Tea Party ‘Extreme’ to Amanpour, But Union Protesters a ‘Populist’ Show of ‘People Power’

Last October, ABC’s Christiane Amanpour characterized the Tea Party as “extreme,” declaring “people are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it but it's extreme.” On Sunday, however, with “People Power” plastered on screen over video of union members in Wisconsin, she saw only a genuine “populist” outpouring of “people power” in Madison.

“This week” she announced in conflating the union grievance in Madison with protests against Arab dictators, “people power making history. A revolt in the Midwest and a revolution sweeping across the Middle East.” She touted how “populist frustration is boiling over this week...in the middle of this country” as “a budget war threatens to shut down the federal government. And now union workers fighting back.”

Amanpour opened the February 20 This Week:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: This week: people power making history. A revolt in the Midwest and a revolution sweeping across the Middle East. State of siege, we take you to Wisconsin where firefighters and teachers have stormed the capitol. Lawmakers are in hiding and the Tea Party is fighting back. Bob Woodruff with the real story inside the battle in the heartland.

MAN: We won in November. Elections have consequences.

AMANPOUR: Our roundtable will ask, will this spread around the rest of the country? As cuts get deep, who should bear the pain?

And freedom fever, the very latest from the Middle East, where bloody protests force another key ally to do the unthinkable. My exclusive with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And the young Internet revolutionaries that tell us how they engineered the fall of America's staunchest allies with American tech, not tanks. This week, people power starts right now.

Good morning. Populist frustration is boiling over this week, as we’ve said not just in the Middle East but in the middle of this country as well. A budget war threatens to shut down the federal government. And now union workers fighting back are tying state and local governments in knots. Ground Zero: Madison, Wisconsin.

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center