They co-opt the movement, pretend it was their own doing, then purposefully inflate the numbers so that other networks can take the wind out of their sails when the lies are publicized. Notice they did the same thing during the original 09 Tea Party, then on 9/12, and again with this Bachman protest. Meanwhile, the other networks grossly under exaggerate the numbers, and the casual observer is left scratching his head wondering what all the hubub was about.
The only way to obfuscate populist movements is to get in front of the crowd and lead it into the ground. Divide and conquer.
This is no accident.