New MSNBC theory: Most of the people at Beck's rally were probably just normal flowthrough traffic on the Mall

Via the Right Scoop, some deep thinkin’ from new primetime star Lawrence O’Donnell provides five minutes of comic riffery for Beck and crew. I’m not sure how to square this with what Ed Schultz said yesterday, actually. Big Ed’s point was that yeah, of course Beck attracted a huge crowd; who wouldn’t when you’ve got six months and a network megaphone to promote the event? (You’ll find Beck’s response to him here.) O’D, meanwhile, apparently thinks there … wasn’t any crowd there at all, just people strolling through on their way to the Air and Space Museum, I guess. The common meme-thread: It’s super duper easy to create turnout like that, to the point where merely showing up and yelling at bypassers is enough to generate media perceptions of a huge rally. What I honestly don’t get is why they’re this insecure about Beck’s ability to draw an audience. He’s been drawing huge audiences since joining Fox; until now, the normal lefty response has been to shrug and say, “There are a lot of wingnut idiots out there.” Why the frantic spin now, boys?

Oh, by the way? Edstock is happening — sort of. Exit quotation: “We are fueled by hope and not hate.”

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