The reason I continue to be amazed by this almost pathological desire to lie about the crowd estimates is that the trend so clearly highlights how right-wing bloggers, as well as AM/Fox News talkers like Glenn Beck, literally cannot tell the truth about anything. Not even how many people attend their events.
I mean, I understand the desire to exaggerate since Tea Part turn-outs seems to be shrinking at an alarming rate. And sure, it's weird to be claiming that you're leading a national political movement that's changing the country, and yet you can't even get high school football-size crowds for rallies.
So yes, it's embarrassing. But what's actually more embarrassing is the chronic desire to lie about the crowds and to so blatantly make stuff without the slightest concern that the bogus claims will be easily debunked. This is a media and political movement that cannot tell the truth. About anything.
So here was the latest, courtesy of from Jim-I'm-making-stuff-up-as-quickly-as-I-can Hoft:
If you're familiar with Hoft's history of comical Tea Party crowd estimates, you know right off the bat, without doing any research, that you could cut that figure in half and it would still be inflated and too high. It's automatic that Hoft is making up the 1,000-person figure. It's a given.
And what do you know. You click around the Internet and you discover, via the invaluable St. Louis Activist Hub, that not even organizers for the Warren County Tea Party claimed 1,000 people showed up. The highest they were willing to go was 600. But rally organizers always inflate their official counts. So were there even 600 "patriots" in attendance?
Not likely. Go check out the photos and video St. Louis Activist Hub found online of the Tea Party event. Best estimate in terms of the crowd? I'd say 300. Maybe 400 tops. (Did I mention attendance for Tea Party rallies is disintegrating?)
But of course the facts don't matter here because people like Hoft just make stuff up, which in turn allows his readers to feel good about themselves and about how wildly popular the Tea Party movement is. Of course, nothing Hoft writes about Tea Party crowds is true. In fact, I think readers depend on him to concoct crazy crowd estimates.
Nonetheless, the mindless charade does provide a window into how the right-wing blogosphere today is built to manufacture and spread misinformation, and very little else.