Spokesmen for the National Park Service and “One Nation Moving Forward” said that the pictures and videos of garbage taken by conservative bloggers and websites, as well as The Daily Caller, are a misrepresentation of the liberal rally.
“I consider [The Daily Caller’s article] to be highly inaccurate,” said a very forceful NPS spokesman, Bill Line.
“To imply that this past weekend’s event is more dirty, contains more trash or is filthier than any other demonstration is not grounded in reality.”
Wishing to counter smears against Tea Partiers as well as paint liberals as irresponsible hypocrites, conservative blogs and websites have been merciless in their documentation, ridicule and condemnation of trash left by attendees of the “One Nation” rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday.
“They should have planned more,” said the only person TheDC could find cleaning up on the Mall on Sunday. “There should have been a clean-up crew.”
The man, who didn’t want to be identified by name, went on to say that he also helped clean up after Fox host Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in August and said there was a distinct difference in how much trash was on the Mall after that rally and the state of the Mall after the “One Nation” rally.
“I was at the other one too,” he said. “So I’ve seen both. I know the difference.”
Flo McAffe, a member of One Nation’s communications department said that one could find equally beautiful photos and images of the rally; it all depends on your point of view
“If someone goes and makes a specific point, if there’s a point you want to make, you can take a photograph of that point,” she said. “Now whether or not that photograph was of the rally or some of the signs there or … trash,” that too could be captured on film, she said.
Conservative bloggers have made pains to contrast the general cleanliness of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally last month with Saturday’s rally and have used the images as an indictment against liberals.
Line, however, was adamant in his disagreement of such assessments.
“This trash you have on [TheDC’s] front page could be found at any other large rally that has happened previously at the Mall and could happen in the future,” said Line.
Line said the garbage at the “One Nation” rally was no different than any other rally. Trash, it seems, is apolitical.
“It is common, typical, regular ordinary, commonplace. You get the idea?” said Line. “It’s very commonplace with ANY rally, march demonstration, anywhere on the Mall where you have large numbers of people.”
McAffee said that was her understanding as well and that “our rally was no different” than any other rally. To make distinctions “is creating a story that probably doesn’t exist,” she said.
According to Line, the majority of the clean-up was conducted by the NPS with help from a “One Nation” crew. McAffe said that there was indeed a “logistics team,” which assisted with clean up. However, McAffe said specific numbers were difficult to specify as the team was covering various aspects of the rally and it included several days of volunteers.
Both organizations said they worked together to ensure that all Memorial rules and regulations were followed.
“In putting all this together we very much worked hand in hand with the park service because we wanted to follow the guidelines and respect the grounds also,” said McAfee. “You know, those moments are our moments just like it’s everyone in the nation so we wanted to make sure it was left as we found it.”
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