~Now, all that said, I feel I must say something.
~I like to watch Glenn Beck, on Fox News every afternoon. While some people think he is on the "extreme" end of things, I actually agree with most of what he says. He's been talking about his "Restoring Honor" event(which took place on Aug 28) for months, and I was intrigued by the idea since he didn't really say what it was going to be about. I wished I could attend, but traveling just wasn't in the budget this summer.
Knowing what I know about Glenn, I knew it would be a good event, whether it was political or inspirational or religious. I did watch the entire event on C-SPAN(unlike some people who criticized and are criticizing the event), and was overwhelmed by what I saw. It was not political, aside from a few little jokes, and the fact that some people carried "Don't Tread On Me" flags. While those flags are currently popular among Tea-partiers, they are historical, and not really all that "political". It was very inspirational, making many references to Martin Luther King Jr, as the event was held on the anniversary of his great speech. It was definitely religious, as speakers prayed, and preached, and a terrific choir sang. Sarah Palin spoke of being the mother of a soldier, and honored several other servicemen. The event benefitted the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, to the tune of 5.5 million dollars.
I know that the detractors of the event claimed it was "racist" because it was being held on the anniversary of MLK's speech, and saying that the people there would be "mostly white". Not true. There were many different ethnicities represented, and not a whiff of racism in any of the speeches or prayers or music.
They also claimed there wouldn't be many people there. Glenn made a joke near the beginning of the event about that; he said that he had received word from the media, that there were "at least 1,000 people here!" Later, the airspace of the capital was violated by someone in a helicopter, who did a flyover to get an aerial shot of the crowd. I'll bet that pilot got in some trouble(as he/she should; the airspace is restricted for a reason). I was curious about what the "mainstream" media was saying about the crowd size, so I did a little research, visiting some websites I don't visit often....
I started with Fox, since I have that one bookmarked. On Saturday, the article I found said "thousands" of people were there. Today I found this article that also says "thousands" and "huge crowds":
And this one that says "tens of thousands" and "vast" in reference to the crowd:
Late on Saturday night, on tv, a Fox host amended that estimate to "about 500,000", but as far as I can see, they haven't corrected it online.
Next I went to CNN. There I found these numbers/descriptions:
This one says "a crowd that stretched six blocks down the National Mall" and quoted other networks' estimates but didn't commit to an estimate of their own:
This one says "tens of thousands" and "big" and copies the previous link in not committing to an estimate:
After those wimpy(oops, did I type that out loud?) reports, I jumped in with both feet. With my eye-bleach handy, I went to MSNBC.
This one was thoroughly uncomplimentary, as I expected, but didn't commit to any estimate:
I thought I had seen an estimate there on Saturday, but I don't see it now, so I can't link it. Either way, it was another low number, of course.
After that I went to CBS.
This article says "87,000":
This one quotes Glenn as saying there were "a minimum of 500,000" but then goes on to contradict his estimate with the same estimate they used in the previous link:
Hmm...what's left, ABC? Okay, then, over to ABC we go...Ahhh, finally one with an estimate higher than the others; "more than 100,000", although the headline says simply "thousands":
And, even better, here's one that says "hundreds of thousands" in the subtitle, but again just "thousands" in the article:
Okay, I've had enough of trolling "news" sites for the numbers. You get the idea. In general, all of the major "news" outlets put out numbers ranging from "thousands" or "big"(that one makes me laugh; it's so descriptive!) to "hundreds of thousands".
Glenn Beck himself said that he estimated the crowd as "between 300,000 and 650,000".
Another site(not a "mainstream" site) I frequent has said there were a million there, but I am not sure about that, even though they were actually there and talked to people who have experience at crowd-counting and crowd-control. I don't claim to have an accurate count; I'm simply pointing out how the so-called "mainstream media" is either downplaying the numbers or demonizing the message, and in some cases both. Remember I mentioned that helicopter that violated the restricted airspace for a photo? Here's the photo, courtesy of Fox. Judge for yourself; which media outlet(s) is/are telling the whole truth?
One last thought: When the attendees of the "Restoring Honor" rally left the National Mall, it was cleaner than when they arrived...unlike the attendees of an inauguration that took place January 20, 2009.