CNN has given plenty of attention to claims the attendance at President Donald Trump’s inauguration was abysmal. New photos of the inauguration crowd released by CNN, however, tell a much different story. The photos (shown below) disprove the claims that a very small crowd showed up to see Trump being sworn in.
First, in case you haven’t been following along, let’s review how this started.
A picture taken by Reuters (shown below) seems to show a much smaller inauguration crowd size on the National Mall when compared to the crowd for Barack Obama in 2009. The National Parks Service tweeted out this photo in a side-by-side comparison with a picture from the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama.
Reuters claims the photo was taken at noon from the Washington Monument, just as the swearing-in ceremony began. It is important to note a distinctive landmark, the Smithsonian Castle, on the right side of the picture (where Jefferson Drive bends). In this picture, the crowds do not reach as far as the castle. In this picture, the crowd does appear to be much smaller.
CNN Photo Provides An Alternative Fact
However, CNN has released a “gigpixel” photo of the crowd taken as Donald Trump was giving his inauguration speech. The “gigapixel” photo, which provides an extremely detailed, panoramic view of the crowd, shows a much larger crowd on the National Mall. The photo can be seen by clicking here.
This segment of the “gigapixel” photo is taken from the perspective of the Capitol, to President Trump’s right. While this perspective shows quite a crowd immediately around the Capitol itself, it is the crowd that can be seen on the National Mall that is most interesting.
Once you zoom in on the National Mall, you can see a far larger crowd than in the Reuters photo. More importantly, you can see the crowd extends past the Smithsonian Castle, which is on the left. The crowds obviously extend past the screens and other structures erected on the National Mall, something not shown in the Reuters photo.
An even closer look towards the back of the National Mall shows the crowd went back nearly as far as the media tent (the white structure seen towards the back, just in front of the Washington Monument). The media tent is so close to the monument, it is not seen in the original Reuters photo.
Even though the CNN photo provides contrary evidence to the Reuters photo, it is important to face facts. The Trump inauguration crowd size is smaller than the one for Barack Obama in 2009. Some empty areas can be seen, especially on the right side. However, the crowd is noticeably larger than the one shown in the Reuters photo.
Why is there a difference in photos?
So why the discrepancy? The obvious explanation is that the Reuters photo must have been taken earlier than noon. Reuters insists the picture was taken at noon, but the CNN photos prove otherwise. The white tarp laid across the grassy areas of the National Mall make it easy to see gaps, and the CNN shows significantly smaller gaps.
Obviously, an overhead shot from a satellite of the National Mall would provide the best look. However, it was far too overcast for any photos to be taken. The controversy continues, but the CNN photos make a compelling case for a larger crowd.
What do you think of the inauguration crowd size controversy? Let us know in the comments below!
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