Everything is partisan - even counting crowds!
Glenn Beck had a rally a few days ago and claimed hundreds of thousands of attendees. Beck claimed a minimum of 300,00 to maybe as high as 650,000. Michelle Bachmann chimed in with certainty that there were over a million people there based on the fact the she was there. NBC news used the number 300,000 citing "an unnamed Park Service person" and the New York Times just ran with the NBC number. NPR took the "safe" route and went with "tens of thousands". (Don't you love it when the media giants cite each other as sources - saves all that pesky research!)
CBS News hired two experts to analyze airial photos taken by cameras on tethered balloons.One came up with 80,000 and another with 87,000 people with a plus or minus factor of 9,000 - so there could have been as few as 78k or as many as 96k. CBS went with the 87,000 number. The folks on the right side of the aisle went ballastic assuring everyone that the person(s) doing the counting was a dupe for the left, used poor methods, etc etc.
Funny thing is, one of the experts (the guy who came up with 80,000) was ASU professor Steve Doig. If we go back in time to President Obama's inauguration, we find Professor Doig coming under fire from the LEFT while his methods were supported and praised by the RIGHT.
Doig used the same methods when he did the count estimating the crowd attending the Obama inauguration and his number was much lower than the 1.8 million that seems to be going down in history. Professor Doig put that event at 800,000 a full million FEWER than the number that is widely quoted and well below the pre-event estimates that climbed as high as 5 million.
When the experts number came in low on a left-side-of-the-aisle event - the right touted his numbers with glee while the left howled about accuracy. Same guy using same methods pisses off both sides of the aisle. Here is how Doig summed it up when interviewed by Brooke Gladstone for "On The Media" (which is a great show - http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/09/03/04):
Doig said, "Exactly the same methods produced exactly the opposite reaction from the different ends of the political stream."