Needless to say, what I saw in Lisle was nothing like this.
Mostly it was people like me who took a long lunch to see what all the hubbub was about with some stay at home parents (kiddies in tow) and some retirees sprinkled in. There were a dozen or so speakers ... no one whose name I recognized but they all received an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd. There was talk that ACORN had notified the organizers that they would be coming for a counter demonstration, but I hadn’t seen anything like that by the time I left.
I am no professional at crowd estimation, but when I got there at 12:00pm on the dot (I am a stickler for promptness) there looked to be around 500 people present.
By 1:30 (when I had to go back to work) that number had easily doubled.
Now 1000 people isn’t a lot, but this is Lisle, not downtown Chicago and there were half a dozen other rallies within 20 miles of this, so yeah, I think its safe to say that this was pretty significant.
Naturally, NPR (like the NY Times yesterday) did its part to marginalize whats going on with a half assed hit piece and a lot of dismissive commentary on "Talk of the Nation" this afternoon but Glenn Beck put alot of this into context:
"The mainstream media doesn't get it. They'll report on the tea parties just as a -- you know, oh, they're just a bunch of whack job Republicans who only care about taxes on the rich. Where were they with George Bush? . . . But the tea parties are not about taxes. They are about the reason for the taxes, which is an out-of-control government that cannot control its own spending."He’s right, this isn’t about taxes or spending so much (from my perspctive) as its about a government out of control, and I think the press is certainly doing a disservice to the country by ignoring and minimizing this.