Various conservative organizations have been saying TWO MILLION people marched on Washington D.C. and filled the Capitol Mall. Via Newsbusters.org, here is a link to a time-lapse video (which is itself via The Rhetorician).
The numbers don’t add up! The National Mall covers 309.2 acres. There are 43,560 square feet to an acre. So, there are 13,468,753 square feet. Stuff like buildings, monuments, and the reflecting pool coveraApproximately 2/3 of the mall. So now there are 4,489,584 square feet of open space.
If you figure it takes 5 square feet for a person to stand, breathe, and wave a stupid sign over their head (and the U.S. Park Service does), that means 897,916.8 people can cover the open space in the National Mall (the 0.8 person is probably Newt Gingrich). The Park Service itself says 1.17 million, probably because they figure about 25% of an American crowd will have a topless woman sitting on their shoulders.
Now, according to this chart you probably didn’t download, 2.1 million people can fit on the Mall if each takes-up no more than 2.5 square feet and none of them move – like at all. Also none of them could possibly be fat-assed obese Americans, or wave stupid signs that compare Obama to Hitler, or have the word “COMMIE NEGRO” scrawled on them in crayon.
So where did this incredibly inflated number come from? According to Fox News (people who know a thing or two about pumping air into statistics), it came from the Democrats! To quote the story:
“It looks like Saturday’s event is going to be a huge gathering, estimates ranging from hundreds of thousands to 2 million people,” Doug Thornell, an aide to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., wrote in a memo obtained by FOXNews.com.
But conservatives believe the memo is ploy* to inflate expectations for the turnout anticipating that it will fall short.
“It’s an old political tactic to get out in front and make wild projections and when they’re not met, claim their opponents don’t have the juice,” said Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union, one of the organizers of the rally.
(*Yes, is ploy by Moose and Squirrel)
Even Fox News won’t support these numbers, saying only “tens of thousands” attended the “Tea Party”. Which seems more likely, seeing as tea makes you want to piss, and if two million people all pissed at once in Washington D.C., you would think Congress was debating health care reform or something.