Chicago Trib's Page Claims 'Teabagger' Label 'Asked For'; Calls Fox News Arm of GOP

UPDATE: Page responds to NewsBusters in Chicago Tribune blog post.

The bitterness toward the tea party movement continues to go on and on.

Case in point - Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, who on the Dec. 27 broadcast of "The McLaughlin Group," deemed it "The Most Defining Political Moment" of 2009, but refused to call it the "tea party." Instead, he granted the movement the preferred name by the left-leaning cable network MSNBC, the "teabaggers" and somehow devised the notion that the movement "asked for" the derogatory name.

"The backlash movement known as the ‘teabaggers,' who kind of asked for that name and now they regret it," Page said.

And later in the broadcast, Page set his sights on the Fox News Channel, reiterating former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn's claim that Fox "really is more a wing of the Republican Party." According to Page, that was "The Fairest Rap" award for 2009.

"Fox News sounds like an arm of the Republican Party," Page said. "It only sounds like it."

Host John McLaughlin asked Page if he thought it was a mistake for Fox News to drift to the right side of the political spectrum, which he said it wasn't tactically. However, he clarified his comment to say only the primetime portion of the cable channel's broadcasting is the arm.

"No, tactically no," Page said. "[M]ost of Fox News is a news channel, but primetime is where it sounds like an arm of the Republicans."