Since the teabaggers' demonstrations aren't being financed by the likes of the Koch Brothers any more, Green Eagle hasn't had much opportunity to exercise his protest-reporting skills, so I thought I would take a look at media coverage of the 2011 March For Life in Washington D.C.- the big day of the year for anti-abortion fanatics. If you google "2011 March For Life," you will find dozens and dozens of Catholic parishes and other organizations, religious and right wing secular, promoting this event. Looking for information about how many people showed up, I saw estimates at these sites ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 people.
Well, I like to look at pictures of the marches themselves. Here are a couple of photos. I want to remind my readers that I follow a strict policy of only showing images that have the largest number of people in them, in an effort to be fair to march organizers.
If you'd like to look at a few more pictures, I suggest you look here, at the right wing website Human Events.
Now, I've been estimating the size of crowds since the Vietnam war days of the late sixties. In previous posts, I have gone over my methods, and I will not repeat myself here. It interests me that I found no pictures looking out from, say, the Capitol steps, and showing the whole crowd, which are normally a staple of Washington protest coverage. These are low resolution photos, but here is what I think I see here. The top photo shows a maximum of 12,000 or 14,000 people. As for the lower one, I am being generous if I claim there are 2,000 people in it. And again, let me reiterate that I always show pictures of the largest number of people I can find.
For a national march with so much backing, this is an absolutely pathetic turnout- less than a tenth of the number of people that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert got to show up for a march about nothing at all. I believe this is important because it backs up my continued claim, based on my personal observation of these events, that the teabaggers and their associates are a minuscule phenomenon, blown up to appear to be a major national force by the press and the Republican party, because it suits their political interests to claim massive popular support for their serve-the-rich behavior.
So far, the press doesn't seem to be biting on this one. Maybe the turnout was so miserable that even our mainstream media can't delude themselves into believing that it represents any significant number of people; or maybe they are just leaving the field clear to the right wingers to delude themselves into thinking they are any more than suckers of the rich.
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