Today on his radio show Glenn Beck not only claimed that the U.S. media is under reporting the 9/12 protest attendance, but also that the protest was the biggest march on Washington ever. Beck quoted The London Telegraph as placing attendance at over a million, which they didn’t, and didn’t bother to quote the police and fire department estimates of 30,000-70,000.
Here is the audio from Media Matters
Beck said, “The media is pounding nail after nail into their own coffin right now. The American people are waking up. It doesn’t matter if the Washington Post wouldn’t have covered it, everybody in Washington that needs to know the people are awake, they know. It doesn’t matter if it was covered at all. The people that needed to hear that message, believe me heard that message. If you go overseas you start to look at some real numbers. Overseas The London Telegraph is now saying that the number is over a million. They quote a source from the park service, the National Park Service saying that it is the largest march on Washington ever, and they also quote somebody in the White House saying that the White House was shocked at the number. Now you’re not going to get that in the mainstream press in America, but that is what The Daily Mail is reporting today.”
The Telegraph never wrote that a million people attended the protest. The article does state that, “There was no official crowd count. Organisers, who had expected between 25,000 and 50,000, put the total at 75,000 but many estimated that it was much higher.”
The Daily Mail is not what would be considered an objective news source. They are a right wing tabloid that is sued for libel on a regular basis. This is what Beck considers an accurate overseas news source. The 9/12 protest was not even close to largest protest in Washington ever. The recent Iraq war protests were larger. The Vietnam War protests were large. The 1963 civil rights march on Washington drew between 200,000-300,000 people. Even the Bonus March of 1932, which drew 43,000 rivaled the 9/12 protest.
The numbers that Beck was blaming on the media did not actually come from the media. The numbers came from estimates put out by police and fire departments. There was a media bias here, as many in the media first over reported the attendance figures, only to correct them later in the day.
Beck and the right wing are unable to come to grips with their gigantic failure. For all the time, money, and promotion spent of this protests to only draw 30,000-70,000 people is a colossal flop. This is right on par with the Tea Party protests as far as failure is concerned. What the 9/12 flop did was demonstrate to everyone that outrage over Obama is contained within a small right wing fringe that still has gotten over the election of a black Democrat as president.