First reports from AP and NY Times indicate 'thousands' at DC protest? (Updated with crowd estimate)

What else would you expect? Both the Times and AP are equating the crowds turning out in DC to protest Obama's policies with crowds turning out to see the president later today at a town hall meeting.

Here's AP's and the Times notion of "thousands:

According to CNN, the event got underway an hour and a half early because so many people showed up at the bottom of Pennsylvania avenue, there was simply no more room for new arrivals.

Pictures supplied by Fox and CNN appeared to me to show a crowd stretching all the way from the Capitol steps, back many, many blocks, stretching off into the distance.

By any stretch of the imagination, such a crowd should have been indentified in "the hundreds of thousands." And yet. here's the Times report by Jeff Zeleny:

As President Obama flew to Minnesota on Saturday to rally support for his health care plan, thousands of protestors from around the country arrived here to demonstrate against the White House and Congress for what they say is an ever-expanding intrusion of government.

On a cloudy and cool September morning, scores of people waved flags and carried signs as they arrived in Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington for a march to the capital. The event was being billed as the culmination of summer protests at town meetings, where opposition to the president's health care plan boiled over.

"Scores of people...?" Are you kidding me?

The DC Park Police stopped trying to estimate crowds years ago. But given the over the top estimate for Obama's inauguration by some ("more than a million people"), I would say the number of people out today come close to matching the number on January 20.

More pics will be available later.


Stacy McCain just called and told me that Barbara Espinosa , a volunteer with Freedomworks, reports that the organization's "metered" count of protestors is "more than 450,000."

I think they missed a few hundred thousand but it won't matter. The official media line will be "thousands" unless someone in an official capacity - police or otherwise - says differently.


Michelle Malkin
reports that Capitol Police are estimating crowd at 1.2 million. ABC saying 2 million