Conservative Blogs Fooled by "Tea Party" Pic

Left, right fight over turnout figures

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Protesters march to Capitol Hill during the Tea Party Express rally on September 12. Thousands of protesters gathered in Washington to protest high spending, higher taxes and the growth of the federal government.

    WASHINGTON -- A photo used by conservative blogs to illustrate that as many as 2 million people participated in Saturday's D.C. Tea Party appears to be at least a decade old.

    Say Anything posted the photo and Power Line picked it up from there, but PolitiFact  reports it can't be from Saturday's rally. For one thing, the National Museum of the American Indian, which opened in 2004, is missing from the picture. Furthermore, the picture shows cranes in front of the Natural History Museum, but the museum's public affairs director said they haven't had cranes in front since the 1990s.

    Oops.

    Say Anything didn't say how it made the mistake, but posted a different photo from the rally and argued that a 1 million body count is reasonable.

    A D.C. Fire spokesman called it an impressive crowd that filled the Capitol grounds and stretched to Third Street. He estimated between 60,000 and 75,000 but stressed that was unofficial. The department doesn't offer officials crowd estimates because, case in point, they can be politicized, PolitiFact reported.