New York Times helps inflate Tea Party numbers

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

This is just wrong [emphasis added]:

Six hundred advocates had gathered for the convention at the Gaylord Opryland here, a small fraction of the millions that Tea Party advocates say turned out for protests over the last year.

Really, according to Tea Party advocates, millions of people took part in protests within the last year, and the Times has no problem reprinting that is fact? So what, is it like 4 million who have protested over the last year? Eight million? Fourteen million?

I'd sure love to know, because I don't see proof that any "milliions" have participated in Tea Party protests over the last year. We all remember that at their largest event last September in Washington, D.C., advocates claimed 2 million people protested. But in the end that estimate was off by roughly 1.9 million. (Oops!)

So if the biggest Tea Party even drew approximately 60,000 people, and most of the other very, very large events attracted say 10,000 people, that means that either A) the Tea Party movement hosted hundreds and hundreds of huge, five-figure events that I never heard about in order to reach the "millions" tally, or B) Tea Party advocates are, once again, making up numbers.

I'll go with B. And given the Tea Party's history of lying about the size of their protests, you'd think the Times would think twice before reprinting Tea Party claims as fact.

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