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Friday, April 17, 2009
WND Promotes Inflated Tea Party Attendance Figures
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 17 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi and Chelsea Schilling begins: "An estimated 1 million Americans participated in at least 1,000 tea parties, according to reports by organizers tabulating the nationwide numbers, with documented protests held in 50 states." But nobody they quote in their article offers any solid evidence to back up the numbers.

Corsi and Schilling quote one organizer as saying, "I would estimate it at over 1 million. I'm waiting on more numbers to come in from organizers right now. I can tell you it is absolutely over 750,000 right now." But it's clear that all attendance estimates are coming from the organizers themselves -- who would be prone to inflate their numbers in order to help their cause -- and have not been independently verified.

Indeed, the organizer's claim appears to be contradicted by an Americans for Tax Reform blog entry noted by Corsi and Schilling, which at this writing has counted only 360,495 tea party attendees. Like the organizer's count, these too are self-reported and vulnerable to inflation.

For example, Corsi and Schilling report that "as many as 10,000 protesters" attended a rally in Sacramento, Calif., a number also reported by ATR. But according to the San Francisco Chronicle: "While the California Highway Patrol does not make official crowd estimates, CHP Sgt. Steve Stone said the Sacramento gathering appeared to be around 5,000."

Unsurpringly, since it would contradict their agenda, neither ATR or Corsi and Schilling acknowledge the existence of the lower number.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EDT

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