The actors are different but the question is the same: just how many people attended Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally over the weekend in Washington, D.C.?
This is not an isolated question. The National Park Service bowed out of official estimates back in 1997:
The media, in years past, would typically cite the National Parks Service estimate, along with the organizer’s estimates (which tend to be higher). But the Parks Service stopped providing crowd estimates in 1997 after organizers of the 1995 Million Man March assailed the agency for allegedly undercounting the turnout for that event.
So various media outlets (and interested parties) are now left making competing estimates based on aerial photos, how much space a person typically takes up, and other sources.
There has to be a better solution to this problem.