Examiner columnist repeats wildly inaccurate tea party protest number

Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

In her December 8 Washington Examiner column, Barbara Hollingsworth writes of the tea party movement:

The growing grass-roots movement will indeed destroy the political careers of many politicians who fail to heed the warning it delivered Sept. 12, when 1.7 million angry voters (according to a crowd estimate by Zac Moilanen of Indiana University) descended on Washington to say they were totally fed up with bailouts and stimulus packages, and want the country to return to its constitutional, limited-government roots.

But as Media Matters has detailed, Moilanen's estimate is somewhat less than authoritative. Moilanen, an undergrad studying East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana, cited such not-quite-unimpeachable sources as a Free Republic post and a message board to arrive at his crowd estimate.

In fact, the crowd size was much, much lower. Even Fox News -- a big promoter of the 9/12 rally -- concedes it was only in the "tens of thousands."

On the Right, it seems, a good falsehood never dies -- even after it's been repeatedly proven wrong, and especially when a deep-pocketed billionaire's money is financing it.

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