By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2017, 6:25pm PT  

Before this disappears into the ether of the memory hole, since the the history books tend to be written by the "winners", here's what the actual, contemporaneous, independently verifiable evidence shows instead. These are not the "alternative facts", as Kellyanne Conway described what new Whitehouse Press Secretary Sean Spicer and his boss have been trying to sell, but what the demonstrable facts actually show.

The turnout for the Womens' March in D.C. alone on Saturday, dwarfed the attendance at Donald Trump's Inauguration the day before. The official estimate from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority finds Saturday was the second-busiest day ever for the D.C. Metro rail system, bested only by the first Inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009. Ridership for Trump's Inauguration was even lighter than the average workday in the nation's capital...

According to crowd scientists (yes, apparently there is such a thing), the Womens' March was about three times the size of Trump's Inauguration which was, in turn, also dwarfed by each of Obama's two Inaugurations, but particularly his first one. Based on analysis of photos and video taken at the National Mall and the surrounding areas, Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, "estimated that there were about 160,000 people in those areas in the hour leading up to Mr. Trump’s speech Friday. ... They estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday."

That, in contradiction to the new Alt-Fact President, who insisted the crowd at his ceremony on Friday "looked like a million, a million and a half people," and that the area "all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed." Once again, actual evidence suggests that wasn't the case, by a long shot.

Here, for the record, is just some of the actual evidence --- high quality photos taken from the Washington Monument, at both Obama's 2009 Inauguration and Trump's 2017 ceremony, "captured 45 minutes before the respective oaths of office, show[ing] areas that were crowded with people at Mr. Obama’s inauguration that were clearly empty during Mr. Trump's"...

Obama's 2009 Inauguration:

Trump's 2017 Inauguration:

The NYTimes' story on this offers a bit more science, more photos, and interesting graphics on the numbers, as well how they were derived, and why the Trump clan might think his crowds went "all the way back to the Washington Monument ," as Trump continues to falsely insist --- to his continuing embarrassment.

"The point is not the crowd size," White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus insisted on Fox News Sunday today, "The point is the attacks and the attempts to delegitimize this president in one day." Even Fox' Chris Wallace was forced to dispute Priebus' patently absurd crowd size claims.

For the record, Trump seems to be doing a much-better-than-expected job of delegitimizing himself, so far, as it's remarkable that we're even still talking about this nonsense. (Though it does do a nice job of masking a number of other issues of far greater importance.) We wouldn't be talking about it at all, of course, but for Trump's continued obsession with it. As to Priebus' claim that "the point is not the crowd size," on that I suspect he's right. This is not likely about Trump's crowd size at all...