|A few hundred people? My fat ass!|
The estimates that were made today by news media were so grossly under the actual figure that they were laughable and they distorted the stories. Hell, ask a cop. These guys do these events all the time and they have a great idea of how many people attend. I've been estimating crowds since I was a kid writing sports and I have a pretty good feel for it, but I asked the police anyway.
The daily newspaper didn't even attempt an estimate, but to say, as one TV station did that there were "hundreds" in attendance ignores the fact that there were 45 "hundreds" not four or two hundred.
Here's Thomas remarks, which are spot-on:
"I believe in getting facts right. Tonight, I'm a bit disappointed in our local media for grossly under-reporting the attendance at today's march in Roanoke. I was in a prime position to view the entire crowd before we went out on the march. I was able to actually count the number of people sitting in section below where I was standing. I came up with just under 500 in that section. My section was packed more than one other section and less than the four others.
sections closest to stage right were absolutely brimming with humans, almost double the 500 in my section. I gridded off in my mind the grassy areas behind me to create 3-4 additional 500 person units. So here's what I saw in my grids: 800 +750+600+500+400 (main level)+ 500+500+500 (grassy hill area behind the main sections) = 4,550 (5,000 if you estimated a higher number on the hill than three grids.).
"My estimate is also backed by Dan Smith, who made a similar guess and had it backed up by local police officers on the scene. Now why am I going into what some might view as inconsequential trivia? I'll tell you. WSLS TV reported that "hundreds" of people attended. WDBJ-TV reported that up to 2,500 people attended.
"This is important because this march, this protest, wasn't just a few hundred malcontents strutting around with signs; rather, it was a purposeful gathering of respectfully out-raged citizens who feel marginalized by an immoral, illegitimate federal government. This march was merely a beginning, and I call on the local media to understand its significance and get the facts right."