The mainstream media reported it as "thousands" which was an updated estimate from the initial "couple of hundred." The less mainstream have found park police estimates of over a million--those are the folks that deal with DC demonstrations regularly so they have a handle on what the crowds are that fill how much of the mall and the streets of our capitol. Some European media gave the number as two million.
They Were Astonished!
I got an on-scene report from a friend who lives in the DC area. He's a retired Army aviator and a regular attendee at major events on the mall. He often guides small groups at the Vietnam Memorial and he regularly participates in honors ceremonies at Arlington. He is exceptionally active in programs to assist our wounded warriors at the medical facilities in the Washington area. He was there for the Tea Party.
He confirmed the high level crowd estimates. The numbers were amazing. What was more amazing was that the crowd was orderly. The aftermath was not a trashing of the area. The message was clear and consistent. We the people are simply not interested in what the Messiah is adamant that he must have. Leave our healthcare alone.
And, the media was largely absent. The usual media command centers were largely unmanned. The vans, the satellite dishes, the camera guys with talking heads were out of sight.
Above all, the reaction is that the Congress-critters who acknowledge it at all "were amazed."
They still don't get it.