A Picture Is Worth
PolitiFact (a St. Petersburg Times blog) has dropped a new bombshell regarding the Tea Party movement. If this is true, then the organizers will apparently do anything to claim influence.
On the day of the recent march, supporters circulated a picture around the Internet that a showed marchers sprawling all over downtown DC (see below). Apparently, the photo is a fraud. It was not even taken during the recent Tea Party march. Instead, the photo captures the much larger 1997 gathering of the Promise Keepers.
PolitiFact asked Peter Piringer, public affairs officer for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Department, to comment on the crowd and the photo. Piringer said that “It was an impressive crowd. . . .[but it] only filled the Capitol grounds, maybe up to Third Street. . . .”
As PolitiFact reports, the widely circulated picture shows a completely different scene:
[T]he photograph. . .showed the crowd sprawling all the way to the Washington Monument, which is bordered by 15th and and 17th Streets.So, in addition to distorting the substantive issues surrounding healthcare reform -- by calling it socialism, Nazism and totalitarianism -- the Tea Party critters are also blatantly lying about their own size. They are also exhibiting remarkable hypocrisy by reacting so strongly to deficit spending under the Obama administration, while most of them undoubtedly supported Bush.
There’s another problem with the photograph: It doesn’t include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth Street and Independence Avenue that opened on Sept. 14, 2004. . . .That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. . . .
Also worth noting are the cranes in front of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. According to Randall Kremer, the museum’s director of public affairs, “The last time cranes were in front was in the 1990s when the IMAX theater was being built.”
It appears that the photo was actually taken in 1997 at a rally for Promise Keepers, a group for Christian men. According to the group’s Web site, nearly 1 million people attended the event. Photos of the Oct. 4, 1997, event that were posted on various Web sites in 2003, 2008 and earlier this year show either the same picture or a similar photo that has identical tents and what appear to be TV screens in the same locations.
It is time for the media to expose the hypocrisy and deceit of the anti-reform movement. I completely respect the group's right to speak. I also respect the right of critics to respond forcefully to their errant speech.