Tea Party Group Caught Posting Fake ‘Huge’ Crowd Photo

September 14, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Political groups often exaggerate crowd estimates for their events. And the tea party protesters were no different, as they claimed crowds of up to 2 million Obama protesters descended on Washington, DC over the weekend. The D.C. Fire Department put the number closer to 60,000 people.

To bolster their claims that millions of protesters filled the Capitol on Saturday, tea party members sent out an email blast showing an aerial photo taken in 1997 of a Promise Keepers march, which attracted about a million people.

The fake photo quickly made the rounds and appeared on right-wing sites, Facebook and Twitter over the weekend. When it was pointed out to the tea party groups that the photo was fake and may be of the 1995 Million Man March, of a million black men organized by Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, the group went into overdrive to deal with the backlash.

The right-wing site, Free Republic warned its members:


“Please be careful as this photo is from the million man march. The left and nutroots are using it as a tactic to discredit the real photos. Real photos will have a huge white tent in middle of field.”

The so called “Freepers” commented that the left was using the controversy to discredit the true crowd numbers of the tea party march on Saturday, with some commenters speculating it may have been a left-wing plot. Some of the comments were offensive:

“Lefty: “Hey! That photo is fake!” or “I like your shirt.”

You or me: “Go to Hell, you stinking piece of filth.”

Lefty: “Excuse me, do you have the time?”

Me: “It’s time for you to self-abort, you scum-sucking parasite!”‘

The above comment was posted by Free Republic member FMoran with his accompanying avatar with the statement:

“Frowning takes 68 muscles. Smiling takes 6. Pulling this trigger takes 2. I’m lazy.”

Many conservative sites have now backed down from attributing the Promise Keepers photo to Saturday’s tea party march and have made corrections.


9 Responses to “Tea Party Group Caught Posting Fake ‘Huge’ Crowd Photo”

  1. NH on September 14th, 2009 11:47 pm

    Unfortunately for you, this photo of 1.5M people is real.


  2. Tea Party Group Caught Posting Fake on September 15th, 2009 12:23 am

    […] Party Group Caught Posting Fake

  3. VS on September 15th, 2009 7:11 am

    I was there. I saw what the crowd looked like. It was huge. You obviously were not there, but somehow you’re an expert on the event. I guess the aerial shots that CNN and other news outlets took were “fake” too. Amazing.

  4. Frank G. Ross Sr. on September 15th, 2009 9:23 am

    No matter what Picture post it does not alter the fact that the very same Park Service Police who estimated the 2009 inauguration of President Obama at 1.5 million has a revised estimate of 1.5 million for the 9/12 March on Washington.

    Frank G. Ross Sr.
    2009 Tea Party Attendance List Coordinator
    Tea Party Patriots

    P.S. At this time there are 3,508,659 attendees on the list from 2,186 events and there are just as many event yet to be listed.

  5. John Wyllie on September 15th, 2009 7:12 pm

    Sue is a liar and already doctored photos. Sue, you’re really pathetic and un-American. Why are there people a threat to you? They are just every day Americans that say no to spending us into oblivion!

  6. Sue is a Liar. on September 16th, 2009 3:08 pm

    Sue You Lie. I saw the Tea Party but did not partake, there were easily a million. The media did not cover it as much as they covered Kanye though. I guess that’s what’s really important. Or wait could it be that the media is Biased?? Of course they are. Hence anyone who disagrees with Socialism and Debt and large government and bailing out the oligarchs is branded as a racist.

  7. Sue on September 16th, 2009 3:55 pm

    I appreciate your comments, but you all need to take a deep breath and calm down, especially you Mr. Wyllie. Name-calling and insults can’t change the facts. The DC police estimated the crowd between “60,000-75,000 UNOFFICIAL.”

    Those numbers are significant. Your tea party movement sought to make your voices heard and you achieved that goal.

    Why do you feel the need to exaggerate the crowd numbers to ridiculous levels and rabidly attack anyone who points out the obvious?

    And you Mr. Wyllie, need to stop making the outlandish claim that I “doctored” photos showing racial smears at the DC tea party march. If you didn’t like what you saw in the many offensive signs carried at that rally Mr. Wyllie, maybe it’s because you see something of yourself in the bigotry and hate they represent.

    A Report from ABC news on the DC tea party crowd size:

    “By any standard, millions would be impossible to confuse with tens of thousands. Remember that officials estimate 1.8 million attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20th, and there was barely any room to stand. I walked the length of Pennsylvania Avenue the marchers, and was able to move easily through the crowd.”

    “The only official agency to do so [offer a crowd estimate] that day was DC police, which tweeted (under the handle @dcfireems) at 11:43am “UPDATE – several people treated for injury and illness on the Mall nothing extraordinary unofficial crowds 60,000-75,000 UNOFFICIAL.” We called the agency, which confirmed those numbers.”



  8. deathbymedia on September 23rd, 2009 9:04 am

    Mr Ross,

    You are sadly mistaken and I assume your post was hastily construed from unreliable sources. I have done my own study base on a devised stationary methodology and calculation which you can find here:


    It’s backed by visual evidence (pictures and clips) all available in the same entry, plus determining the boundaries of the rally and calculation of the final tally derived from the density of the crowd at each given block. My calculus puts the figures around 130k up to 160k.

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