Last weekend, left wing, right wing and mainstream news sources were all in a tizzy about Sarah Palin giving a speech in Nashville at a Tea Party conference. Talking Points Memo brought up there was another conservative get together in St. Louis where both Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann spoke. I haven't seen the full schedules from either get together, but Joseph Farah of World Net Daily spoke at both meetings. If you aren't aware of the name, Farah is second only to Orly Taitz as a proponent of the idea that Barack Obama isn't a citizen.
Here's the thing. The Nashville gathering had about 600 people paying $650 for the privilege of attending. The St. Louis numbers were between 300 and 400 people, and if you wanted to see Glenn Beck the price ran as high as $500.
These are just drops in the bucket compared to the Conservative Political Action Conference, which will be held later this month. CPAC has been a yearly meeting since 1973, and the people running it are very proud that they were able to get Ronald Reagan to speak in 1974. As you can see in this archive photo from Life magazine, Reagan also spoke to the conference after he was elected president.
CPAC has several price options, from about $175 for a chance to go to all the talks to over $500 if you also want to go to the banquets. They expect about 9,000 people to attend this year.
I don't know of a liberal conference that has as long a history or as high an attendance as CPAC. The meeting that started out being called YearlyKos is now called Netroots Nation. It's less than ten years old and they claim about 2,000 people attended last year.
It's said that if something doesn't happen on TV, it might as well not happen at all. The press is more likely to get themselves into an orgasmic spasm about the conservative meetings than the liberal ones, and we can see from the numbers that the fuss over Sarah Palin has a lot more to do with her being flavor of the month than her actual ability to attract huge crowds.
While it is comparing apples to oranges, consider San Diego Comic-Con. The price isn't nearly as high as the political meetings can get, with a full four day pass costing less than $200, if you can get one. This summer's convention is already sold out of the four day passes. Last year, 125,000 people attended.
And yet, no one talks about the possibility that Joss Whedon or J. J. Abrams could be a viable candidate for president. This is just a small part of the blatant anti-nerd bias of the mainstream press.