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Whose Was Bigger?: An Eyewitness Guesstimation of One Nation's Crowd Size vs. Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally

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Via Instapundit comes this animated comparison of the crowds at Glenn Beck's 8/28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial vs. this past Saturday's One Nation Working Together event at the same location:

The creator of the image at Verum Serum above notes that left-wing sites such as Crooks & Liars are reporting that the One Nation rally drew a bigger crowd than the Beck one.

As somebody who was at both events (and took in the crowds at both from the stages on or near the steps of memorial), there's no question in my mind that the Beck rally drew a much larger crowd. I'd say the One Nation audience was somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 as big as the one for Restoring Honor.

With that basic statement out, let me add two provisos:

1. Basically any time you're estimating a crowd that is bigger than what can be counted by an individual in his head, you're whistling in the dark. Crowd estimates, which the U.S. Park Service stopped giving out for DC events after squabbles over how many people actually attended the Million Man March way back when, are incredibly loosey-goosey to begin with and subject to all sorts of distortion. Indeed, even the image above is questionable since it's impossible to know when the comparison photos were taken. Were they both taken at the high point of each rally, for instance? The One Nation rally was definitely slow to get moving but I think I saw more folks in the upper-left-hand quadrant of the pic than seem to be there above. Having said that, I do stand by my guesstimate of 1/3 to 1/2 of the Beck rally (another thing to consider is that the stage for the Beck rally was set up closer to the reflecting pool, whereas the One Nation folks had a lot of seating on the steps and area in front of the reflecting pool itself).

2. Does size really matter in the first place? For instance, the Crooks & Liars post linked to above crows in its headline, "Here's Your Enthusiasm Gap: One Nation Rally Draws More Attendees Than Beck's "Whitestock." Well, if you're banking on the size of the crowd showing something, then you're shit out of luck, One Nationers. There's no doubt that the Beck rally drew an overwhelmingly white crowd but it also clearly drew a far bigger crowd. As important from an "enthusiasm gap" POV, I didn't see any of the top-down coordination at Restoring Honor that was everywhere at One Nation – as my Reason.tv colleagues and I were leaving the event, there were four or five National Education Association chartered buses being filled with teachers who doubtlessly attended One Nation in a fit of spontaneous coordination. There were buses of course at the Beck rally, but there didn't seem to much or any of the union-type organized turnout that was everywhere at One Nation. The uniform du jour at Restoring Honor were American flag T-shirts of various makes and models; it was definitely work-related T-shirts at One Nation.

Having said that, while the One Nation crowd was clearly smaller, it was in many ways more focused. This was an explicitly political rally after all, where Restoring Honor was not. The folks in attendance were explicitly exhorted to vote for Democrats and to turn out on November 2. The action item (sorry) of the Beck rally was far less clear. There was massive discontent with mostly Democratic pols, but the message from the stage was more about self-improvement than anything else. It's quite possible that One Nation will generate more votes than Restoring Honor.

Reason.tv's coverage of the One Nation rally, including Q&A with Jesse Jackson, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, and Charles Rangel, is below on Hit & Run (click on the hyperlink).

Our coverage of the Beck rally:

And go here for ruminations a week after the Beck rally.

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    1. Doesn’t even approach how much trash the mob left after the 20th anniversary celebration of Earth Day. Been a long time now but I think that haul of trash was something like 180 tons.

    2. That is amazing. After all of the embarrassing photographs of the aftermath of the inauguration, they had to have known their enemies were waiting to embarrass them again. Yet, they still couldn’t pick up after themselves. At some point you have to wonder if maybe those photographs do say something important about these people.

      1. It’s not in the NEA or SEIU contracts to pick up after themselves. That’s somebody elses job.

        1. I bet some attendees started picking up the litter when the Janitor’s Union Shop Steward started yelling “That’s not in the contract! That’s not in the contract!”

        2. They have to make work for their union brothers.

    3. More rightwing propaganda.

  1. “It ain’t the meat; it’s the motion.”

    1. of course size matters…

  2. I think you can probably find a bigger crowd of people strolling around down there on any warm spring weekend in DC.

    1. Same thing I was thinking as I was making my way down a trail near the reflecting pool taking video of the ‘crowd’. Took about 45 min. to walk from Lincoln Memorial to Washington Monument base (about 0.8 mile), including 2 stops to let Socialists and one LaRouche worker give their pitches, stops to pan the empty areas of the site, etc. The “Freedom Socialists” don’t like comparisons to Libertarians.

  3. the Beck rally drew an overwhelmingly white crowd

    I thought racial profiling was bad. Sometimes it’s good? Anyway, it’s getting harder and harder to determine an individual American’s genetic makeup. Valerie Jarrett, The Third Most Evil Woman in America?, was on Morning Joe this morning, and she’s almost as pink as Newt Gingrich. I think we could stop all the guessing by wearing government-issued uniforms based on our official census classifications. It would make life a whole lot easier for everybody.

    1. Yeah. That Sanchez guy that CNN fired looks as white as anyone. Intermarriage is a real bitch for the race counters.

      1. Remember, Hispanic isn’t a race, but an ethnicity. There are Mexicans who are white as can be, almost all Spanish ancestry– they tend to be richer and stay in the country rather than coming to the US. In general, and it’s certainly not absolute, there’s a correlation in most of Latin America between having more European blood and being wealthier.

        1. “There are Mexicans who are white as can be, almost all Spanish ancestry– they tend to be richer and stay in the country rather than coming to the US.”

          This is a key point. What we conceive of as the “usual mexian” are the poorer ones who tend to be of more black and native american deccent. But thats not all mexicans.

          A similar dynamic exists with our conception of the typical italian being a short darker skilled, dark hair plump guy. That’s not all Italians, thats just what southern italians tend to look like and southern italians were the poor ones who tended to immigrate here. If you go to Milan, they look like germans.

          1. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

        2. Re: John Thacker,

          […] they [white Mexicans of Spanish/European ancestry] tend to be richer and stay in the country rather than coming to the US.

          Not anymore, they don’t, thanks to YOUR criminal War On Drugs:

          http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6300615.html

          1. The War On Drugs may have made drug trafficing very lucrative for the drug cartels of Mexico, but it sure as hell isn’t what turned them into vicious savages. That would more likely be something in their cultural makeup. Even if drugs were completely legal, they would have found other illicit business in which to engage – kidnapping for example.

      2. Sanchez is Cuban- meaning either all Spanish, or black. No Cuban mestizos, because the Indians there were all wiped out early on.

  4. Enough with the wild animated gifs already. Dancing cows and sparkling Palins and disappearing protesters. It’s all too much!

  5. If you look at the shadows of the trees, it suggests the pictures were not taken at the same time of the day. Of course a month further into autumn also lowers the position of the sun.

    1. I think it is the sun being lower in the sky in October versus August.

    2. Also, check out all the extra shooters on the grassy knoll. I smell a coverup.

    3. Re: Jerry,

      If you look at the shadows of the trees, it suggests the pictures were not taken at the same time of the day.

      Look at the shadows from the fountain sprouts – they are about the same size, slightly smaller in the On Nation pic, but shows they were taken around the same time. There’s also clearly cloud coverage during the 8/28 as there was a hurricane looming over DC a couple hundred miles away, so the pic looks slightly darker (as if taken at a “later” time.)

      The pics are clearly convincing, but not suprising: Only Kim Il Jong, Fidel and Mao can gather crowds bigger than that, with equal amounts of “persuation” as used by the Unions.

    4. The is facing West and if the sun was pictured it would be on the left. There is a slight shift in the E/W angle of the shadows…perhaps 1hr maybe 2hrs tops.
      If I were to guess I’d say the 8/28 picture was taken between 11AM and Noon, and the 10/2 picture between Noon and 1PM.

      1. I’m thinking 2:00-3:00 PM. The front of the Lincoln Memorial is in shadow.

    5. The rallies also started at different times. I believe the pics were both taken at their respective start times.

  6. EPIC FAIL!

    or, in the words of Nelson Muntz:

    HA!-HA!

  7. The One Nation “Tragedy Of The Commons” advocates (i.e. socialists) left the place a pigsty.

    http://www.examiner.com/conser…..-aftermath

    http://www.dakotavoice.com/201…..eir-rally/

  8. Perhaps Glenn Beck is simply smart enough not to schedule an event during football season.

    1. That is actually a very clever observation.

      A charity I work with has a fund raising event every year. Since the event is always a Saturday night in the fall, we do take into account the University of Maryland’s football schedule in our planning.

      1. Based on their more recent performance, I would say you’ve got nothing to worry about.

        Also, if you have an all-you-can-eat buffet at any of your events, I’d say it’s a wise decision to hold them during MD football games to minimize the chance Friedgen may show up and force you into insolvency.

  9. It takes an unbelievable amount of dishonesty to claim the One Nation rally was bigger. But they lie to us about everything, so it’s certainly no surprise that they’d try.

    1. First off, I want to state that we had a great event and it was so much bigger than Beck’s.

      You people need to understand, we told all of our people to wear green clothes to show that we care about the earth. Those people were not visible in your picture because the green hues they donned tend to blend in with the natural color of the grass.
      Second, because of evil corporations polluting the atmosphere, the ozone layer over DC has become depleted to the point that we told our attendees to get under the trees as much as possible. They were so excited to do something right to show how the evil corporate interests have damaged the atmosphere, they not only crowded under the trees, but everyone who did also had somebody sitting on their shoulders. Finally, and I know a lot of you never knew this about our group, we are swimmers, and it being such a nice day, many of us took to the reflecting pool to stay fit while the rally went on. Unfortunately, there was only one sporting goods store around with wetsuits and swim caps, and they were all the same blue-green as the water in the pool appears in photos from a high altitude. There were so many people in the pool that they had to stand shoulder to shoulder and since their caps and wetsuits are the same color as the water (duh), they don’t show up in the photos.

      We have digitally enhanced our own photography of the event and with the above facts in mind, we have placed our attendance at an estimate of between seven and twenty million people. Unfortunately, those photos and all negatives were destroyed in a bizarre overexposure due to exposure to sunlight and will be unavailable to the public.

      Without these facts taken into consideration, I can see how one might think the Beck rally had more attendees than ours had. It’s not that difficult to rally a bunch of hateful, sycophant-worshiping people to DC for a rally. Ours, on the other hand, was full of the people that make up the fabric of this great nation. Union reps, community organizers, race leaders and advocates for other minority groups descended on the mall to show America what it needs.

      1. I just felt bad that nobody responded to your overly sarcastic post. Hi.

        1. It was not overly sarcastic. At all. Nope.

  10. Now we know why the site’s called “Crooks and Liars.”

  11. It’s the Fuhrer bunker syndrome, the left are all huddled it their leftist enclaves wait for the rescue that will never come. Where is Steiner?

  12. I started to read the NYT magazine cover story on Beck yesterday and got far enough in to learn that, contrary to what most viewers, myself inclluded, believe, he is 6’2″. So I bet he is packing.

    Meanwhile, here is another comparison, on how the One Nation peeps left the Mall: http://directorblue.blogspot.c…..youll.html

  13. There’s a great article in the New York Times a while back on the scandal of crowd estimates for concerts on the great lawn in Central Park. Turns out the estimation method is 1) stick hand up ass 2) pull out number

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07…..f=nyregion

  14. I live in Fairfax county. Beck’s rally absolutely destroyed our traffic for the day (66 was backed up well beyond the beltway.) I didn’t even know that there was a rally going last Saturday.

    1. Cuz the Becksters all drove SUVs, RVs and Cadillacs and the OneNationers all rode bikes?

      (or as was mentioned in the article, all came in a on 5 buses).

  15. Funny how things change – like statues disappearing …

  16. It’s dishonest rubbish to insist “we can’t know” which rally was bigger without time-stamped photos. Because what we DO know for sure is that at SOME time on August 28, Beck filled up that whole great lawn on the left.

    And also what we DO know is that there isn’t a SINGLE picture from the One Nation rally showing the same thing — not one! There were thousands and thousands of people there, and not one of them thought to take a picture of the lawn? And when you go to the One Nation official website, all they have is a close up of the crowd at the speaker’s area — why is that?

  17. Watched the 2 videos.

    Thank you at reason for visited, so we didn’t have to. What a bunch of morons.

    Like the lefty politician claiming that they (right wingers, conservatives, I guess) are trying to ‘change the country’ by opposing all the stuff the lefties want. Uhhh, no, it YOU lefties who are trying to change the country.

  18. FWIW I went down to the Mall on Saturday to check out the scene and snapped a number of pics you can see here:

    http://togetrichisglorious.blo…..rally.html

    1. Excellent pics. There’s no way the rally organizers can say the socialist groups (or the trash they left behind) were not ubiquitous.

  19. I’d say the difference in crowd size is multifactoral:
    1. Beck’s group takes up more room with the giant beer coolers, barbecues, stadium chairs (with beer holder) giant screen TV’s (and accompanying generators).
    2. Conservatives are much bigger than liberals. Made up statistics indicate that the average conservative (or however you would characterize a Beck supporter) weighs 267 pounds – the average liberal weights 97 pounds.
    3. Many vegan feminists of the liberal bent are so skinny that if you look at them sideways, they are too narrow to reflect light.
    4. On the other hand, many of the ‘earth mothers’ are so fat and hairy that they were mistaken for bears.
    5. Ninja’s, due to their excellent hiding techniques, are always undercounted, and accounts for the total lack of concern regarding ninja issues in Washington.

  20. I wonder how many the john stewart/steven colbert rally will draw.

    1. Unless campus organizers pay for a shitload of busses for transportation, food, and accommodations, I’d say very few.

  21. Nick was there, so I’d go with his guess over mine, but judging by these photos it is way more than triple the crowd. My yanked from the butt estimate is that the crowd on the left lawn is as big as the central crowd. Also yanked from the butt is my estimate that based on the central reflecting pool only, the Beck crowd is double or triple the size of the lefty crowd. Then you’ve got the overage under the trees to the right that you can pick up in spots. My yanked from the butt number would be at least 6 times more people at the Beck rally, if indeed these two photos are representative of the peak crowds.

    That being said, about 25 years ago I attended a 4th of July concert on the lawn by the Washington Monument that had at least 4 times the crowd of these two combined. So I guess Joan Jett is the true “great leader”….

  22. I was going to comment that perhaps the photo taken at one nation was much earlier in the morning. But then I realize that the photos are taken facing west and the memorial is in shadow, so it must have been late afternoon. While the Beck rally seems to have been midday.

    Though perhaps the One Nation rally was taken after the crowd had mostly dispersed?

    1. It ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT MATTER when the 10/2 rally picture was taken, because if there was a SINGLE picture showing the great lawn on the left anything but EMPTY it would be posted at the organizers’ site and all over the internet.

      Case closed!

  23. Oh, how I wish the rally had been bigger… but at least some of my people were there.

    1. Hey. I wan’t my lawnmower back,deadbeat.

  24. Indeed, even the image above is questionable since it’s impossible to know when the comparison photos were taken. Were they both taken at the high point of each rally, for instance?

    Yes.

  25. Hmmm. Maybe that is a good working definition.

    A person who expects a generic “someone else” to clean up after him is a slob.

    A person who expects Mom to clean up after him is a kid.

    A person who expects the government to clean up after him is a leftist.

    Did I miss anyone?

  26. I’m starting to get annoyed at this “primarily white crowds” crap. Most Americans are white. Get used to it. You might debate its significance, but not its basic truth. We are constantly bombarded with crowing “progressive” claims that by such-and-such a date whitey will be a minority in America. But keep it in your pants, big boy, that certainly hasn’t happened yet. And it probably won’t. The claim depends on the contentious assertion that the population can be divided into “blacks,” “whites,” and a mythical “brown” race. But there ain’t no such thing as a brown race. In my area, Mexican and Central American immigrants, both legal and illegal, are overwhelmingly as white as I am, and that’s pretty white. For that matter, that’s also true of the other “brown” race, those immigrating from the Middle East. Caucasians, from first to last, like Muhammad himself. Our Dravidian immigrants from the Indus and Ganges valleys are a different matter, but they don’t count as black or brown, they get lumped in with “Asian.” (I personally prefer to think of them as “American” but I’m afraid I’m in the minority there.)

    Any crowd selected randomly from the American population will be mostly white. If it isn’t, there’s some factor skewing the racial mix – maybe some New Black Panthers slinging clubs and insulting the “snow” at the doorway.

  27. It’s quite possible that One Nation will generate more votes than Restoring Honor.

    Well yeah, if you include all the dead people that are gonna vote because 8 states haven’t cleaned up their voter roles. Because it’s racist to require ID for an election in the free world.

  28. It’s quite possible that One Nation will generate more votes than Restoring Honor.

    Dang WhiskeyJim. Ya beat me to it.

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