Did Maggie Gallagher’s NOM Attend The Michele Malkin School Of Counting?
NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, in a press release published Monday, falsely stated that “nearly 10,000 people were present” at their anti-gay, anti-same-sex marriage, anti-equality hate rally in midtown Manhattan, fallaciously titled, “Let The People Vote!” But police reports put the attendees at “more than 3,000 supporters,” (i.e., under 4,000) with news outlets mostly recording the attendees as “several thousand people.” Of course, NOM’s own press release fraudulently adds, “NOM estimates that well in excess of 10,000 supporters attended the four rallies” that they held across the state. Fantasy numbers like these, while ludicrous, are also embarrassing for Maggie Gallagher and her National Organization For Marriage. Why?
First, you should know, even that bastion of conservatism, The Wall Street Journal, didn’t look too kindly upon NOM’s rally antics. “If the National Organization for Marriage were a commercial enterprise, its ‘Let the People Vote’ campaign would be a case of deceptive advertising,” the Journal wrote Monday, adding, “the language on [NOM's Let The People Vote] site implies that the Legislature acted illegitimately when it ‘imposed same-sex marriage on New York with no vote of the people.’ Such a vote is not part of the ordinary procedure for enacting legislation in New York, and it is misleading to pretend otherwise.”
Now, back to that pesky “nearly 10,000 people were present” claim. For those who don’t know, crowd estimates are a delicate science, and entire companies are built around that expertise. Remember the September, 2009 Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C.? ABC News reported the D.C. Fire Department estimate at 70,000, but right-wing extremist Michelle Malkin all but swore it was two million. To get from 70,000 to 2,000,000, you would have to take those 70,000 people and have each and every one of them bring 27 of their friends to get close to 2,000,000 people. Malkin later apologized (as should NOM,) but statistician Nate Silver of 538.com, (now a New York Times property,) stated, “Malkin herself did not lie; she merely repeated a lie. It does not particularly call into question her character. It does, however, call into question her judgment.”
I think in NOM’s case we can call into question both their character and their judgment, for initiating and repeating their lie about the size of their crowd.
But NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, “a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it,” really had to lie, one must suppose, to save face. As many journalists and bloggers are furious that Gallagher & Co. would dare to cook up such a lie, truth be told, in 2009, at their anti-gay marriage hate rally, (of course featuring New York State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz,) they had 20,000 people, according to reliable sources.
Now, also according to reliable sources, on Sunday NOM had 3,000 protesters show. Let’s be kind, and call it 4,000, just for the sake of it. In the age of the Internet, two years after their first NYC rally, NOM managed to get 20% — one fifth — of the original number of people to show up to protest same-sex marriage equality.
10,000 isn’t only a lie, it’s the best they could do to save face. But even if NOM weren’t lying (they are) about the 10,000 people showing up in midtown, they still got only half of the number of people they got just two years ago!
Sunday, Maggie Gallagher told the Village Voice, “The goal is not to disrupt or protest an individual decision ceremony, it’s to protest what the government in Albany did without the vote of the people.” Well, if that’s the goal, they’ve failed miserably. And it proves that, with 58% of New Yorkers supporting same-sex marriage, New York voters neither want to protest against marriage equality, nor vote against it.
“Let the people vote,” Maggie? They just did.
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