Depending on where you get your news, you may know a good bit about the tea parties held on April 15th and what they were all about. I doubt there is anyone that didn’t know about them (with the exception of President Obama…I’ll get to that later), but there may be plenty of people who have a horribly distorted view of the parties thanks to the purposeful and irresponsible misrepresentation on the part of the media and liberal commentators.
Allow me to briefly explain what the tea parties are all about. Note that I say “are” and not “were.” The tea parties didn’t begin on April 15th, and they didn’t end on April 15th. This is a genuine grassroots movement involving people with a variety of political viewpoints. It’s about protesting the increasing role of government in our lives, the excessive spending habits of our government, and the taxpayer money that will be used to fund these habits.
As I said, you may not know this depending on who you rely on to deliver the news. Let’s take a look at how CNN “reported” on the tea parties from the Chicago tea party. While you’re watching this, keep in mind that this is supposed to be a reporter, not a commentator.
Wow…Susan Roesgen wastes no time in distorting what the tea parties are all about and thus slanting this story to fulfill her agenda. It’s just “a party for Obama-bashers,” she says. Curiously, after saying this, the cameraman begins to pan the crowd and a sign is clearly visible saying “Republicans SUCK Too!” Wait…I thought this was just about bashing Obama.
The point of her story was clearly to depict the party as some kind of gathering solely for right-wing conservatives, but that is simply not the case. A recent Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll found that out of 377 Democrats and 183 Independents, 29% of each group would be willing to participate in a tea party (Source). Not only that, but of the Democrats polled, 94% held a favorable opinion of President Obama. There would obviously have to be some overlapping there. What?!? You mean people who like Obama would go to the tea parties??? I thought these were just for Obama-bashers!
Democrat Leonard Jacobs explained in an editorial why he would be attending a tax day tea party:
…let’s face it, fiscal responsibility is an American issue. Does this mean we will inevitably define certain aspects of fiscal restraint differently? Sure we will — but that doesn’t mean fiscal restraint cannot also be the shared American ideal. I will attend the tea party in Manhattan tomorrow night not because I’m a Democrat or a Republican, but because I’m an American. My nation comes first.
Once again, that is coming from a Democrat…and one who supports President Obama’s stimulus package at that.
Also worth mentioning is that out of the 294 Republicans that participated in this poll, 48% said they would not be willing to participate in a tea party while 47% said they would. For a movement that’s supposed to be solely conservative and right-wing, you would think a majority of Republicans would be willing to participate.
So why ignore the facts and portray these tea parties strictly as a conservative fringe movement? It’s simple really…if you can make the participants look like a bunch of biased radicals, you can downplay the significance of their rallies. No grassroots movement of legitimately concerned citizens here…just a bunch of crazies who are bitter because their candidate didn’t win the election.
Now let’s look at how Ms. Roesgen treated the people she interviewed. The first man she interviewed did have a pretty radical sign. The other side that I’ve seen in pictures was a lot worse. But as a reporter, it was not her job to chastise the man and to teach him a lesson in morals. And didn’t you love how she picked the guy out of the crowd who probably had the most radical sign there to interview first to further set the tone she was aiming for? Seeing this brings to question…where was this kind of outrage when people were saying the same things about President Bush? Well it just didn’t exist as can be seen in a clip of a Susan Roesgen report featured in a Newsbusters article in January 2006:
No big deal. Adolf Lucifer Bush is merely a look-alike…no reason to be offended by that.
How about the next guy she interviewed? She wouldn’t even let him deliver his point without interrupting him and demanding to know what that had to do with taxes. Guess who missed the point! As I’ve already discussed, the tea parties aren’t just about taxes. Oh, but sir, your state gets $50 billion out of the stimulus bill!!! What is this woman not understanding? Most of the people there are likely going to be against the stimulus bill… I guess she’s the type of person who will support something if she’s getting something out of it rather than being motivated by principles like most of the people at the tea parties.
One of the priceless moments of this video was when Ms. Roesgen pointed out that it was “highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox.” What a joke! You mean Fox News saw a huge news story brewing and decided to cover it in-depth and promote its coverage? What were they thinking? What a bunch of partisan conservative hacks! I guess CNN and the rest of the mainstream media thought it was a smart strategic decision to ignore a big story or cover it briefly and with disgusting bias. And yes, it was a big story. Anytime you have hundreds of thousands of people gathering in one day for one purpose across the nation, you have a big story. There were some small towns that had about 1,000 people in attendance. That in itself is a news story…I know we’ve all seen much more insignificant stories than that on national news.
So Fox did its job as a news organization and REPORTED THE NEWS!!! What happened as a result? Fox News outperformed each of its direct competitors (CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and HLN) by at least double the amount of viewers in every single measured time slot on April 15th (Source). Special Report with Bret Baier, The O’Reilly Factor, and Hannity’s America actually each had more viewers than the shows in the same time slots on the other networks combined. But this is nothing new. Fox has been outperforming its competitors for a while now because of its reputation for reporting the news and not ignoring it or slanting it as the others do. Of course you’ll get opinions from the commentary shows (which also fare a lot better on Fox), but that’s to be expected.
Anyway, Ms. Roesgen concludes her report by saying that the protest is “not really family viewing.” What? Are you kidding me? I guess because she’s gone around and efficiently antagonized the people there and shown what a lousy reporter she is, it’s no longer “family viewing.” This report really wasn’t fit for anyone…not because of the protesters, but because of her slanted reporting. It’s not her job to influence opinion. She is simply supposed to report the news. Tell us there’s a tea party, maybe interview some people to find out why they are there, thank them, leave. It’s simple. Now enjoy a video, courtesy of Founding Bloggers, of a lady at the tea party confronting Ms. Roesgen after her report ended. CNN forced YouTube to pull the original video based on copyright claims (I suppose because the video featured the actual clip from CNN), yet there are plenty of other clips of the CNN broadcast available that they apparently didn’t have a problem with. That’s probably because they weren’t attached to a video of Ms. Roesgen being schooled on her shabby reporting. I think issuing a copyright claim on a news clip is pretty dumb anyway. Here is the video:
Hopefully you’re enjoying reading this because I’m not quite done yet! What I’ve shown you and discussed so far isn’t the only way that these tea parties are being misrepresented. Some are going as far as to label this as a racist movement. Granted you may find some racists at a gathering designed to protest the policies of a government whose leader happens to be black, that in no way speaks for the crowd as a whole. That’s like saying that if there happen to be a couple of really drunk people at a bar you’re at that are making a scene and trying to start fights, then everyone who goes to drink at a bar is a violent drunkard. It’s illogical. There will be stupid people anywhere you go in life.
I can safely say that at the tea party that I attended along with hundreds of others (maybe around 1,000), I never saw any racist signs or heard any racist talk. It was a very tame crowd. But don’t worry…anti-tea party liberals have covered their bases. Jack and Jill Politics recently published a despicable article in which they took it upon themselves to redefine racism so as to fit the description of many tea party-goers:
Here’s the new criteria for an undercover racist attack:
1) Is it unique to Obama, i.e. is it a phrase we’ve never heard before applied to any other president or is it something we haven’t heard in recent memory? For example: he’s not an American citizen or he’s a socialist who’s planning re-education camps for young people.
2) Is it illogical or impossible – does the assertion plainly contradict the facts? For example: not an American citizen, socialist, tax raiser, re-education camps for young people.
3) Is it repeated, over and over, by a desperate person whose team lost badly in the last election & who adopts a wide-eyed, credulous, nodding stare pronouncing the lie slowly and precisely with a watchful eye to see if the listeners are buying it. For example: not an American citizen, socialist, elitist, drug seller, tax raiser or terrorist.
Optional: Does the assertion cause nervousness, embarrassment or confusion among non-blacks? When other white people such as Tom Brokaw or John Stewart sense something wrong and start to ask questions like “Do you really believe that?”, you know for sure you’re in the racist attack zone.
There you have it…if you didn’t vote for Obama and you call him a “socialist,” then you, my friend, are an undercover racist using code for the n-word. That makes me want to puke.
Actress and not-funny comedian Janeane Garofalo also agrees that this is all about racism:
Garofalo actually called Party-goers “a bunch of teabagging rednecks,” adding “this is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.”
She also says it’s about immigrant-bashing. Well why was this black immigrant in the following video being cheered on with thunderous applause when she said that the parties are not about any of that (or why was she even allowed to speak there to begin with)? Skip to 1:52 to hear her speech:
If these tea parties are about racism, then why was Alan Keyes (a famous black conservative) invited to speak at three tea parties on April 15th in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and Indiana (Source)? He also spoke at one in Pittsburgh a week earlier. Also, why were there some black people at the tea party that I attended?
Well Janeane Garofalo has an explanation for that:
But these people, all white for the most part, unless there’s some people with Stockholm syndrome there.
……I can’t imagine a more racist thing she could have said to explain black presence at the tea parties. These black people couldn’t possibly have been there to express their own opinions…no way. They were confused, they were simply saying what their white “captors” had conditioned them to feel. They were simply black shells expressing white ideas. How absolutely sickening.
I think I’ve done more than enough to show that these tea parties were not about being conservative or right-wing, not about Obama-bashing, not about racism, not about any of the ridiculous things that opponents would have you believe. This is a legitimate movement of Americans who want to express their discontent with the increasing size of government and/or the spending practices of the government. But those on the far left don’t want you to understand that, and so they choose to insult their fellow Americans and twist the meaning of these tea parties into something that they are absolutely not rather than just debate the true issues. Don’t let them fool you…they are the most intolerant bunch of people you could ever have the displeasure of dealing with.
Finally, how did the White House respond to these tea parties?
When Americans are gathering and expressing their concerns that the government doesn’t care about them and is not listening to what they have to say, President Obama responds, “You’re right. I’m not listening to you. In fact, I don’t even know you exist.” That’s his way of acknowledging us with the middle finger. A guest on Neil Cavuto’s show this morning made a great point, but unfortunately I can’t remember his name to give him proper credit. He said that Obama is showing great interest and desire to listen to our enemies, such as Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but he apparently doesn’t care in the least bit to listen to the citizens of his own country. Way to lead, Mr. President. I should probably mention that the person who made this point was a black man, so he must just be suffering from Stockholm syndrome. I guess we should disregard him.