Recently, the mainstream media has ratcheted up their attacks on the Tea Party movement. There have been attempts to link it to every thing from militias to white supremacists. The truth, however is that for the most part the Tea Party is made up of married, educated middle class people that have a strongly rooted conservative political ideology.
The irony is; for a large part of the Bush presidency the far left liberals were equally vocal about all of George W.’s policies with which they disagreed – the difference they were afford media support as opposed to media outrage. O.K., so we all know the media leans left – this is not news. The problem in the case of the Tea Party they have crossed a new line. It is no longer a simple case of bias rather it has taken on a nasty tone full of misrepresentation and in accurate coverage. Here are a few of examples of what is being said in the media and on social media:
From CNN’s website: “Experts: Angry Rhetoric Protected, But Can Be Disturbing — Letting disgruntled citizens vent is important to national security, experts say but some messages emanating from angry Americans in recent weeks have pressed the boundaries of free speech.” The article goes on to loosely analyze the Tea Party and other movements on both sides of the aisle. The problem is that the Tea Party is always compared to the more extreme side of grass root organizations.
From The New York Times: Tea Party Lights Fuse for Rebellion on Right
An excerpt – “These people are part of a significant undercurrent within the Tea Party movement that has less in common with the Republican Party than with the Patriot movement, a brand of politics historically associated with libertarians, militia groups, anti-immigration advocates and those who argue for the abolition of the Federal Reserve”. In this article there is an attempt to tie Tea Party members to the militia movement. In the end this just another mainstream media smear job.
In an even more biased and unfair smear, Time Magazine took this shot after Joe Stack crashed his plane into an IRS office in Austin Texas. Time Magazine immediately drew comparisons between Stack’s anti-government writing and a “Tea Party mentality”. Even though Stack never mentions the Tea Party in any writings Time was willing to draw the comparison anyway. In a passage from the article, reporter Hilary Hylton writes, “The White House was quick to say the incident was not a plot by overseas terrorists. But was it terrorism nevertheless? In his note, Stack was very clear he was unhappy with the U.S. government. He complained about onerous and merciless taxation of individuals like him as well as corruption and the special treatment the executives of big corporations allegedly received after their companies failed. And he seemed to be as emboldened as any suicide bomber.” Hylton also said Stack’s manifesto “eerily reflected the angry populist sentiments that have swept the country in the past year”. Using this line of reasoning everyone that is upset or angry with the government is a candidate to crash a plane into a building and kill themselves.
The Washington Post took a similar path on this story. Jonathan Capehart wrote in the PostPartisan column for Post opinion writers, “Joseph Stack was angry at the Internal Revenue Service, and he took his rage out on it by slamming his single engine plane into the Echelon Building in Austin, Texas. We now know this thanks to the rather clear (as rants go) suicide note Stack left behind. There’s no information yet on whether he was involved in any anti-government groups or whether he was a lone wolf. But after reading his 34-paragraph screed, I am struck by how his alienation is similar to that we’re hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement.”
And of course there is the famous Nancy Pelosi comments about the Tea Party:
“I think we all have to take responsibility for our actions and our words. We are a free country, and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we carefully balance. I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw — I saw this myself in the late `70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave — it created a climate in which we — violence took place. And so I — I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made, understanding that some of the people — the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume. But again, our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe. But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause.”
Speaker Pelosi should be reminded that the people who scared her in the 70’s were from her side of the aisle. This brings me to my main point – why doesn’t the media give the same attention to the left? OK, it’s a rhetorical question. The bottom line is that most of the proceeding is innuendo and speculation. Look all movements attract some fringe element that will occasionally do something to make the main group look bad. However, when the media wants to stain a group they seek out the fringe and present them as the core. They also have a way of overlooking behavior of the left when it is unflattering. Here are some examples:
Do you remember this one?
April 9, 2010 LEFTIST PROTESTERS SUSPECTED IN BRUTAL BEATING OF GOP OFFICIAL & HER BOYFRIEND
A GOP official was savagely attacked after she left the Southern Republican Leadership Dinner last Friday night. Allee Butsch suffered a broken leg from an assault outside Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans. She had her leg which was broken in 5 places was operated on over the weekend. Her recovery will take several months. Her boyfriend Joe Brown suffered a broken nose, a broken jaw, and a concussion. They were attacked after leaving the Southern Republican Leadership Conference dinner at the restaurant.
Or this one?
August 6, 2009 Black Tea Party Activist Kenneth Gladney Beat by SEIU Thugs
During a demonstration Thursday evening outside a forum on aging called by U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, in Mehville, Missouri, a Tea Party supporter was viciously attacked by union thug.
“Kenneth was attacked on the evening of August 6, 2009 at Rep. Russ Carnahan’s town hall meeting in South St. Louis County,” writes Gladney’s attorney, David B. Brown, in an email sent to Infowars. “Kenneth was approached by an SEIU representative as Kenneth was handing out ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags to other conservatives. The SEIU representative demanded to know why a black man was handing out these flags. The SEIU member used a racial slur against Kenneth, then punched him in the face. Kenneth fell to the ground. Another SEIU member yelled racial epithets at Kenneth as he kicked him in the head and back. Kenneth was also brutally attacked by one other male SEIU member and an unidentified woman. The three men were clearly SEIU members, as they were wearing T-shirts with the SEIU logo.”
So here are the facts – when liberals protest, (think: Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, World Can’t Wait or Earth Liberation Front) the media more often sympathizes than criticizes. If you are not familiar with these groups I’d recommend you Google them and learn for yourself the kind of hate and disobedience they encourage. However, when conservatives exercise their rights to free speech and expression of their opinions the media is quick to characterize them as dangerous, racists or anti-government extremists. The mainstream media is so totally blinded by their left-wing bias that they all but condone what the left has been doing ever since Vietnam.
From the violent demonstrations outside the 1968 Chicago Democrat National Convention to violent left-wing agitators, such as Bill Ayers, who blew up the Pentagon, and the other Vietnam War era riots to recent riots against the meetings of the G5, the G8, the IMF, the WTO, it’s left-wing activists that have shown the most propensity for violence.
After Healthcare Reform passed we heard; politicians, such as Bart Stupak have reported slurs as well as threatening letters and phone calls. Yet before the vote it was the left that was threatening Bart Stupak and his family with threatening letters and phone calls because angry pro-choicers thought he was going to change his vote. These were not Republicans or Tea Party people, they were from the left. It is the left that trains for and plans demonstrations and unruly protests. This type of behavior is inappropriate no matter which side delivers it but the left has a much richer tradition in this area.
So I ask you – where are the examples of violent demonstrations or rioting that was planned or organized by the Tea Party or other mainstream conservatives? Show me some real examples of ruckus and unruly protests planned by the Tea Party. Show me the people or organizations that train Tea Party members and conservatives how to riot? They simply doesn’t exist!
In possibly the most honest report that I have seen on the Tea Party, The Washington Post’s Robert McCartney writes, “I went to the “tea party” rally at the Washington Monument on Thursday to check out just how reactionary and potentially violent the movement truly was. Answer: Not very. Based on what I saw and heard, tea party members are not seething, ready-to-explode racists, as some liberal commentators have caricatured them.”
McCartney went on to say that he disagrees with 95% of their positions and there maybe some who are extreme or bigoted. (Note: It is worth mentioning that most of us who support the Tea Party also recognize this and we work to neutralize these individuals as they do not represent the core values of the movement. However it is impossible with a grassroots movement to entirely control the fringe that every large movement unwillingly attracts.) He went on to say, “Nevertheless, on the whole, they struck me as passionate conservatives dedicated to working within the system rather than dangerous militia types or a revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Although shrinking government is their primary goal, many conceded that the country should keep Medicare and even Social Security. None was clamoring for civil disobedience, much less armed revolt.”
See article at:
I’ll leave you with these final thoughts. To continue to gain legitimacy with our fellow citizen’s regardless of their point of view, Tea Parties and conservatives must work to maintain a positive image. We must not allow our conservative movement to be legitimately characterized as extreme by rising to the race baiting, name calling and smear campaigns which will be launched against us. As John Adams said, “facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” If the facts continue to show that the core of this movement is based in civility and intelligent disagreement we can win. However, if we allow ourselves to be pulled down a path that frustrates us and brings out the worst in our character we will lose. We can not depend on fair media coverage – so be smart. We must work within the system to create the change we want. Be vigilant to ensure that the members of your groups behave with civility. Monitor your events and challenge those who bring inappropriate signs or behave in an inappropriate manner. They are a reflection on all of us.
We are making progress and waking the country up to our conservative message. Let’s give America an alternative to the path it is currently on. Let’s return to the values that were the foundation on which America was built. The time for choosing is here.
Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left!
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams