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CBS News' laughable estimate of 87,000 at Glenn Beck rally

Glenn Beck speaks at the Restoring Honor rally.
Glenn Beck speaks at the Restoring Honor rally.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As we have come to expect from the mainstream media when estimating the crowds at conservative events, the CBS Evening News tonight stated that their own independent analysis indicates an attendance of 87,000 at the Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington today.


Excuse me, but there is but one word to describe such a completely inaccurate and laughable estimate.


While admitting that the crowd was the largest at the National Mall since Barack Obama's inauguration, CBS nonetheless showed its blatant bias by grossly underestimating the attendance at the rally.

While watching the TV camera crews scan the throngs of people it became clear as to why the estimate was so low.  CBS apparently failed to notice that beyond the large fountain on the mall, around which there were probably 87,000 people, there was an entire area on the other side of the trees where at least another 500,000 or more were gathered.

This is the photo that shows the large throngs of people, to the left of the area around the fountain.  Note the number of people to the left as compared to those who are gathered around the water.

What, exactly, is the point?

This goes far beyond nitpicking.  This is about accuracy, the death of journalism, the blatant bias of the mainstream media, and the willingness of major news outlets to attempt to minimize the impact of the Tea Parties, conservatives, and Patriots such as Glenn Beck.

The very same thing happened last year when several mainstream media outlets reported that the national Tea Party protest in Washington drew a mere 30-50,000 people.  Even the most conservative estimates concluded that the gathering numbered over 100,000 at the very least, and the most accurate estimates came from newspapers in the U.K., which stated the event likely drew over 1.2 million.

And, with the talking heads of the major networks, such as Andrea Mitchell and Katie Couric, are caught red-handed making highly partisan comments that are critical conservatives in public, it has become all too clear that the reason Americans are turning away from watching the 3 network news broadcasts is that they can no longer depend on them to tell the truth.

Be sure to catch my blog at The Liberty Sphere.


  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    To be fair, it was not CBS that said there was 87,000 people there. It was that gave out that number and they are not a partisan group, they do this for a living including doing work for a lot of conservative companies- you can see the list of clients on their site. Hopefully they will explain how they came to that number.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    You're better at crowd estimating than the people who estimate the size of crowds for a living. Riiight.

  • Anthony G. Martin 4 years ago

    In this case, yes, I am. I will put my numbers up against theirs any day of the week.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    The crowd estimator works for an independent organisation which specializes in estimating crowd sizes. You're a conservative, want this rally to be huge, and have what expertise on judging crowd numbers?

    Sorry, but the other guy has much, much more credit on this topic.

  • Ryan Witt - Political Buzz Examiner 4 years ago

    Gotta go with the non-partisan estimate for now. You at least have to give some sort of scientific basis for your number Anthony. "I am right they are wrong" is not convincing me right now.

  • lynntn 4 years ago

    Anonymous? Give me a break, you are an outright left winger. So obvious, don't try to hide your elitist bias!!! You need glasses if you can't see the huge numbers that turned out for Beck, Palin's Restoring Honor Rally!!

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    "This goes far beyond nitpicking. This is about accuracy, the death of journalism, the blatant bias of the mainstream media, and the willingness of major news outlets to attempt to minimize the impact of the Tea Parties, conservatives, and Patriots such as Glenn Beck.'

    Dude, you take yourself and Beck way too seriously. Beck is a clown, performing for the weak minded, the racists, and ignorant religious conservatives.

    Ask yourself, why would anyone take a partisan hack like yourself seriously?

  • Tazana Jane 4 years ago

    Poster, AND who gives a whit about infant drool. Too much pot to form something worthy other than "racism" oooOHHHHH, who cares anymore about this meaningless word.
    Does it FRIGHTEN you so much that your trite instant silly infant low IQ respose says Racism, *BORING* tired robotic limp rhetoric Marxist children are taught to shout. Meaningless jibberish. . AND , oh my gosh, "Religious" folks, . You must hang with smelly unwashed criminals felons, , cheaters, thiefs,, low minded dunces that do not offer anything worthwhile for society. Tear it all down man. I'd rather be in the company of Religious, God fearing decent folks anyday. I'm on their team. Get used to the HUGE numbers of supporters of this Take Back America Movement. GO Glen Beck!

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    This is the problem when people say stuff like there was 1 million and a half people there, that number was so overblown it was unbelievable, so when a non-vested company comes along and says "this is the real number", obviously people will take them more seriously. I think there probably was more than 87k there, but there were NOT a million or a million and a half. There were not even as many as the 1963 rally from the pictures available and that was 300-350k. Wait for the numbers of the Subway people, they will give a clue as to how many people took the Subway to the event and that will give an accurate estimate as well.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    You guys bashing this guy have obviously not taken a look at the picture. But then why would you? You're obviously liberals who will never let the truth stand in the way of a story.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Refuting statements with facts constitutes bashing now? I have looked at the picture. You know who else has? The crowd estimating company. I'm open to different claims, but don't just say "This is wrong, I know this.", and come with proof.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    You have no 'facts' numbskull.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Now THAT would be bashing.

    Here's one; Fact is, the experts on the topic estimate there were 87.000 people.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Look at the picture in this article. Then look at the picture used by one of the men to do the estimate-- it demonstrates that the author of this article is factually incorrect in saying that the estimation missed the people beyond the trees.

    I seriously doubt this estimator would lie. His estimates of various events have supported both the right and the left at various times. Additionally, he does this for a living. Why would he destroy his own income?

    I am left with the conclusion that the author of the above article has no idea of what he's talking about. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as to whether he is outright lying or not.

    This is not bashing. I am not on either side here-- I just favor logic and truth over politics.

  • DanB 4 years ago

    "CBS Evening News tonight stated that their own independent analysis indicates an attendance of 87,000..."

    Wrong again, Anthony. But your readers are used to that.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    CBS did not estimate the crowd. They hired a non-partisan firm to do that.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Hey, don't pick on CBS.

    CBS suffers from clouded vision, blind love & devotion for Obama.
    They cannot possibly see beyond their contempt of this rally.

    It's not nice to pick on those who are handicapped.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Read the comment above yours.

  • Anthony G. Martin 4 years ago

    You numbskulls think I am naive enough to believe that firm is 'nonpartisan?' Lots of highly partisan outfits claim to be 'nonpartisan,' as does that joke of a 'new' organization, CBS.

    In addition, if they hired the company to do the work for them, then they speak for CBS if the network reports the estimate. It is a simple concept. Those I hire to speak for me carry the full weight as my own words.

    One other thing, I never said this event had 1.5 million. I said upwards of a million, probably be between 500,000 and 750,000 or more. I think that aerial photos will prove this to be the case.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    I for one believe you because you're totally objective and qualified to make an estimate.

  • Snark 4 years ago

    Learn when to back down - and at least wait until you have hard data to back your argument, Martin. You can't decide a respected company is suddenly partisan just because you don't like their answer.

    I'd need a much better photo than what you linked to in order to make an accurate estimate, but based on previous crowd photos my guess would be in the 100,000 range, plus or minus about 30 percent.

  • Anthony G. Martin 4 years ago

    I can decide whatever I want because I have a mind, I have eyes, I have the power of independent examination and deduction, and I say with all certainty that this outfit is either WRONG or they are LYING...and so are you.

  • Anthony G. Martin 4 years ago

    Alright, Snark, I apologize for saying you lied. I simply disagree with you about this issue. I simply don't see how any organization can, with a straight face, claim that only 87,000 people were at that rally. Something doesn't add up.

  • Snark 4 years ago

    Like I said, find better photos and maybe we can do a better estimate.

    But based on that small one you linked, I wouldn't dispute anything between about 70,000 and 130,000 or so - but nowhere near 300-500k in THAT photo.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    "One other thing, I never said this event had 1.5 million. I said upwards of a million, probably be between 500,000 and 750,000 or more."

    The phrase "upwards of..." is equivalent to "more than". 1.5 million is "upwards of" one million, 750K is not.

    Even if you choose the non-typical meaning of "nearly", the 25-50% gap you suggested is not "nearly" -- that would be "nowhere close to...".

    Please make up your mind.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Look at the companies clients, seriously. Aerial photos were taken by this firm who does this every day for dozens of clients, you look at that list of clients and tell me that they are going to destroy their reputation with all those other and possible future clients for ONE job with CBS. Really? And there are a LOT of people saying there were 1 to 1.5 Million- look at Drudge to start. Look at the photos of the 63 King rally (300,000)- that was when they actually did official numbers, or the million man march- (600-700K) and the inauguration (800,000-1 million) and tell me that there are more people at THIS rally than either of those two. There is no way. Just be honest and admit that maybe there were NOT as many as you think.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    The officers on duty there say at least 350,000 ppl, but probably more. I was there. There were people all the way back to the monument! We were so far back we could hardly hear the speakers. Stop the hatred and the slander! People stood up today in unity! For the restoration of America the way our founding fathers established it! It was/is a beautiful thing that excluded no one, but embraced faith, hope & charity. It also honored our soldiers and MLK Jr's message. A truly wonderful, peaceful & positive event!

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    you must of taken tons of us the ones with all the minorities.

  • JR Bailey Casper Public Policy Examiner 4 years ago

    What a boob!

    "Show us the pictures with the minorities."?

    There are a number of necessary implications in your statement:

    1. You're a bigot. 90% of blacks can vote for Obama and abject idiots like you will say nary a bigoted or racist word that those 90% are voting on skin color: which would be and is an act of racism.

    2. Were there no minorities there, which there were you mindless dolt-look at the stage for who was speaking, that would leave a bunch of various ethnicity white folks. Do white people have the right to vote for whom they choose, or don't they?

    3. You discount people's personal, political, and legal, values based upon the color of their skins: another proof of your bigoted and racist positions.

    4. There are several non-white Tea Party associated groups, including Project 21 (which was originally and still is a main stream conservative black organization), which are trying to bring minorities out from under the Neo-Slavery of the Congressional Black Caucus, Jackson, Sharpeton, Farrakhan, Water, Mfume, Bond, NAACP, La Raza, MECHA, and other neo-Marxist demogogues control.

    You are without a doubt, one of the most mindless individuals, filled so full of hatred you can't see straight, I have ever had the misfortune to read.

    I'd tell you to pull your head out, but quite frankly, you've got it SUPERGLUED in there and it ain't never comin' out again.


  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    oh yes, I forgot my tax dollars go towards training officers in people counting... they are clearly the experts we should turn to for the numbers. Not the people who earn a living doing this sort of thing.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    So, how many were at Glenn Beck's restore white power rally?

  • Anthony G. Martin 4 years ago

    I will even go on the record to say that the estimate of 87,000 is a deliberate LIE. There is no way ANYBODY with ANY sense can come to that conclusion once aerial photos are examined, along with eye-witness reports from the ground, and comparative photos with other events on the mall. I stand by my original estimate of 500,000 to 750,000. Anyone who claims significantly less than that is doing nothing but lying.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    so, show us those aerial photos that only you seem to be privy to...and not that mini-photo you showed before that is useless for crowd estimatition....or are those aerial photos only in your mind?

  • Cory Albrecht 4 years ago

    You keeo saying that it is impossible there were only 87 000 people there, Mr. martin. You say that there were "upwards of 1 million people" there ("upwards of", BTW, means "more than"),

    Yet when asked to provide your evidence for the number of people you claim were there, you don't give any.

    Why is it that you can't give any evidence for your claim and have to resort to calling the 87k figure given by people with experience in crowd counting a "deliberate LIE"?

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    The so called non partisan company that gave the 87000 estimate is owned by a very partisan man who is loyal to Al Gore, Michael Moore n Ariana Huffington and others (check his twitter followings)so I'm sure he didn't throw one in the tank so CBS could pull this crap. Any revision they give will be days later with no effect. Even the anti-Beck NBC and NY Times estimated 300000 or more people. That doesn't include the 180000 plus online viewers and those like me who watched on CSpan. We'll show you our true numbers in November and the naysaying Lib-idiots can start crying all the way till we vote the P.O.S. Community organizing disaster out in '12. The Dumbocrats will never regain power, we will pass this legendary disaster of a time period down through all ages.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    "That doesn't include the 180000 plus online viewers and those like me who watched on CSpan."

    that also doesn't include the 300 million that didn't care one fig about the event and didn't tune in...we are talking about who WAS THERE, not who watched while heating up a hot pocket at home.

  • DanB 4 years ago

    Of course people watched it. You can't help but watch a train wreck.

    Fox promoted it for a year.

    Did you know there were that there was a pre-Iraq invasion march. 200-300K marched on Washington, D.C. Yeah, Fox didn't promote it. The media didn't really report it.

    But a crowd of overweight, old white folks screaming about the government as they collect their social security checks... now that's newsworthy.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Stop. Remember the first rule of holes. When you find yourself in one, stop digging.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    The so called non-partisan company that gave the 87000 estimate is owned by a very partisan man who is loyal to Al Gore, Michael Moore, Ariana Huffington and others (check his twitter followings)so I'm sure he didn't throw one in the tank so CBS could pull this crap. Any revision they give will be days later with no effect. Even the anti-Beck NBC and NY Times estimated 300000 or more people. That doesn't include the 180000 plus online viewers and those like me who watched on CSpan. We'll show you our true numbers in November and the naysaying Lib-idiots can start crying all the way till we vote the P.O.S. Community organizing disaster of a Preident out in '12. The Dumbocrats will never regain power, We will pass this legendary disaster of a time period down through all ages, we have learned our lesson. Never Again. Never Forget.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Yep you didn't care so much you're here reading and commenting about it. Nice how you skipped the other estimates of a low of 300,000. I was in the crowd, 300,000 is way low estimate, there were more than 87,000 in front of me on the subway. Those watching at home are just more of the numbers who are going to stick it to you dummies in November(since you missed the point).Stick that in your hot pocket... and smoke it.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    so, there were 87.000 anti-government protesters getting on the government bought and subsidized subway? what would you have done if that subway had been voted down because of people like you? 87,000 of you would have been waiting for cabs?

  • JR Bailey Casper Public Policy Examiner 4 years ago

    "Government bought and subsidized subway.."?

    You sir/madam, are an abject IDIOT!

    This is why liberals/social progressives are utter and insipid train wrecks when it comes to actually having and being able to use a brain.

    The 'government' didn't build that project twerp, the TAXES they Forcefully Confiscated from TAXPAYERS paid for it, and the SAME TAXPAYERS are subsidizing the subway.

    Did you get that you mindless dolt?

    You SP's think that the government is the origin for all the money that they're spending like it's going out of style (and it IS, considering that one day soon, the Mainland Chinese are going to STOP lending money to us): those MONEYS come from either the US TAXPAYERS OR from International Lenders (read CHINA) at INTEREST RATES plus PRINCIPLE for which the US TAXPAYERS are legally LIABLE.

    In other words my dear mindless SP, YOU, me, and the other 300 Million Americans have been put on the legal and financial hook for LOANS made in our names.

    Can you hear me now you feckless wonder?


  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    JP Bailey-

    That's exactly the point. The DC Metro system cost billions of dollars, and 90% of that money came from the federal government. The federal government gets its money from taxes collected from its citizens. And not only did we all technically pay for the Metro's construction, we all have to pay AGAIN when we ride it! It's the exact opposite of what most people in the Tea Party believe in, and what you all are rallying against.

    AND YET, thousands upon thousands of Tea Party protesters and Glenn Beck rally attendees rode that very system to get to the event! They rode it to museums, to the ball game, to dinner... I can attest to this, I live in DC and saw many of them riding the trains in their Tea Party t-shirts! So in other words, they're against taxes, they're against the government telling them what to do, until the government uses their money to build something that serves them and makes their life more convenient, and then they're all more than happy to use that service!

    In other words, you have no true convictions. You're all like a vegetarian that hates the slaughter of animals, but eats meat because it's tasty, and buying vegetables is difficult. You are all mindless sheep, waiting for your overlord to dole out the next set of instructions. The Tea Party isn't a movement, it's a collection of easily suggestible people who are angry, but don't know why.

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    It wasn't Government bought it was TAXPAYER bought. Exactly why we were there. Its time to change America so that people like you will know it is our money not the Governments. We want our leaders to vote for what WE think is important, police, fire, water, sewers and even Subways if we choose. But when we tell them to stop spending OUR money they need to listen. The current AND the recent past leaders think they know what's best for us and will even make crooked deals to make it happen. Even you have to admit that the way the last few big bills were passed is far from the way they should be conducting this nations business. We want them to be honest. I don't think you could squeeze a drop of integrity out of half of them.And in case your heading there, NO I don't think the Republicans would be doing much better if they had won in '08. But they had better do it after November or this Nation will go crazy.

  • GreatGrey 4 years ago

    Ohh, the Gynormous talking head has counted all the little dots.

    Any mention of how many were sent by the Koch brothers?

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    :) you must be truly nervous about the resurgent conservatives.

  • PHILesq 4 years ago

    "Lookie here AirPhotosLive dis is a message from da boys from Chi Town....and were only going to tell ya listen very carefully......Your going to under estimate da size of da crowd at Beck's little it ! If ya wants to keep your business license and maybe keep from have a little accident lets say...maybe one that involves your kids or your wife ! Ya do what we say....and you'll do it for free it !? Should I add dat you need not tell anyone about dis little conversation...right ? Dis is bigger than you need to know....and if I's tells ya about it....I'm going to have to kill it !?

    Now please go to you know more about the man without a past....the guy from Chi Town !

  • Kelly CSI 4 years ago

    I am glad that this white rally had such a low turnout.. Now Obama's administration can truly see who the real majority is in America, and get down to work, and stop catering to the howling Beck and Palin..
    If anyone wants to truly see a diverse crowd.. Then check out the Chicago Blackhawks Championship rally this past June.. That was estimated to be 1M, which Beck's rally pales in comparison...
    PS I am white, in case anyone tries to go there...

  • JR Bailey Casper Public Policy Examiner 4 years ago

    Well Kelly, let's see,

    According to both Obummer and his mentor the very Rev. Wright, since you've admitted to being white, according to the Obamasiah and Wright, you've also admitted to being a racist.

    How very convenient.

    Oh yeah, your opening statement proves that in this case, Big O and Big W are right in your case, you view the whole thing through skin color, which DOES make you racist.

    Lastly, unless you missed it, there were black leaders on the STAGE at the rally, in the crowds, watching on tv, etc.....they're part of the 10% of blacks who DON'T vote according to skin color: which means they actually use their brains to determine issues and how they'll vote, INSTEAD of the color of a person's skin.

    Keep on promoting your KKK and Aryan Nations diatribes, I'm sure that Farrakhan will love you for it.


  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    More racist crap, Junior - your blatant assumption that 90 percent of Blacks voted for Obama because of skin color when it is at least as credible that many, even most, voted for him as more representative of their view for where government should go than were Flip-flop McCain and "Boobs" Palin.

    Between the baggage of the Bush legacy and their own campaign gaffs, the Republican team was the worst pair of candidates since the days of Wally & the Beaver.


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