  6. 6
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Wow,there’s just the tiniest blurb in the middle of the Faux News front page, way down in the news box:

    “Thousands Turn Out in DC for Beck Event.”

    Yeah, no, I’m not gonna link.

  7. 7
    Cacti says:

    For reference, here are aerial views of the 10 largest college football stadiums where the seating capacities range from 92,000 – 107,000.

    Here are the aerial photos of the Beck Crowd for comparison.

    Now, does the Beck crowd look like it would fill 4 or 5 stadiums worth of people? Not even close.

    Again, for comparison, here is the 1997 Promise Keepers rally where several hundred thousand people actually did show up.

    I’d say 87,000 looks like a pretty accurate assessment.

  8. 8
    Warren Terra says:

    It’s only a matter of time before Beck hires Shepard Fairey to do his self portrait.

    Y’know, Kain, I keep wanting to like you despite your tendency to spout, and then fail to defend, tendentious or vacuous glibertarian memes. At other times, you seem to mean well and to engage seriously, and I think a dialog is important, so I keep on wanting to like you. But then you write crap like this.

    1) My nitpicking complaint: hire Fairey “to do his self-portrait”? Why would someone pay Fairey to do a portrait of Fairey? Or are you suggesting Fairey would “ghost-paint” a self-portrait for Beck.
    2) My actual complaint: this reads to me like another tiresome regurgitation of what the 2008 McCain campaign tried slinging as “The One” meme: Obama thinks he’s the messiah, he wants to be worshipped, etcetera. That’s why he got Fairey to make those over-the-top portraits of him! Never mind that Obama didn’t commission the Fairey portrait (though he did later sell Fairey prints on his website to raise campaign funds) – the facts don’t matter, it’s still an effective smear, and it’s a good way to create a false equivalency between Beck and Obama. Also, you smear Fairey when you imply he was some sort of gun for hire instead of being genuinely caught up in the excitement of the campaign.
    Beck already (ironically, supposedly) released artwork in which he is portrayed in the over-the-top heroic style of a 1930s dictator, on the cover of at least one of his books. Given that, the only effect of your phrase was to smear Obama and Fairey. Smooth move there, slick.

  9. 9
    Carol says:

    @E.D. Kain: It’s even weaker than that considering the conditions: great weather, great time to get a week off (business is slow except for the school thing), centrally located, the locals not really all that hostile, plenty of publicity in advance. Yet it appears there were more tourists than attendees. I bet more than 10k wander in and out of there daily either visiting or just passing through to somewhere else even when nothing else is going on.

    BTW, have anyone made any plans yet for the 50th Anniversary of the March?

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    E.D. Kain:

    Beck may yet come down as one of the great grifters of our time.

    Well, Rush Limbaugh has been pulling his schtick for over a quarter century now and going strong. I assume, barring provable felonies, we’ll be stuck with Beck for at least another two decades, and then some.

    Re: the Australian Tea Party Video. I feel nothing but pity for the Hexapus with with only two good arms and 4 paralyzed arms that blow in the wind like linguine. It’s cruel to make fun of that poor crippled Hexapus. The mocking must stop.

    .

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    @JasonF:

    I realize the man [Jon Stewart] is entitled to his time off …

    Stewart should re-schedule his summer holiday for the last two weeks of July, going forward. That’s been the hotter than hell period the past couple years, here in NYC anyway, and this way he’d be available for the August crazies.

    .

  12. 12
    katjam says:

    @Cacti:

    Thanks for the photos! What a great way to counter my Beck-loving relatives.

  13. 13
    Ogami Itto says:

    Actually, for as much as it was advertised and promoted on both his radio and TV show plus with the presence of Madame Starbursts herself, 87,000 is a pretty pathetic showing.

    Two things:

    1. St. Sara of Wasilla prefers Mistress Starbursts. Get it right.

    2. If they’re gonna lie about attendance numbers why not lie BIG. 500,000? Why not just say 1.5 million? Or 2 million? The average teabagger/FOX viewer isn’t interested in factual accuracy and will believe whatever Rev. Martin Luther Beck says anyway.

  14. 14
    Carol says:

    @JGabriel: I doubt it. Back in 1980-I remember it far too well, there was a whole radio band struggling to survive. AM had lost the music when FM proved better with music, having stereo and all. AM was trying to adapt by having all sorts of talkers on, and the only thing that really took was Limbaugh-like talkers (and Limbaugh) who could then channel that “angry white man” syndrome into radio and ratings gold. It was a time where calling into the radio was the only interactive thing you could really do. Letters to the editor in the paper were slow, tv time was expensive as all hell, and-there simply was nothing else out there. So Limbaugh pretty much had a mass audience to himself.

    The generation that fueled his rise is dying off, and is nearly gone. The youngest are now 60 plus with a few 50 something wannabes who resent minorities for somehow taking away the prosperity and status they thought they should have. And that’s the only crowd that listens to Beck, the same crowd as Limbaugh’s and that number has hard barriers of both ethnicity and social attitudes against any growth.

  15. 15
    Ogami Itto says:

    Meanwhile, in Australia, the Tea Parties have taken an even more frightening turn…

    Yeah, that’s about the intellectual level that the Tea Party™ movement is operating on.

  16. 16
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Cacti: Thanks, Cacti. I was actually starting to feel a little glum about the number (87,000). The football comparison really put it in perspective.

    And, seriously, late-night Juicers. I’m converting to the right because that’s where the mad monies is, and they love them some tokens.

  17. 17
    Mr. Furious says:

    @Warren Terra:

    What’s the problem here? Your only issue should be that E.D. slipped up and wrote “self-portrait” instead of “portrait.”

    I think the comment is pretty damn obvious, and not meant as a slight or smear of either Obama OR Fairey. Beck’s studio and on-air graphics and signage pretty clearly ape Fairey’s style—right down to the bold, color-based graphic translation illustration style and the Obama campaign’s font.

    Kain is merely suggesting Beck stop beating around the bush and just go ahead and hire Fairey to create his very own HOPE poster.

    You either really missed the point, or I am somehow missing the fact that your post is pure spoof. Which is it?

  18. 18
    Starfish says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Why do they need you when they have Michelle Malkin to check on people’s countertops?

  19. 19
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Starfish: Because I got bewbies. Boys like bewbies.

  20. 20
    Warren Terra says:

    @Mr. Furious:
    Honestly, I wrote the comment after reading the post and before I viewed the Daily Show video. So I didn’t know that Beck was using Fairey-style graphics of some of the founding fathers. But honestly, even after viewing the Daily Show video I decided to stand by my words without making a further comment: if all Kain meant was that Beck seemed to think that he, Glenn Beck, deserved to placed alongside the founding fathers, there are better ways to say that, especially given that (1) Beck has already portrayed himself in a number of heroic and mock-heroic costumes, iirc including colonial-era founding-father type dress; and (2) Beck spent yesterday standing on the steps of a huge monument to one man and in the footsteps of another much-memorialized man, both men who might be thought of as latter-day founding fathers. That Beck is selling himself as the true messenger of the Founding Fathers is hardly subtle, and much clearer indications and ways of mentioning this were close at hand.

    But Kain chose not to say something comprehensible about Beck’s vision of himself, but instead to make a highly indirect allusion – one that I, ignorant of an unstated reference to fleeting images in the embedded video, initially interpreted initially as referring simply to Fairey’s iconic Obama portrait, but that I now realize might instead refer to the mock-Fairey portraits of the founding fathers that Beck uses, portraits which are of course themselves intended as Beck’s snide commentary on Obama and the enthusiasm of the Democratic 2008 campaign. In doing so, Kain either glibly made use of the “Obama Thinks He’s Jesus” meme or else Kain instead validated Beck’s use of that meme. It’s of a piece with the false equivalences and the deeply shallow talking points that have so unfortunately made up such a large part of Kain’s contributions to this blog, and – although I realize that I’m tired and not expressing myself terribly well – I certainly intended no spoof.

  21. 21
    Peter says:

    You know, no matter how insane, disgusting, exploitative and all-over awful Beck gets (and this is probably one of the worst things he’s done; I can’t even think about it without foaming at the mouth), I can’t bring myself to hate the man himself.

    There’s no malice in what he’s doing. He’s not setting out deliberately to hurt people. He’s just a sociopathic con man who’s figured out where the money train stops. You and I would do the same, if we were psychologically incapable of feeling empathy and were totally amoral.

  22. 22
    Jim C says:

    I loved this bit of FoxNews “reporting”:

    Indeed, Tommy LaRussa, the St. Louis Cardinals manager who attended the event, said he didn’t feel it was political in nature at all.

    He’s so famous they got him confused with Tony Lasorda – though I’m sure, if pressed, the reporter will confess, “I’m sorry, I don’t follow football.”

  23. 23
    birthmarker says:

    @JGabriel: Or do a one hour return special hashing through everything they missed!

  24. 24
    WereBear says:

    In mental retaliation, we watched the “Reclaim the Dream” rally on CSPAN, and it was wonderful.

    Don’t know how it was covered in the MSM because I avoid that due to blood pressure (and TV screen integrity) concerns.

  25. 25
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @Ogami Itto:
    well, it depends on how you count, doesn’t it.

    Counting heads, about 87,000. Counting brains, maybe 200. Counting assholes? BILLIONS!!!

  26. 26

    This rally follows the same pattern that all Teanut coverage does. 1: much hoopla in MSM about the event. 2: Much coverage in the MSM about “who the Tea Party is” by looking at event attendees, including the observation that they seem to be a bunch of old white codgers. 3: Vast discrepancy between RW media and MSM about magnitude of event. 4: A little bit of tittering in MSM that these folks seem batshit insane. 5: Serious discussion in MSM about how they will affect the upcoming election. 6: rinse, repeat.

  27. 27
    RSA says:

    The right-wing blogosphere reports that 500,000 people showed up to Beck’s MLK-appropriation rally. The mainstream media has a slightly different count.

    Counts based on aerial photos are bound to be underestimates. After all, these are very small people.

  28. 28

    If you counted every person at the event, people in all the museums and memorials (including workers), security guards/cops/EMT personnel, vendors, cab drivers, people in the general vicinity for other reasons, homeless people and people in flights taking off from National you MIGHT get 300K.

    But we knew massively inflated numbers would be the rule of the day, right?

    I mean, we knew that if turnout had been undeniably bad, the fReichtards would count all of the people who WANTED to come but couldn’t because they have jobs and kids, unlike the filthy gay hippies who live on the dole and abort their children.

    Would they even admit to themselves that they’d been suckered?

    Hello? These are Republicans we’re talking about. Plus, these are the people who repeatedly forgive THEIR side when it sins.

    90% of the fRightie brain is a big old Doubt firewall, that destroys the faintest suspicion that maybe they’re wrong. Here, an example:

    A couple of people were walking around there yesterday bearing small signs that read “Glenn Beck is exploiting us for profit” and “Glenn Beck is a Profit.” People murmured in shock as they walked past. I left a little while after that because I wanted to beat the hordes back to Metro.

    THREE BLOCKS AWAY, I heard this woman flipping out about them into her cell phone.

    Glenn could devote an entire show to how badly he’s ripping his audience off while buttfucking Bristol Palin and they’d forgive him. And send money to cover the cost of his FCC case.

  29. 29
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Fortunately, I was thankfully unable to watch the asshole Beck’s half-assed Klan rally.

  30. 30

    My favorite take from the whole event was an interview with one of the attendees. [This was discussed on any earlier thread.]

    Still, IIRC, she said she came to the rally out of loyalty to her Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, she said, would not approve of income redistribution schemes.

    Oh. My. Lord.

    My second favorite was a lady with a son of grade school age. She came to the rally because she wants him to be able to get a good paying job when he grows up. I really don’t get her logic.

    I would also like a good paying job when I grow up. Perhaps I should have attended the rally. :-)

  31. 31
    Poopyman says:

    Leave it to Michele Bachmann to raise the wingnut cry:

    Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking soon after the Beck rally at her own impromptu event nearby, said: “We’re not going to let anyone get away with saying there were less than a million here today – because we were witnesses.”

  32. 32
    Frank says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Still, IIRC, she said she came to the rally out of loyalty to her Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, she said, would not approve of income redistribution schemes. Oh. My. Lord.

    Before I die, I would want to see the bible these people are reading. It sure isn’t the same one I have.

  33. 33
    Frank says:

    @Yutsano:

    Actually, for as much as it was advertised and promoted on both his radio and TV show plus with the presence of Madame Starbursts herself, 87,000 is a pretty pathetic showing.

    When you consider all the publicity this event got in advance (not just from FoxNews but also from the rest of the MSM) 87,000 is beyond anemic. Considering it was such a failure, maybe there won’t be any more events like these.

    Heck, I recall anti-war demonstrations in 2003 that were many times as big and had received no publicity in the media prior to the event.

  34. 34
    jwb says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Go ahead and “convert” to the right, but just remember that you promised to send the money you earn back to the left. :)

  35. 35
    Patrick M says:

    Have all you John Stewart and President Obama worshippers. Have you seen the pictures of Beck’s rally? I would definitely say there was more than 10,000 people there. What you and you’re snarky liberal friends don’t realize is the average rank and file citizen is turning against President Obama because they don’t want Obamacare and they don’t like his foreign policy; just wait until they find they are going to pay more taxes April 15, even though they make less the
    $250,000.

    I’m a working class guy and most of my friends and co-workers that voted for President Obama are wish they hadn’t. Then again they aren’t as smart as you, to you they are just some “dumb hicks in flyover country”, but they have one thing you liberal geniuses lack and that’s common sense and the hindsight to realize when they have made a mistake. The engines on Starship Obama are burning up and maybe in November it will finally sink in how the average person feels. You can’t blame everything on Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party.

  36. 36
    jwb says:

    @Cacti: And if you watched any of it, you would have noticed that shots scanning the crowd at a distance were very rare. Now, the reaction shot of the crowd is a shot TV does not pass up if the crowd can be made to look at all respectable. The fact that the shot was seldom if ever used in yesterday’s coverage speaks volumes about the size of the crowd.

    87K is a horribly low number for an event that was hyped as much as this one was. Yes, the right wing sites are still going to try using wingnut math to proclaim that eleventy billion attended the event.

  37. 37
    MattF says:

    I think Beck is trying to achieve the undying ambition of every conman: to graduate from the Short Con to the Long Con. For the uninitiated: the Short Con is when the conman takes all the money you have on your person– the Long Con is when he (or she) sends you home to get the rest.

  38. 38
    Breezeblock says:

    Glenn Beck = Elmer Gantry + racism – charm

  39. 39
    mclaren says:

    Glenn Beck represents low-hanging fruit. Any sane person would find it easy enough to hammer him, and of course Beck deserves hammering.

    How about posting on some more challenging topics, Kain?

    Our broken corporate governance? The fallacies of modern economics, particularly species of voodoo like rational expectation theory? The folly of social engineering efforts like the military’s latest shiny object, COIN (counterinsurgency theory)? The lethal dangers to the rule of law posed by the continued stealth takeover of the courts by big business?

    Or how about “The great management consulting scam — and how it could be coming for your job”? Or how about the dangers of attempting to scientize human behaviour, which lead to such divers follies as hiring workers according to their credit scores or IQ scores?

    These are the sorts of topics you’d expect a serious conservative to tackle. Anyone can ridicule Glenn Beck. How about dealing with some serious issues from a uniquely conservative angle?

  40. 40
    Mickey7 says:

    @Yutsano,

    Not to mention how much watery-carrying CNN, MSNBC and other MSM outlets did for this event. The free advertising courtesy of Fox’s competitors was pretty astounding. As long as they continue to be conned by Beck and indirectly promote his scams, there’s little hope for the average citizen.

  41. 41
    morzer says:

    @Warren Terra:

    The self-portrait joke is pretty obvious, honestly. Of course you can’t have someone paint your self-portrait! The point is that Beck would hire someone else, and then make a spurious claim, as he has done about so many things. How you dragged Obama into this, I simply can’t imagine.

    Well, ED, I liked your post, although most things fall flat after Jon Stewart’s razor-tongued slicing of the Big Bologna Beckathon.

    Incidentally, the right-wing “estimates” are just a regurgitation of Beck’s own claim, reached by assigning arbitrary figures to areas around the Lincoln Memorial, and then adding them together once they filled up.

  42. 42
    morzer says:

    @mclaren:

    Of course, you could always respond to the post constructively, rather than giving a wish list and collection of grievances. You could even write your own blog. Or are you too busy flying B-29s over Germany with Jimmy Stewart?

  43. 43
    pat says:

    @Ogami Itto:

    Actually, Michelle Bachman already said that attendance was at least a million. Forget where I read that, so I can’t link.

  44. 44
    morzer says:

    @Ogami Itto:

    Lex Luther Beck, surely?

  45. 45
    Svensker says:

    @mclaren:

    I was about to say “get your own blog” if you want to dictate who posts what, but then I saw it was you. Never mind.

  46. 46
    morzer says:

    @Svensker:

    Sometimes, for a Jets fan, you make a lot of sense.

  47. 47
    Chad S says:

    87k isn’t much considering the size of the audience Beck has. Freedomworks and AFP were bussing in people also, so this is the best that they could do. Which means that they really don’t have as much support as they claim.

  48. 48
    jwb says:

    @morzer: “Incidentally, the right-wing “estimates” are just a regurgitation of Beck’s own claim, reached by assigning arbitrary figures to areas around the Lincoln Memorial, and then adding them together once they filled up.”

    Yes, and other media outlets who know perfectly well what’s going on simply fall in line. Look at the NY Times story this morning, now simply regurgitating organizers’ estimates and Chuck Todd’s ridiculous tweet yesterday with no attempt to do reporting of their own, and compare it to the story they had on their website all yesterday, which never wavered on the claim of “tens of thousands” attended the event.

  49. 49
    jwb says:

    @pat: Facebook conservatives in my spouse’s stream were making the utterly ridiculous claim yesterday that this was the biggest event ever held in Washington. We’ll definitely be at eleventy billion before it’s over.

  50. 50
    morzer says:

    @jwb:

    The NYT lose more of my respect every year with their craven grovelling to the kooks. Once, you could read it and think you were getting good-quality journalism. Now, there’s far too much stenography, and far too ignorance and dishonesty lightly repackaged. And Ross Douthat. Although he really fits all the above categories. Does the NYT not realize that peddling junk just pushes readers away?

  51. 51
    Mickey7 says:

    I think this whole situation illustrates why liberals generally don’t do as good a job as the right in dealing with demagogues. If the left had the same strategic (nasty) vision as the right, we would have no reservations about starting an internecine war within the ranks of the self-identified Evangelical Christians who follow Beck. A few well placed talking points like, ‘Don’t Mormons have an entirely different interpretation of the role of Christ believing he is just one of many equally important saints? That doesn’t really seem to fit with our beliefs about our Lord and Savior, does it? I mean, I don’t know for sure and I’m not suggesting anything…just saying, is all.”

    We could get out a chalkboard or even just a large highlighted index card (I think Fox has extras) and draw a diagram of the rise of the Anti-Christ, pointing out the the prophecy states believers would be deceived into believing he was an ‘angel of light.’ With a few simple chalk lines, we could demonstrate that those who consider themselves ‘believers’ were never fooled by the Kenyan usurper and never thought of him as an angel of light. Therefore, it is unlikely he is the Anti-Christ of prophecy. Many, though, have been convinced that a so-called ‘Christian’ from a suspect sect with a radically different view of Christ is the great leader, the angel of light, they’ve been looking for (remember, facts are not important here–our target audience doesn’t care about them and is too stupid to know the difference) . Of course, I’m not saying Beck is the Anti-Christ, just that, according to our foolproof chalkboard logic, he totally fits the prophecy and it is good to be aware not just of pseudo Muslims in our midst, but also potential blond, weepy Anti-Christs. It’s just that IF Beck is the Anti-Christ, which I am not saying he is–just that he totally fits the prophecy–and IF we ignore it, we will be ‘stabbing our Lord and Savior in the heart,’ something that Sarah Palin warned us not to do.

    I know, I know. Good liberals would be appalled at the notion of using a person’s religion in such an unjust and obnoxious way to beat these bozos at their own game, i.e. turn their own screeching, angry mob against them. This is the difference between us and them and it is why they succeed through sheer lack of moral dignity. Difficult as it is to watch over and over again, I guess the losers in this game of guilt by innuendo and deceit actually are the winners.

  52. 52
    Chad N Freude says:

    Catching up:

    @JasonF:

    where am I supposed to turn for my biting political satire reality-based news analysis?

    Fixed

    @Warren Terra: Calm down, dude. I read the reference to the Fairey portrait as a cultural, not political, reference. I think your analysis(?) here is a lot like Beck’s finding hidden meanings in those chalk talks he likes to give.

    @Linda Featheringill: I do not intend to grow up.

  53. 53
    morzer says:

    @Mickey7:

    Couldn’t we just start by asking Beck on live national TV:

    “Do you reject the Devil of Mormon and turn to Christ?”

    I mean, if you want to deploy your inner bad-ass against the right-wing kookocracy, might as well try and take it to the house.

    Disclaimer: no, I don’t really think that Mormons worship the Devil. Glenn Beck though.. well, I am not so sure.

  54. 54
    Chad N Freude says:

    @morzer: Glenn Beck IS the Devil.

  55. 55
    Mickey7 says:

    @morzer: Seriously, with the paranoid idiocy of so many Evangelicals it would be a simple matter to convince them that Beck is trying to rob them of their salvation. True or not, you are right–simply putting the idea in their heads that Mormon’s worship the Devil would be enough. Just writing such absurd and awful things about Mormon’s–even as satire–makes me cringe, though.

  56. 56
    jwb says:

    @morzer: I agree with your assessment of the NY Times, but it’s not often that I’ve seen them change their story to this extent over night. It really struck me that someone issued an ultimatum to change the story. I haven’t checked to see if they made yesterday’s reporting inaccessible.

  57. 57
    morzer says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    I suppose I am a traditionalist at heart, but I rather miss the old-style cultured, elegant, charming Devils who offered something better in exchange for one’s soul than the privilege of standing alongside 70,000 sweating masses of hate-filled blubber listening to a endless and very boring speech by a pudgy little creature in a rumpled suit. If I wanted that, I’d just sign up for Hell right off the bat.

  58. 58

    @mclaren:

    Anyone can ridicule Glenn Beck. How about dealing with some serious issues from a uniquely conservative angle?

    Yes. Anyone can make fun of Beck. But this may be one of those statements that does not really go without saying. Maybe Erik felt he should make a statement here. I understand that. I certainly have commented on the toad.

    Perhaps on his next post, Erik will address some issue that is more amenable to left-versus-right discussion.

  59. 59
    Frank says:

    @morzer:

    Disclaimer: no, I don’t really think that Mormons worship the Devil. Glenn Beck though.. well, I am not so sure.

    The Mormon Church has an official magazine for its members (forgot what it is called). Perhaps a year ago they had a gushing article about Glenn Beck. Not a negative word in the entire article. And in the comment section he was basically treated as a hero. I should be surprised but why? This is the same church whose leadership were for the disastrous war in Iraq.

  60. 60
    Perfect Tommy says:

    500,000 people donated $600,000 ?

  61. 61
    morzer says:

    @Perfect Tommy:

    Each, Tommy, each! Don’t fall for the liberal spin!

  62. 62

    @Chad N Freude:

    Just now watching this lunatic on FNS and if he isn’t the devil, he is busy introducing the real one to arrive at some point. He is for sure a psychopath of some variety with a gift for sincere sounding free associative babble forming into jingoistic religious and patriotic sound bytes that no doubt go directly to the lizard brain starved for such bullshit.

    I don’t underestimate this clown for dredging up every last demon in the American psyche.

  63. 63
    maya says:

    @Frank:

    Before I die, I would want to see the bible these people are reading. It sure isn’t the same one I have.

    It’s the John Calvin Klein version.

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Have they said yet that there wasn’t a speck of garbage after their event? They almost always bring that up. It’s my favorite piece of totally invented right-wing self-glorification.

  65. 65
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Warren Terra: Your reading of that line is absurd. Give me a break, dude.

  66. 66

    And a note. Was watching a clip on FNS of Beck on the podium and caught a glimpse of the outline of a bullet proof vest.

  67. 67
    daveinboca says:

    Yeah, state-controlled stenographer for BHO CBS counts 87K for Beck’s rally and officially soils itself in public & claims it paid a crowd counter.

    Isn’t CBS the net that had Obama’s approval at 48% & disapproval at 44% while rcp & TEN other polls have an average of Commandante Zero at around 40% positive & 50% negative—including that latest Gallup.

    Even Obama-owned net NBC says 300K. CBS in this case is again an outlier and an outliar…!

    The MSM simply lies all the time and Matthew Yglesias says it’s okay because like that ’60’s song “it’s my party [line] and I’ll lie if I want to…” .

  68. 68
    morzer says:

    @daveinboca:

    So your experiences with crack haven’t quite worked out as you hoped?

  69. 69
    Chad N Freude says:

    Do you suppose these good Christian people have a clue that Glenn Beck’s professed religion is at odds with their own beliefs? Or do they accept that Lucifer was the brother of Jesus, Jesus was conceived through the usual carnal method, Jesus was a polygamist, etc., etc., and so forth.

    (Everything I know about Mormonism is from secondary sources, so a grain of salt might be in order.)

  70. 70
    E.D. Kain says:

    @mclaren: You don’t think I’ve posted on challenging topics? (really?) Or am I only supposed to post on challenging topics?

  71. 71
    daveinboca says:

    @morzer

    That all you got? Lamer than a three-legged dog.

  72. 72
    morzer says:

    @daveinboca:

    Three legs beats none, son.

  73. 73
    Chad N Freude says:

    @daveinboca: Well I, for one, appreciate your well-thought-out, clearly written opinions dispassionate reporting of the facts.

  74. 74
    E.D. Kain says:

    @daveinboca: …ah see. Case in point.

  75. 75
    morzer says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    EDK, did you set it up so that an example of gullible kookery would conveniently appear? If so, well played, sir!

  76. 76
    daveinboca says:

    Y’all complain about the NYT losing readers because of ross douthat? When you leave, the NYT is losing losers…!

    D-bags.

  77. 77
    Chad N Freude says:

    @morzer: I’m not E.D. Kain. Is this another example of FYWP running amuck, or are you trying to make some obscure point, or … What?

    And if by “gullible kookery” you mean my comment, I strongly recommend that you take two aspirin and call your Snarkometer Mechanic in the morning.

  78. 78
    jwb says:

    @daveinboca: Try harder. Dude, you make me miss BoB.

  79. 79
    Uloborus says:

    @morzer:
    Eh. It’s Mclaren. He’s never happy about anything. If there’s nothing to be unhappy about he makes things up. I stopped taking him seriously and trying to debate with him when he announced we’re in ‘3-4’ permanent, unwinnable wars.

    @E.D. Kain:
    See above paragraph.

  80. 80
    morzer says:

    @daveinboca:

    I see you are a devotee of wing-nut economics. You don’t seem to have grasped quite how business works.

    Hint: don’t lose your core demographic, just to attract a small group of fruitcakes.

    But perhaps the vast array of commenters on your blog would testify to your acumen in this regard?

  81. 81
    Chad N Freude says:

    @morzer: When I clicked on your E.D. Kain link, I got my comment that preceded his and posted a response. Then I clicked again, got Kain’s post and tried to cancel my response. The response is now in moderation; if it ultimately shows up, please focus on the FYWP reference.

    And for good measure: FYWP

  82. 82
    morzer says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    No, I was referring to DaveinBoca, or whoever he is. No idea why you would imagine I considered you a gullible kook. But yes, FYWP with, as MEH would say, a rusty pitchfork.

  83. 83

    @daveinboca:
    Obvious spoof troll is obvious.

  84. 84
    Mickey7 says:

    At least the younger generation has some perspective on Beck.

    My son’s friend: ‘Hmm. Restoring Honor? Well where did it go and how does this group plan to restore it?”

    My son: ” ‘A dark-skinned, Muslim, Kenyan usurper’ and ‘bullet,’ respectively.”

    My son thinks I should try to ignore the idiocy; that it is cyclical and it will just fizzle out. I’m not so sure. Teabaggers are in my age cohort and there are a lot of us. We collectively have enjoyed the highest standard of living of any cohort in history and are pampered and entitled. Now that things aren’t going so well, instead of appreciating the tremendous good fortune we have had through the accident of birth and fighting to make sure future generations have the same opportunities, we decide we are ‘victims’ who are entitled to throw the mother of all tantrums.

    The Beck thing is disturbing because this self-centered, largely politically illiterate mob is now ‘activated’ and they have megalomaniacal leaders to incite them to heights of previously unknown stupidity. We have seen this movie before. It doesn’t end well. Guess I better go double up on my hypertension meds…

  85. 85
    Bex says:

    Frank, I remember huge anti-Iraq war demonstrations all over the world that were only grudgingly mentioned as afterthoughts by the MSM. Funny how the MSM didn’t spend weeks informing everyone when and where they could march.

  86. 86
    jwb says:

    @Mickey7: “The Beck thing is disturbing because this self-centered, largely politically illiterate mob is now ‘activated’ and they have megalomaniacal leaders to incite them to heights of previously unknown stupidity.”

    Not really much to worry about so long as the demographics of the teabaggers remain what they are. Fascism needs foot soldiers, and fat old folks make poor foot soldiers. Entitled lazy asses make even poorer foot soldiers. You don’t really need to be concerned until they seem to be getting a purchase with the college-aged and twenty-somethings. So far I haven’t seen any evidence that the movement has been expanding its demographic outside of old white Republicans.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Nick says:

    @Bex:

    I remember huge anti-Iraq war demonstrations all over the world that were only grudgingly mentioned as afterthoughts by the MSM. Funny how the MSM didn’t spend weeks informing everyone when and where they could march.

    And ruins the ratings gold that is war coverage? pffffffffft

  89. 89
    jwb says:

    @Nick: So, what, you’re trying to tell us that televising all this teabagger crap has been good for ratings? I think it’s obvious that ratings is now pretty low on the priority list.

  90. 90
    Jon H says:

    @Warren Terra: “this reads to me like another tiresome regurgitation of what the 2008 McCain campaign tried slinging as “The One” meme:”

    No it doesn’t, you knee-jerking retard.

  91. 91
    Jon H says:

    @mclaren: “How about posting on some more challenging topics, Kain?”

    If you’re reading this blog, you should be happy to get posts about animals rolling in filth.

    Which is a pretty good description of the Beck rally, actually.

    But who appointed you content manager?

  92. 92

    Really not understanding the @Warren Terra put down. Reflexive Kain hate is just sad.

    Also, re: @mclaren – debbie downer is down.

  93. 93
    YellowJournalism says:

    @General Stuck:

    And a note. Was watching a clip on FNS of Beck on the podium and caught a glimpse of the outline of a bullet proof vest.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he was sincerely disappointed that there wasn’t an attempt on his life. Although, the vest might have been more for show than actual concern on his part.

    I hope this guy never gets into a car accident or actually has someone attempt to harm him, because we’ll never hear the end of it. The only way this guy can pass on to the great FSM in the sky is to:

    A) Die in his sleep as an obscure political reference at the age of 88 after all the people who would care are also already dead.
    B) Fall off the podium while doing a John-Adams-meets-TV-Evangelist dance at his next Reclaiming rally.
    C) Have a heart attack after being caught on camera making love to a midget male prostitute.

  94. 94
    YellowJournalism says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I’m not getting the Kain hate, either. The guy is becoming the Obama of Balloon Juice: can’t seem to please anyone, no matter what he does.

    ETA: This particular time bugs me more because this post is nothing different than what John, DougJ, or anyone else does on a regular basis.

  95. 95

    @YellowJournalism:

    The guy is becoming the Obama of Balloon Juice: can’t seem to please anyone, no matter what he does.

    He obviously needs more unicorn ponies. Hey, Kain, you listening!?!?

    ETA: Yeah, the rant about the Shepard Fairey self-portrait is wankery of the highest order. Some chill pills are in order.

  96. 96
    Mickey7 says:

    @daveinboca: So true, because the NYT was just repeating the obvious facts. After all, at least 100,000,000 people (and still counting–Michele Bachmann doesn’t have enough fingers) of all (the Caucasian) ethnic groups, (light-skinned) races, and (fundamentalist Christian) creeds can’t be wrong, can they? It truly was a miracle, with God producing honor from the very ground–like heavenly manna, allowing it to seep right up onto the National Mall…where it was quickly trampled by a raging horde of pasty fat people on disability scooters

    Someone needs to explain to these folks that you can’t ‘restore’ what you never had.

  97. 97

    @Mickey7:

    Someone needs to explain to these folks that you can’t ‘restore’ what you never had.

    w00t! Well played, sir/ma’am.

  98. 98
    Mickey7 says:

    @jwb: That is (disturbingly) reassuring and also provides a priceless visual of weaponized disability scooters roaring down the streets of middle America…

  99. 99
    Person of Choler says:

    Another view of crowd-size estimates…

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/g.....the-crowd/

    …for those critical thinkers who do not seek only one source of information which always confirms their prejudices, but with open minds look to a variety of data and opinions.

  100. 100

    @Person of Choler:

    for those critical thinkers who do not seek only one source of information which always confirms their prejudices, but with open minds look to a variety of data and opinions.

    And you’re linking to pajamasmedia? heh indeedy.

  101. 101
    Person of Choler says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Did you read the post, or are you satisfied with the source that always confirms you beliefs?

    I couldn’t say who is right or wrong, I just note that there are differences of opinion.

    Open minds and all that stuff.

  102. 102
    Fleas correct the era says:

    The question is – if the people at this rally knew how badly he was scamming them – in it for fame and fortune and not for some higher vision – would they care?

    Since it’s possible — in fact, pretty easy — for anyone who cared to find out how badly Beck scams his audience for fame and fortune, I’d say no, they wouldn’t care. Because they don’t. I don’t think that’s much of a question.

  103. 103
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Person of Choler: So does Pajamas Media have someone counting the number of individuals in the photographs?

  104. 104
    Chad N Freude says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: The critical thinkers with open minds are the readers of Pajamas Media.

  105. 105
  106. 106

    @Person of Choler:

    Did you read the post, or are you satisfied with the source that always confirms you beliefs?

    No, because I will not be assed to give them even a click. Happy?

    FWIW, I don’t *care* how many nitwits, assholes, fascists and racists gathered in front of the memorial to Abraham Lincoln to shit on MLK’s legacy. *How many* doesn’t change *quality* either way.

  107. 107
    SciVo says:

    @Peter: I would’ve gone with narcissist rather than sociopath, but either way, I feel sorry for him. They’re both effectively incurable AFAIK; even talk therapy won’t work because both personality disorders inhibit the necessary patient-therapist rapport. I know it’s true because I read it on the Internet!

    @General Stuck: I think it’s classic conservative projection. In Glenn Beck’s case, I take it as an unintentional message to us, straight from his unconscious, about his impulses toward his opponents.

  108. 108
    Bill Murray says:

    @Chad N Freude: not PofC but what they did was estimate the area, used an estimate from the Parks service on area covered by a person in a dense crowd and then multiplied the two and calculated numbers based on less dense crowd numbers. They did not really make an estimate, but if they got the area correct, the crowd was likely between 50 and 150K

  109. 109
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @jwb: Oh, hell yeah. That would be the whole point of this very covert, super-secret conversion. Bilking the right for the benefit of the left.

  110. 110
    Person of Choler says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Jeez, Chad. Read the referenced post and answer the question for yourself.

  111. 111
    Matthew says:

    The real question is if Beck is running for President?

  112. 112
    Person of Choler says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I am happy. I love the smell of fuming liberal in the morning.

  113. 113

    @Person of Choler:
    well, you have a pretty sad life, then. (and still can’t get to substance over bullshit numbers)

  114. 114

    @asiangrrlMN:
    I understand there will be bewbies! It can only be good! ;)

  115. 115
    wmd says:

    @JGabriel:
    I think they time their break around the Emmys.

  116. 116
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    if the people at this rally knew how badly he was scamming them – in it for fame and fortune and not for some higher vision – would they care? Would they even admit to themselves that they’d been suckered? Even if evidence of his insincerity were to surface? Would it matter so long as he served his purpose?

    No, no, no, and no. This doesn’t just apply to knuckle-draggers, by the way. I think everybody here would agree that the best that can be said about Clinton’s escapade with Lewinsky is that getting sucked off in the broom closet by an intern is a really bad idea; did any Juicers start voting Republican as a result? Aren’t all politicians scamming us to a degree with the images they project, and isn’t Beck just a variation on that?

  117. 117
    Uloborus says:

    @Person of Choler:
    Alright. I read the article. It’s actually not bad. I think they might even be honest. Unfortunately, there is Important Context.

    Crowd estimates are fantastically hard to make. Traditionally they look much, much bigger than they are, and the rule of thumb is that you think you are seeing *TEN TIMES* as many people as are actually there. How does that work? Because if there’s a person’s body space between you and the next guy, there’s not half the number of people in the crowd, there’s about one fourth. Even professionals acknowledge that there’s a lot of ‘estimate’ in their estimates and the results are usually much lower. Your Pajamas Media person is not a professional. He’s making a crude layman’s analysis based on simple math. The news organizations and government hire actual experts. If they say 86k, it’s probably in that general range.

    Of course, the point here is that Beck’s grandiose claims of 500k are completely pulled out of his ass self-aggrandizement, and the highest possible estimates here made by a very biased friendly party who’s at least trying to be honest still leave it as ‘pulled out of his ass self-aggrandizement’.

  118. 118

    @Poopyman: Yes Michele. The Becksters outnumbered DC’s population by almost 2-1.

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @pat:

    Actually, Michelle Bachman already said that attendance was at least a million.

    So that would make this rally The Million Moran March.

  120. 120
    Doug says:

    Now I know what is meant by crazy leftwing blogs.. I was just searching for news on yesterday’s event and stumbled onto this. I was actually there with my mom and 13 YO son. It was an incredible patriotic, personally fulfilling event. 500k people there – easily. Tourists? No no tmany there this tiem of year.. All getting ready for back to school.. I know – I work there occasionaly an dlive 3 hours away. Most people I met were from all over the US and travelled just for this event – good decent everyday solid people. And the more you and the mass media lie, the more they turn against you. I wonder how long so many of the leftists can continue to live in lies and deceit. I saw the Al Sharpton march too (because it obviously was NOT about MLK Jr and his vidsion ro principles) That was where the real hate and evil lived – not in aprayer filled fun and energeitc peaceful rally that was calle “Restoring Honor” . Do you feel guilt and hatred that makes you despise God and his gift of liberty all that they mean? Tis truly sad. Just try to see the truth – just a little .. Maybe you should actually use what was really said or what was actually done in your discussion or writing.

  121. 121
    Cliff says:

    @Cliff:

    …and no comment yet on the non lame 2 legged doggies proving that there are easily many things more lame than even a 2 legged doggie…

  122. 122
    Mickey7 says:

    @Brachiator: Nice one!

    Plus you have to remember that Michele Bachmann (Fruitcake-MN) has an adversarial relationship with reality. After all, she is a ‘leader’ who takes to hiding in bushes to spy at gay people in parades and who felt that fluorescent lights were such a threat to American liberty, it was crucial to introduce the ‘Lightbulb Freedom Act’ (aka ‘The Dimbulb Freedumb Act’ here in Minnesota) on the floor of the House of Representatives– and not on annual ‘Stupid Bill Satire Night,’ either. If Michele Bachmann believes it it be true, that is pretty much ironclad evidence that it is false.

  123. 123
    Person of Choler says:

    @Uloborus:
    I’m surprised, in these days of high resolution aerial photography and computer image processing, that estimating the size of an outdoor crowd should be so much guesswork and subject to such a wide error band.

    It would be interesting if the experts in crowd estimation would identify themselves and let us in on their methodology.

  124. 124
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Doug: If you’re still around to read this, I’d like to know what “Restoring Honor” means to you. This is not an insult or sarcasm, I really want to know. I hear this a lot, and I have no idea what we’ve lost, when we lost it, or what we should do to restore it.

  125. 125
    Cacti says:

    @Uloborus:

    Crowd estimates are fantastically hard to make. Traditionally they look much, much bigger than they are, and the rule of thumb is that you think you are seeing TEN TIMES as many people as are actually there. How does that work? Because if there’s a person’s body space between you and the next guy, there’s not half the number of people in the crowd, there’s about one fourth.

    And if you look at the photos of the Beck crowd, you can see spots of green scattered throughout.

    If the ground is visible among the crowd from the air, it’s not a very densely packed crowd.

  126. 126
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Person of Choler:

    Oh, Charlie Martin….riiiight.

    The same Charlie Martin who made the genius estimate of 600,000+ (down from his original 850,000+) attendance at the September ’09 Teabagger rally. Whose analysis was rightly busted to teeny tiny pieces in the comments section. Talk about working backwards from your preconceived notions.

    Oh, and it should tell you something that he can’t seem to find evidence that the company that CBS commissioned to do the estimate actually does so professionally. Ten seconds on Google led me to an explanation of the analysis by the guy who actually helped prepare it for the company, which actually does do so professionally…and based on something besides low-quality snapshots.

    So thanks, but I’ll take the word of the professionals in this case.

  127. 127
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Person of Choler:

    Here you go.

    Two clicks of the mouse.

  128. 128
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Doug:

    I’m sure it was personally fulfilling. It was also crapping all over the MLK legacy, and shame on you for not seeing that.

    PS, please contact your nearest university science department to share your methods for crowd-counting at eye level.

  129. 129
    JITC says:

    Beck’s entire purpose is to get attention, viewers and money. He is a business person and this is his business.

    That being said, bully for him for getting so many people out to discuss values. Whatever, and glad it went smoothly.

    On the other hand, his claim that he in any way supports or represents anything to do with Dr. King’s message is ridiculous. Beck outright and specifically rejects social justice and Dr. King was all about social justice. King spoke frequently and passionately about economic justice with words and ideas Beck brands as “evil” and “socialist.”

    Yes, King spoke a lot about religion and Christianity in particular (he as a Reverend after all). But he believed, and stated, that what Jesus taught was about social justice and referenced an “age of social justice.”

    Beck, on the other hand, said that if ones church starts talking social justice to walk out and find another church.

    Famously, Dr. King said “Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” He would absolutely have supported the health care reform effort. We all know where Beck stands on this.

    Dr. King was anti-war, pro-affirmative action and pro-labor. Hardly the pillars of Beck’s message.

  130. 130
    JITC says:

    Also, the Wiggles are no Yo Gabba Gabba. Not by a long shot.

  131. 131
    binzinerator says:

    @Carol:

    The youngest are now 60 plus with a few 50 something wannabes who resent minorities for somehow taking away the prosperity and status they thought they should have. And that’s the only crowd that listens to Beck, the same crowd as Limbaugh’s and that number has hard barriers of both ethnicity and social attitudes against any growth.

    Interesting. I see Beck’s conversion into a Holy Roller as a typical Beckish cynical move. It’s becoming apparent the teatards can only take him so far, and the stupid is collapsing on itself. Time for a parasite like Beck to find another bunch of suckers, one with a potentially much larger reach.

    He has noticed an overlap between the political, racial and social values of the resentful bigoted angry white over-50 stupid people of teabagger set and a big segment of the fundies. Except the fundies offer bigger, more lucrative opportunities.

    Evangelicals. The modern Elmer Gantry hopes to find them to be very useful idiots.

  132. 132
    Person of Choler says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:
    Thank you for the link. The key parameter, of course, is the square foot / person ratio. According to the article, a “loose crowd” has ~4.5 sqft/person, a very tight one has ~2.5 sqft/person.

    Let us say that this is a slightly tighter than loose crowd, say 4 sqft/person.

    Let us further invoke the GoogleEarth image of the Lincoln Memorial and environs and measure the areas which seem to be full of people. They are in a space ~2,000 ft long by ~330 ft wide to the south of the pool, and in a space of similar length but ~75 ft wide to the north thereof.

    Multiply 2000 X (330+75) and divide the result by 4 and you get 202,500 people. A far cry from 500,000, but a far cry as well from the 87,000 estimate.

    To get an estimate of 87,000 people requires a sqft/person ratio of 9.3, which is less than half that of a “loose crowd”. Again, from the pictures, the crowd looks quite compacted.

    Your mileage may vary, of course.

  133. 133
    E.D. Kain says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I’m shopping for some new unicorn ponies right now actually. Click, click…

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Person of Choler:

    …for those critical thinkers who do not seek only one source of information which always confirms their prejudices, but with open minds look to a variety of data and opinions.

    Yes, because people in a crowd who are watching speakers on Jumbotrons always crowd under trees where they won’t be able to see the screens. You did notice that a big chunk of his estimate depended heavily on half of the crowd being invisible under the tree branches, right?

    Let’s leave the “math” aside for a minute and talk about logic, shall we? How many people do you honestly think paid good money and rode buses for hours so they could sit under trees with no view of the event that they paid to see? Pajamas Media thinks it was at least 100,000 people. I think even teabaggers are smarter than that.

  135. 135
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Person of Choler:

    I guess you didn’t notice that the article was written by the same guy who came up with the 80-87,000 estimate. Which you might have known if you’d bothered to read his analysis, which I linked to @126.

    So once again, I’ll take the professional’s word for it.

  136. 136
    Jon H says:

    @Person of Choler: “Let us say that this is a slightly tighter than loose crowd, say 4 sqft/person.”

    Given the number of people who seem to have been sitting in a chair with an arrangement of personal items in the sort of manner you see at a lower-density event such as an outdoor municipal theater production, I really don’t think 4 square feet/person is likely.

    More like 9 square feet/person. (3’x3′)

  137. 137
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Person of Choler:

    Oh and by the way, the “loose crowd” equation is 10 sq ft per person, not 4.5:

    A loose crowd, one where each person is an arm’s length from the body of his or her nearest neighbors, needs 10 square feet per person. A more tightly packed crowd fills 4.5 square feet per person. A truly scary mob of mosh-pit density would get about 2.5 square feet per person.

    Which, even by your own unsophisticated calculation of square footage, gives you a crowd estimate of 81,000.

  138. 138
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Jon H:

    Yeah, aside from the fact he/she misread the “loose crowd” standard, in order to have a crowd with a density of 4 sq ft per person, people would have to be standing so close together that there was not even 12″ of space around them.

    Look at all the green lawn showing up in the pictures. Does his/her claim even make sense?

  139. 139
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    Oh wait, I take that back. Since the average adult takes up 2 sq ft just by standing up, a crowd density of 4 sq ft per person would mean the person would be surrounded by an area no larger than 6 inches.

  140. 140
    JenJen says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: Not sure you’re even still checking in on this thread, but had to chime in and thank you for the links. Good stuff!!

    As someone who attended President Obama’s Inauguration, this crowd stuff ever since has just fascinated me. I’ve never been in a crowd that enormous in my life, but even I didn’t venture a guess as to how many could be there; I did take the word of the Capitol Police who essentially say it was just the biggest event in DC, ever, and we know at least 1.5 million attended, perhaps more. So it has really surprised me since, to learn that the Teabaggers and Beck Acolytes on 9/12/09 insisted their crowds were at least as large as the Inauguration, and I see they’re at it again with the 8/28/10 thingie (although this time they’re not being quite so foolish with their wildly inaccurate guesstimates).

    Looking back, it took a great deal of planning routes to figure out how to get into DC on Inauguration Day (I ended up taking MARC from way out at Point of Rocks, MD, and had to buy my tickets over a month in advance). This is one of those details you never hear any of the tea or Beck crowds talking about, you know? DC is a notoriously tricky city to get in and out of, and so it just doesn’t make any kind of realistic sense that you never hear about truly stunning transit numbers on the days of Beck’s DC rallies, nor do you ever hear about the attendees going through a great deal of planning and routing beforehand, yet that doesn’t stop them from insisting their events were bigger than the Obama Inauguration. It baffles me.

    DC Metro will come out with their ridership numbers for 8/28/10 in a day or two, and the proof will probably be in that pudding. As a point of reference, DC Metro ridership (trains only) on 1/20/09 was 1,120,000. On 9/12/09, ridership was 437,624, not a bad number for a Saturday, but still far below the weekday average of 725,000+. (Also, the DC Marathon was held on 9/12/09 so the ridership can’t all be attributed to Beckites.)

    Of course, even actual ridership data probably won’t quell the new urban legend that 500,000+ people attended Beck’s 8/28/10 Tent Revival. On “Morning Joe” today, it was taken as fact that at least 300,000 attended, a “fact” that Brian Williams himself repeated in the second hour.

  141. 141
    Someone Else's Blue Dart says:

    I think the 300 – 500 thousand estimates match well with the football stadium pictures – you gotta remember there’s another 200,000 plus under the stands waiting to get food or take a leak…

  142. 142
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @JenJen:

    Yeah, it’s interesting that they are so willing to just repeat Beck’s made-up numbers with no questions asked.

    About the DC ridership on 9/12/09 or most other events, people forget that most of those metro tickets were likely round trip, so the ridership numbers essentially need to be cut in half.

    Steve Doig, who blogged about how he helped formulate the CBS numbers (linked @126), pointed out the irony that the liberals bashed him for coming up with an 800,000 number for the Obama swearing in (on the mall only), while the Teabaggers are bashing him over the 87,000 numbers for the Beck rally.

  143. 143
    Patrick M says:

    Have any of you smug liberal know it alls seen actual pictures of Glenn Beck’s apolitical gathering? You’re telling me that’s 87,000 people? You must be blind, I guess that saying “The eye that alters all” is true. You and you’re smarmy liberal friends and the media can say write it off and say tens of thousands, but anyone with any common sense can see the crowd number is several hundred thousand. I guess numbers only count if you host a Democratic Party event.

    If you’re opposition to Glenn Beck is so strong how come you didn’t attend Al Sharpton’s gathering which had more media coverage? Not only was there not tens of thousands of people at Big Al’s gathering, there wasn’t even 5,000 people there.

  144. 144
    Patrick M says:

    @JITC:

    Glenn Beck is just as qualified to speak on religion as the so-called Reverend Al Sharpton. At least Glenn Beck nobody got killed at his rally, can’t say the same for some of the Al Sharpton’s mob gatherings in NYC at Freddie’s Fashion Mart or Crown Heights and im sure there were no were near even a thousand people.

    How come none of you “tolerant” minded people can’t take someone at their word when they say this rally was about getting closer to God and country. Doesn’t sound like you’re judging someone by the content of their character like Martin Luther King wanted.

  145. 145
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Patrick M:

    Why yes, we have looked at plenty of pictures of the rally. Not just fuzzy snapshots either. If you’d bothered to read the thread, you’d have seen them linked here.

    And yes, I’ll take the word of experts who have pored over high-resolution pictures section by section to make their determination of 87,000 over somebody who stood on the stage and shouted out “it looks like eleventy billion! ! !”

  146. 146
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Patrick M:

    How come none of you “tolerant” minded people can’t take someone at their word when they say this rally was about getting closer to God and country. Doesn’t sound like you’re judging someone by the content of their character like Martin Luther King wanted.

    As Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

  147. 147
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @JGabriel: Oh, I dunno… maybe they take the August crazies off so they can thread them all together in a tottering pile of tea-party transport.

  148. 148
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    This one was amusing, even if comes from a GOS post:

    #CBS low-end (78k): 3.1 airline seats of area per person………CBS high-end (96k): 2.4 airline seats of area per person…………………………Beck low-end (300k): 0.8 airline seats of area per person
    Beck high-end (600k): 0.4 airline seats of area per person

    Now, imagine that over that entire area you placed queen size mattresses side by side so the entire area were covered with mattresses. ……………………………That would be 30,000 mattresses (each with an area of 33.3 sq ft). ………………………….According to CBS’s 87k estimate, the average mattress would have had 3 people on it ……………….According to Beck’s low-end estimate of 300k, the average mattress would have had 10 people on it…………………………And his high end estimate of 600k? 20 people on each mattress.

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