Teabaggers claiming, erroneously, that they had 1.5m protesters yesterday – ABC says it’s a lie, it was tens of thousands

It’s the natural extension of the death panel, and every other political statement that comes out of conservatives’ mouths nowadays. Lies, lies, lies, and then you hope they catch on so that no one can debunk them. Except ABC just has. ABC never said there were 1.5 million people at the march, which is what the protesters are now claiming ABC said. In fact, ABC only said that the DC fire dept. claimed there were 60k to 70k protesters. It’s funny, protest organizers always inflate the numbers by a factor of two or three. But a factor of 25 is definitely a new record.

Nate Silver has more:

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.

The way this false estimate came into being is relatively simple: Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, lied, claiming that ABC News had reported numbers of between 1.0 and 1.5 million when they never did anything of the sort. A few tweets later, the numbers had been exaggerated still further to 2 million. Kibbe wasn’t “in error”, as Malkin gently puts it. He lied. He did the equivalent of telling people that his penis is 53 inches long.

Malkin, who to her credit later corrected the error, frets that it might be used to by liberals to “discredit the undeniably massive turnout”. She’s right to be worried — it absolutely will be used that way. If you don’t want to be discredited, then don’t, as Kibbe did, tell a ridiculous (and easily disprovable) lie.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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