What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 15, 2009

Facts: They Should Matter

First, I received a Facebook message from Fred Honsberger yesterday claiming:
"A million people march in the DC tea party….see much about that in the MSM?"
Then later that same morning, I heard Chris Moore repeating ridiculously overblown attendance figures of 1.7 to 2 million for this event on PCNC's "Pittsburgh Now."

Moore seemed to be unaware of any controversy with the numbers, but I'm betting Fred knows the real story. Of course this is exactly how the right operates -- they repeat a lie over and over until it becomes "the truth" in the MSM.

In case you missed it, there was a FreedomWorks/Glenn Beck 9-12 Project hootenanny/tea-bagger party on Saturday in DC. The president of FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe, announced on stage at the rally that ABC News had reported that 1 - 1.5 million people were at the event. That got tweeted/blogged around the right side of the Internet. Problem was, it wasn't true. According to ABC News:
At no time did ABC News, or its affiliates, report a number anywhere near as large. ABCNews.com reported an approximate figure of 60,000 to 70,000 protesters, attributed to the Washington, D.C., fire department. In its reports, ABC News Radio described the crowd as "tens of thousands."
The figure kept getting bumped up on the right until they were claiming attendance of 1.7 - 2 million -- 30 times more than reliable crowd estimates -- and akin to me claiming that I'm 162 feet tall.

Moreover, they tried to pass off an at least five-year old photo of the mall as being from this past Saturday's protest. How do we know it's an old photograph? Because the photo is missing the National Museum of the American Indian which opened in 2004.

It also turns out that there was another group on the mall last Saturday. One might be tempted to forgive the tea-baggers for confusing that group with their own, except for the fact that the group was the National Council of Negro Women Black Family Reunion Celebration. And, if you look at pictures from the tea-bagger party on Saturday (or any other day) you'll notice that the attendees are not only overwhelmingly white, but also the kind of crowd where someone would fell comfortable carrying a Confederate flag or explaining how Obama will oppress "white America."

I'm happy to report that I was able to call-in to the Pittsburgh Now show and let Chris know the real deal.


spork_incident said...

You forgot something important: They create their own reality.

And that's valid!

A Spork in the Drawer

Maria said...

Their followers believe whatever reality their cynical leaders create.

Maria said...


I will get around to blogging on and linking to that 'domestic violence as pre-existing condition' thing today (been meaning to since I saw it). Nice link from Pandagon! :-)

EdHeath said...

There is an interesting idea I guess was first advanced on Andrew Sullivan's column (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/09/not-racism-projection.html): Shadow projection (I guess it is Jung). It is a way of looking at the behavior of the leaders of the right. I am not sure what explains the behavior of the followers.

Gloria said...

I listened to Fred yesterday, he was bemoaning the "fact" that none of the US media was reporting on the rally, (probably b/c our mainstream media, as is well known, is so lefty). Then Fred says he only found the info on a British paper's website. I don't remember the paper's name, but I googled around a bit & found plenty of US media reports on the rally, all said 50 - 80,000 attended.

So maybe Fred's made a mistake?

Gloria said...

I just realized that I made a statement that is patently impossible. Fred never makes a mistake.

Maria said...



He was probably privately bemoaning the fact that the US media (after some hiccups) were reporting the correct number while the Brits latched onto the first wrongly reported extremely inflated number.