A controversy has blown up on the internet with claims that the 9/12 rally in Washington had about 60,000-90,000 people in attendance. Charles Martin at Pajamas Media drives a stake through the heart of that claim here.
“Since I wrote that piece, though, we have two new sources of information. First, the ridership statistics from D.C. Metro became available after being delayed, apparently because of a fatal accident on the Metro tracks. The Heritage Foundation, using these figures, computed that Metrorail ridership was about 235,000 greater than the previous weekend. As they say, that in itself is more than three times the (unreliable and badly sourced) number reported in the legacy media.
Second, there is now a high-resolution photo from FreedomWorks, which you can see in the poster here.
His conclusions from all available evidence:
“What can we take away from this exercise? Here are the main points:
- The estimate widely used in the legacy media is not from an authoritative source, and it isn’t even consistent with itself: “full back to 3rd Street” is around 250,000 by Park Sevice methods, not a quarter of that.
- Many estimates, using different assumptions and different methods, arrived at numbers well into the hundreds of thousands.
- This is clearly consistent with the panoramic photo that we can source reliably.
- With everything above, and with several more estimates, I don’t think there is a plausible argument for any total attendance figure much less that 500,000 to 600,000. That is, nearly ten times the reported attendance.”