Shades of comparisons between the size of the turnout for Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 and that for Barack Obama’s in 2009. As Hot Air’s Allahpundit commented on Jan. 21, 2017:
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen not just garden-variety liberals but major news outlets circulating … side-by-side shots on social media today, or ones of the grandstands empty at various points on the parade route. The charitable explanation is that the crowd-size comparison is a security blanket for them in a moment of fear. They’re depressed and terrified at their near-term electoral prospects so they’re reminding themselves that they still have — or had — the numbers to win. The less charitable explanation is that it’s pure spite at Trump’s expense, knowing that he’s probably going to claim that he had the biggest crowds of all time no matter what the evidence says. When your opponent is on a seemingly unstoppable roll, you’ll seize on anything to take him down a peg.
Which is what BBC 3 did earlier today, displaying side-by-side aerial shots of, again, the Trump inauguration and this time the wedding recessional of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle down the streets of Windsor. The news agency captioned a tweet of the photos “Just saying”:
just saying ¯_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/1zoOGFKeU3
— BBC Three (@bbcthree) May 19, 2018
Where to begin? How about with the weather and an analysis in The New York Times in 20017 by Keith Still, a crowd safety consultant for the 2011 royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who observed:
The cloudy skies above this year’s inauguration means that there will likely be no clear satellite imagery of Washington. Without satellite imagery it is difficult to make a complete and accurate estimate of crowd size.
In contrast, today’s skies over Windsor were atypically clear and sunny. Another caveat from the Times’s assessment of the crowds at Trump’s inauguration:
The initial analysis was limited in scope because footage of a larger area was not yet available. The number of people on the National Mall is typically a fraction of the total crowd that gathers for a presidential inauguration. In 2009, for example, about 460,000 of the estimated 1.8 million people who attended President Obama’s inauguration were on the National Mall.
And then finally there’s the fact that the BBC is comparing the turnout for a royal wedding with a U.S. presidential inauguration. Apples and oranges, mate?