The "9/12 Tea Party" in DC today isn't high on any of our must-watch lists, but it is huge news in the land of the Right Wing. Run by FreedomWorks, who has paid for the whole thing, this rally is getting fluffed by CNN and positively tongue-washed by Fox.
Numbers of the participants vary from "tens of thousands" (New York Times, Washington Post) to "close to a million (ABC News).
But Michelle Malkin is claiming 2 MILLION!
And has the photo to prove it!
This is the lead photo on Malkin's site, where she claims tha the march numbered two million. It's bein widely reproduced all over the Right-Wing blogosphere.
There's a problem, though: the livecam from which this shot was taken shows a flag flying at full mast, not half-mast.
A second problem: this webcam is looking at the traffic on 14th Street. The Teabaggers gathered at Freedom Plaza and marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, not 14th St.
Where and when was this shot taken? What rally was this? Was this actually the Teabaggers March today? Or is Malkin trying to deceive her followers (it wouldn't be the first time, certainly.)
Is there any Kossack in DC who can fill us in on the details of crowd size, rally procession, and the validity of this photo?
Because if Malkin is cheating, she deserves to get a big "FAIL."
UPDATED - Here's the screencapture of the same site at 3:30 EST today:
Perhaps the first photo was taken while the flag was being raised. I don't know. Did the marchers proceed down 14th St? I don't know. While I certainly acknowledge that there were thousands of people there, there is a magnitude of difference between "tens of thousands" and "millions. How many people were there? I don't know.
Can any of the DC Kossacks on the spot answer these questions?
UPDATE @ - A few Kossacks who were actually around at the time that this screenshot was grabbed state that it is authentic. There is no time/date stamp on it, so it is unknown when it was actually photographed. Malkin herself is using this photo to claim that 2 million people attended today, and that therefore the Tea Party movement is not "fringe." The screenshot is her #1 piece of evidence for her claim.
Her attendance numbers are now being repeated as verbatim by bloggers on the Right, accompanied by the first screen shot. I believe that Malkin has vastly overestimated the attendance numbers and is using a particularly dense segment of the marching crowd to give the impression of a vastly more populated march. This, to me, still constitutes "cheating with photos," in the sense that you are misinterpreting the photographic visuals in order to persuade the easily deceived. Colin Powell did much the same thing, philosophically, when he presented the satellite photographs of Iraqi "biochemical weapons facilities" to the UN.
As far as the foolishness of a person who asks skeptical questions about facts averred on slim or contradictory evidence, all I can say is I would rather ask those "foolish" questions to similar skeptics than let potential deceptions pass unchallenged. Thank you to all who answered my questions with generosity and good will.