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PhotOh! Side by side aerial shot of Rally to Restore Sanity (215K) and Beck rally (87K)

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Go here for a closer look.

Photo via AirPhotosLive.com.

The Rally to Restore Sanity crowd was estimated at 215,000. Beck's Whitestock event? 87,000.

H/t: CynthiaY29, JamieHarbor, selfdeprecate

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Per same company that estimated Beck crowd: Approximately 215,000 people attended Rally to Restore Sanity

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The crowd at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" on the Mall in Washington (Credit: AirPhotosLive.Com)



 

Back in August, I posted the explanation of how Glenn Beck's Whitestock crowd numbers were calculated. The company that came up with the numbers were very reputable:

AirPhotosLive.com calculated that about 87,000 people (give or take 9,000) attended Glenn Blech’s SPFathon, Whitestock. [...]

Curt Westergard is the president of AirPhotosLive, the group that came up with that crazy 87K number. He has some pretty impressive clients. He provides aerial imaging for “the U.S. border patrol, the Department of Homeland Security, companies building skyscrapers, and cell phone companies trying to decide where to build their towers, and others.”

By the way:

It was the only scientific estimate made of the number of people at the rally.

Now, because I've been getting a lot of requests to cover the size of yesterday's Rally to Restore Sanity event, which I did when the first numbers were first reported by MSNBC, I'll rely once again on AirPhotosLive for the newest estimates:

An estimated 215,000 people attended a rally organized by Comedy Central talk show hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News.

The company AirPhotosLive.com based the attendance at the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which took place on the Mall in Washington. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 10 percent. (See some of the pictures used to create the estimate here.) [...]

TBD reported that because of the high turnout many would-be rally attendees retreated to bars to watch the event.



The crowd at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the Mall in Washington. (Credit: AirPhotosLive.Com)



Same place, same company with the same excellent reputation, bigger numbers.

Next.

H/t: BlueJessamine

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VIDEO: TeaBaggers at Beck Rally Threaten President, Wish To "Shoot Illegals On Site"

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"You people are killing America."

"... gun in hand!"

WE'RE killing America?

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VIDEO: Whitestock Crowd Estimate of 87,000 Explained

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AirPhotosLive.com calculated that about 87,000 people (give or take 9,000) attended Glenn Blech's SPFathon, Whitestock.

It was the only scientific estimate made of the number of people at the rally.

Conservatives, including Blech, said it was more like half a million.

This from the people who count votes the same way they count heads.

Curt Westergard is the president of AirPhotosLive, the group that came up with that crazy 87K number. He has some pretty impressive clients. He provides aerial imaging for "the U.S. border patrol, the Department of Homeland Security, companies building skyscrapers, and cell phone companies trying to decide where to build their towers, and others."

Blech relies on his belief in geese formations.

To calculate attendance at the Beck rally, AirPhotosLive.com used what is called a surveillance aerostat balloon to take pictures from both above the event and closer to the ground. In the video above, which was provided by the company, you can see some of the images used to come up with a figure.

Westergard:

"We took a lot of shots under the trees and higher up by just changing the balloon altitude," he said. "So what might have been a negative with an airplane and certainly a negative with a satellite was a very strong position with a balloon."

Thorough, huh?

I can hear all the Whitestockers protesting now: "Oh sure, but they probably took the images at the time when attendance was at its lowest."

Wrong:

The photos were taken at noon, which Beck's representatives suggested would be the peak of the event...

Blech's reps suggested that, so it must be true. This is one time I'll trust them.

Westergard partnered up with Dr. Steven Doig of the University of Arizona, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and crowd estimate expert.

Doig estimated that there were 80,000 people at the "Restoring Honor" rally, while AirPhotosLive.com estimated that there were 87,000 people, a statistically insignificant different since the margin of error was 9,000. CBS News elected to use the higher estimate.

So at best, 96,000 people attended, not quite meeting the minimum Blech requirement of 100,000.  It really doesn't matter, though. I've been listening to a number of people who backed up my original assertion that, if you see a gigantic structure and a lot of media, huge TV screens, and loudspeakers smack dab in the middle of a public space, it's more likely than not you'll hang around to see what's happening.

Oh, and then there's that little matter of there being about 80,000 in the area on any given day anyway, per those journalists who frequent the place.

Size really doesn't matter... or so I'm told.

There is even more, and it is well worth the read.

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