Come On Joe, I Can't Hear You!

You might have heard something about a “Tea Party” march on Washington DC last Saturday that depending on who you listened to had anywhere from 60,000 to 2 million people in attendance (me thinks somebody can’t count). While a DC Fire official roughly estimated it at between 60-75,000 people some on the right say somewhere between 1-2 million showed up so who knows for sure.

You may have also seen the photo below used to support the huge attendance claims by many of those same folks on the right.

Wow, that is a lot of people!

Only one small problem, it appears that this particular photo was taken long before the “Tea Partiers” descended on Washington, like up to 10 years earlier.

There’s another big problem with the photograph: it doesn’t include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth St. and Independence Ave. that opened on Sept. 14, 2004. (Looking at the photograph, the building should be in the upper right hand corner of the National Mall, next to the Air and Space Museum.) That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. So clearly the photo doesn’t show the “tea party” crowd from the Sept. 12 protest.Also worth noting are the cranes in front of the Natural History Museum (the second building from the lower left of the National Mall). According to Randall Kremer, the museum’s Director of Public Affairs, “The last time cranes were in front was in the 1990s when the IMAX theater was being built.”

That makes the picture at least a decade old. (We’ll update this item if we find out when exactly it was taken.)

Admittedly the the counting of crowds is difficult at best and impossible at worst and many who published this photo have since backed down, but since the Conservative right seems to be in the mood for calling out bullshit whenever they see it, I though I’d give Congressman Joe Wilson, the GOP’s official bullshit detector, the first chance to call it out in this case, come on Joe let me hear it…

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