Tea Party Hangover In Texas

Yesterday we noted how KTRH had factually reported that the tea-party protests planned for that day "might be the single largest mass gathering in the country's history."

We noted it wasn't "a mass gathering," merely a series of them, and therefore a typical college-football Saturday would be one of the largest mass gatherings in American history.

We were wrong.

It wasn't even a typical college-football Saturday. It would only have to be a typical SEC college-football Saturday.

The website fivethirtyeight, which libs and conservatives both found to provide the most accurate polling analysis of the 2008 race, has come up with its official estimate of tea-party attendance across the US -- 262,000.

Nate Silver admits he might be missing some of the smaller parties, so let's bump that up by another 10,000, to be (really, really) generous.

You're still left with less people going to one weekend's games at Florida, LSU and Tennessee.

Crowd-counting is an art, of course, and not a science. (For instance, here's Fox News' Neil Cavuto caught off-air estimating the crowd at his location at 5,000, then moments laters breathlessly reporting on-air that "Organizers expected 5,000, but there are easily double or triple that here.")

And in San Antonio, KSAT said "crowd estimates placed the number at more than 13,000," without saying quite who was doing the estimating, while the San Antonio Express News' count was "a few thousand." (The reporter Twittered earlier that, walking around the event, he estimated there were 3,000 people there, 5,000 at a generous estimate.)

In Houston, organizers claimed attendance was "probably closer to 10,000" while Silver put it at 2,000. (We put it at 3,500, fwiw.)

When you think of the vast numbers of people who went to rallies against the Iraq War (when there was certainly no network hyping the anti-war effort), it's all a bit of "meh."

Our analysis: KSAT, Fox News and the Houston Tea party organizers are fearless truth-tellers willing to stand up for America and God as our beloved country slides headlong into fascism or socialism, we forget which; and the Express-News, Nate Silver and us are liberal lackeys who hate the US of A.

For a slideshow of the Houston event, click here.

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