QAnon Rally Attendance-Gate

One of the hallmarks of the current state of right wing media is that they’ll lie about things they have no reason to lie about. They’ll even lie when it’s more advantageous to tell the truth.

Case in point: the QAnon rally on September 11th on the National Mall in D.C. From photos and accounts of the media who covered it, it’s clear that there were about 100 people there, including about half-a-dozen speakers. Not a single picture taken at the event even shows that many, but if one totals up everyone who went to the Mall specifically to attend the rally (as opposed to being photographed while just passing through) one could charitably get the total up that high.

It’s clear that if you take away attendance from those either covering the rally or speaking at it, there were far less than 100 people there. Which is not surprising, given that the QAnon movement is fairly small, but the people who are part of it are extremely vocal.

It’s also clear that if you listen to the QAnon promoters who spoke at the rally, that all of the pictures of nobody at the rally are fake, and that the LameStreamMedia is intentionally downplaying attendance. How many people were there? More than a hundred? Several hundred? Sure, why not.

To be clear, there is no picture I’ve seen of the rally (and I’ve seen a lot of them) that shows “a couple hundred people” there. And the QAnon promoters know that. They know there were very few people there. Yet they lie about the crowd size, when it’s obvious they’re lying about it. Why bother telling a lie that is obviously a lie?

Because the Trump mandate is to lie all the time about everything. And when you’re caught, to tell the exact same lie, only bigger. Think about Sean Spicer’s ridiculous lie that the Inauguration was the most heavily-attended of all time PERIOD! Or the constant lying about crowd sizes at Trump rallies. Or even the lie that the president seems to now tell every September 11th, that moments after the Twin Towers fell, Trump was there (along with “some men” from the Trump Organization) to help out in any way he could.

Everyone knows none of this is true. The Inauguration was a sparsely-attended bust. Trump rallies are routinely said to have more people in them than their sites hold, with “overflow crowds” outside numbering in the dozens. And *literally nobody* thinks Donald Trump went to Ground Zero right after 9/11. Though you know who WAS at Ground Zero just days after the Towers fell?

Not only are they lying about rally attendance, they’re actually doing their cause a disservice by doing so. How many people are at a physical rally meant to support a movement that’s almost entirely online doesn’t matter. It’s not about the bodies on the mall, it’s about the people tweeting about the rally, watching it on Periscope, and sharing the YouTube videos and podcasts made by rally speakers afterward.

The “Edge of Wonder” team, the Epoch Media-funded YouTube channel that pushes conspiracy theories and pseudoscience in a slick, millennial-friendly format, have already monetized the rally. They made an hour-plus stream and put it behind a paywall, meaning that to see it, you have to give them cash. This is what the QAnon rally is about, because this is what QAnon itself is about – money. It’s not about hearts and minds, it’s about wallets and dollars.

Beyond all that, lying about the attendance only draws attention to the low turnout. If none of them had bothered to lie about it, there wouldn’t be anything for skeptics to mock. Hell, there was no need for *anyone* to be at the rally. A livestreamed event with major speakers and specifically broadcast on YouTube or Periscope (to subscribers only, of course) would likely have served the QAnon gurus better than spending a day trekking out to DC and standing around in brutal heat to speak to fewer people than attend a Tuesday open mic comedy night in Silverlake.

They could even have said “we know live attendance was light, but everyone there was a patriot who will spread our message to countless others.” That’s plausible. But “hundreds of people?” No, that’s not plausible. Because the evidence proves it’s false. So you have QAnon promoters telling a lie that’s actually worse for their cause than the truth would be.