Attendance numbers at rallies or marches or protests have always been contentious. I remember participating in huge antiwar marches in the sixties. Later, there would be conflicting reports of how many people were there. Police estimates were always -- at most -- about a third of what march organizers claimed.
I figured then that both sides were fiddling the figures.
Figuring crowds is apparently so fraught that officials in Washington, DC, have given up estimating protests in the city, which allows everybody to just make up any old number they like.
Of course you remember the stupendous stupidity over the 9/12 Teabagger Bun Fest.
But yesterday, someone told a real whopper. ABC News, citing the DC fire department, reported that between 60,000 and 70,000 people had attended the tea party rally at the Capitol. By the time this figure reached Michelle Malkin, however, it had been blown up to 2,000,000. There is a big difference, obviously, between 70,000 and 2,000,000. That's not a twofold or threefold exaggeration -- it's roughly a thirtyfold exaggeration.
Well, somebody got bloody tired of hearing such wild claims and set out to find a way to accurately estimate crowds.
Spain is trying to modernize its abortion laws. On October 17, there was a MASSIVE fetus fetishist march in Madrid.
The numbers were variously reported by FF organs: millions here and two million here.
Media and the police in Madrid estimated there were about 250,000 marchers, which is still a heckuva big turnout.
A guy in Spain, Juan Manuel Gutiérrez, was so irritated at the bullshit that he ran 300 aerial photos through some sophisticated software and came up with a new number.
It was billed as the biggest outpouring of emotion against the abortion law yet.
Organisers claimed that millions poured through the streets of Madrid in an anti-abortion protest last week, while the media and police estimated numbers of around 250,000.
In fact, just 55,316 brave souls made it onto the streets to oppose the government’s plan to increase the legal period from 14 to 22 weeks, according to an independent company Lynce that has found a scientific answer to estimating crowd numbers.
So good are Lynce’s methods that the national press agency Efe, has now issued a statement insisting that even the police and media exaggerated numbers by five times.
There is still a margin of error, but it is just 15 per cent, not orders of magnitude.
If I were a major news operation, I'd have this company, Lynce, on speed-dial.
Fetus fetishists are no doubt SHRIIIEEEKING: 'We've been Lynced'.