Updated: 9/12 Attendance Issues Addressed
Final Update: It's now clear that someone circulated an image that was not from 9/12, labeling it as such. The reality as it stands regarding any legitimate count might be best summed up here. Whatever it was, it was huge. What are completely relevant in this post are the details around the crowd estimates at the inauguration of Barack Obama. Despite incredible national focus and a desire to establish a fully definitive, non-controversial final count, that was never achieved. At various times projections and reports of the actual crowd for that event ranged from 4 – 5 million to 800 thousand.
Update 4: A relevant bit but I won't claim it as definitive. Stacy was there when I got to DC. I took a cab for the last leg and had to be dropped-off blocks up. The mark we are looking at seems to be Constitution Ave from the Google aerial view of the area. It does seem to me the crowd did go that far up toward the monument. Unfortunately, I can't use that as absolute proof. I wasn't thinking in these terms at the time, or I would have noted it with a photo. I am fairly comfortable standing by my conclusion given the metric image (that 9/12 was equivalent to LBJ's event), though the image I use now is said to be from Promise Keepers. I'm adding my personal observations on the ground, of course. But I can't put those forth as absolute proof. I simply wasn't making the type of mental note of the end of the crowd to do that. But I did personally walk up past it just off to the side from that precise direction, as I've said.
Update 3: Also see the bottom image here posted by Darleen Glick at PW.
Update 2: I'm thinking the image came via email from another blogger. Looking into that. But I would also refer you to the image here of 9/12.
Update: Just got back and some are suggesting the base image is for the Promise Keepers event. Two things: If so, than someone is playing games, as it was circulating as 9/12. I realize that doesn't make it so and am checking into it. But another important caveat. I was at the event and came well after it started. I walked up through that area, only off the side. It is why I took the image I did here. It seemed to me that the crowd easily went back that far. However, not being an aerial shot, I can't suggest that my image is proof. I'll be looking into it immediately. Thanks.
This post should go a long way to silencing the liberal critics on the 9/12 attendance issue. It won't, as logic is irrelevant. But read it all and you be the judge.
To be candid up front, it would take one final bit of analysis from this below to fully resolve any 9/12 attendance disputes. The spacing of the people makes a difference. Also, please keep these other issues below in mind. Pay attention liberals, as if that would help. Damned school systems you and the unions have run down.
For the Left blasting the Michelle Malkin's and others on the Right, including me – get over it. The attendance at Obama's inaugural was initially projected to be from 4 – 5 million. It never came close.
Officials are casting doubt on an early projection that 4 million to 5 million people could jam downtown Washington on Inauguration Day, saying it is more likely that the crowd will be about half that size.
Two point five million? Yeah, right.
After that laugh-er, the initial announcement indicated 2 million people, … only it wasn't. Gee, I guess liberals don't do any better than conservatives in these situations, huh? But you wouldn't know that by the sound of the morons now.
The crowd at President Barack Obama’s inauguration topped 2 million — at least that figure was being reported Tuesday morning ….
But, but, b b b but …. it went down some more. Let's try 1.8 million.
About 1.8 million came to the city for the day’s inaugural events, according Leslie Kershaw, a spokeswoman for Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty. That estimate — 50 percent higher than the previous record — came from local and federal agencies in the Joint Operations Command Center, which was responsible for managing the crowd.
However, one important agency has been banned from weighing in, … because we know from the (ha ha) Million Man
Madness March fiasco, such numbers are always racist, you see.
The National Park Service, which was banned by Congress from releasing crowd estimates after controversy over its count of participants in the Million Man March in 1995, said it would not challenge the 1.8 million figure, according to the Washington Post.
But let's not stop there … let's get our full court boogie racist press on:
… but it seems to have been steadily shrinking.
As a rule, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reluctant to give crowd estimates, unless the turnout is a meaningful part of the story. The official Post-Dispatch policy is pretty simple: “Estimates always must be attributed to someone. If there is a dispute, both claims should be given.” That’s it. No definition of who “someone” is or what qualifies “someone” to estimate a crowd.
The Post-Dispatch’s lead story today put the crowd at “more than 1 million,” without attributing that figure. That breach of policy seemed permissible, since the “more than 1 million” phrase was being used widely and pretty much by all media.
In the commemorative Extra Edition the Post-Dispatch published Tuesday afternoon, the lead story stated: “A momentous crowd, estimated to be as high as 2 million people…..” Again, no source was given for the estimate. By evening, as this morning’s editions were being edited, we chose to use the more conservative “more than 1 million.”
Hold on, as it seems we're still not done yet.
“More than 1 million spectators convened on the National Mall to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office Tuesday, but it was unclear if the crowd surpassed the record thought to have been set at Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1965 inauguration.
“Though early estimates ranged as high as 2 million people, satellite images of Obama’s swearing-in suggested the crowd was probably about half that, said Clark McPhail, who has been analyzing crowds on the National Mall since the 1960s. ‘It was sparser than I thought,’ said McPhail, a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Illinois. ‘There were lots of open spaces.’”
“On Tuesday morning, the Washington Post initially cited security sources who put the crowd at 1.8 million.
“The Associated Press, which did its own analysis, estimated “more than 1 million.”
“The National Park Service has not done official estimates in more than a decade, complying with a congressional order to stop after a controversy over how many people attended the Million Man March in 1995. Estimates then varied from 400,000 to more than 1 million.
Back to here, again:
An item linked from the Romenesko media newsletter quotes an Arizona State University professor as saying the crowd didn’t even reach a million:
“An ASU journalism professor using satellite images calculated that 800,000 people attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.
“Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication professor Stephen Doig calculated the official inauguration crowd estimate after analyzing a GeoEye-1 satellite image shot at 11:19 a.m. from a height of 423 miles. GeoEye-1 is a military-controlled satellite.
“Doig said the image was taken 40 minutes before Obama’s swearing-in, but adjusted his estimation to include people who were still coming in before the swearing-in.
“‘The space-based image is fascinating because all the low-level shots make you think the crowd is much larger,’ Doig said. ‘You see the very dense clots of people in front of the Jumbotrons but then the wide open spaces elsewhere.’”
As it stands today, the generally accepted figure for Obama is a million plus.
Now, if you want to accept any of these numbers, say LBJ's for instance, then if the animated GIF below doesn't display correctly, click on it for the full image. One would be hard pressed to distinguish between the claim of 1.2 million for LBJ and the same for 9/12.
Bottom line? It looks to me as if about as many people who showed up to welcome Obama into the WH a mere 8 or so months ago showed up yesterday in a mood to throw him out. I would say American citizens, but one can never assume citizenship is involved when it comes to Obama voters. Let's just hope he qualifies as such!! heh!
The bottom layer is the 9/12 crowd. You'll see the metric chart fade in on top of it as it cycles through before starting over again. Click to enlarge.
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