Like clockwork, here come the comical Tea Party crowd estimates

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

An endless source of amusement, indeed.

On Wednesday it was Sarah Palin speaking in Boston. And here's how Politico described the crowd [emphasis added]:

Unlike their namesake, Palin's estimated 3,000 tea party activists rallied in the light of day, backed by well-funded and media savvy organization that in a year has turned a scattered grassroots movement into a well-oiled fundraising and headline grabbing machine.

From the AP:

Addressing roughly 5,000 people, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee accused President Barack Obama of overreaching with his $787 billion stimulus program.

Oy, that number is rather underwhelming, considering Palin is supposed to be the rock star of the Tea Party movement. After all, the Boston metro has a population of about 5 million people. And there may have been some high school football games played in Massachusetts last year that attracted a bigger crowd than Palin's rally.

So what are right-wing bloggers to do? What's their job in this situation? Simple: Make stuff up. And, day in and day out, who makes up more stuff than anybody else? Yep, Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft:

SARAH PALIN Rallies Tea Party Patriots in Boston ...Update: 13,000-16,000 At Rally

How's that for priceless. Oh, and who was Hoft's source for the wildly inflated number? A right-wing Boston radio host:

Ken Pittman called to say that police told him that there were 13,000-16,000 patriots at the rally today - By far the largest conservative rally he's been to in Boston.

It's funny, because according to other media reports, the Boston police specifically did not provide any kind of official crowd estimate for the Palin rally. But somehow a right-wing radio host was able to get an estimate from the police, and one that nearly quadrupled the best media guess of the crowd size.

Keep in mind that even Boston Tea Party organizers only claimed 10,000 people showed up. And we all know that rally organizers of all stripes always claim more people showed up than actually did. But we're supposed to believe that the Boston police estimated 6,000 more people attended the rally than even promoters were claiming.

I don't buy it.

Especially when bloggers like Hoft have such a sturdy record of lying about crowd sizes.

UPDATED: Behold how the dubious police estimate quickly morphed into right-wing fact. Honestly, there's nothing these people won't fabricate.

UPDATED: From the Boston Globe:

Yesterday's crowd of 6,000, estimated by a Boston park ranger, was much larger than the gathering of about 400 that showed up for last year's tea party rally.

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