Americans Ready to Tea Party Like it's 1773. Where's the Media?
BMI's Dan Gainor has the following column on Tax Day and Tea Parties up on the Fox Forum:
When you want tea, you bring water to a boil. When you want genuine change, you do the same thing to the American public.
Right now, that public is boiling mad and, with April 15 around the corner, the most important thing brewing is tax protest. For every state in the nation, this tea’s for you.
Lucky for us, our cups runneth over. The nationwide Tax Day Tea Party movement is building incredible steam with an event on the day most Americans dread – April 15. It’s an H&R Block Party to take back our government from people who couldn’t manage the budget of a Kwik-E-Mart.
The movement was inspired by the anti-tax fervor that made CNBC’s Rick Santelli a household name. Thankfully, Santelli let his anger get the best of him. His famous rant called for the president to have “people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages.” A week later, on Feb. 27, 30,000 people gathered at 50 tea parties from Green Bay to Philadelphia to celebrate a sentiment first made popular in Boston in 1773. Back then, patriots threw tea into the harbor rather than pay outrageous taxes.
Now, that Lipton’s is pouring all over the Internet as videos of tax protests populate You Tube and other video sites. More than 64,000 have viewed Lloyd Marcus singing “American Tea Party” proclaiming “freedom ain’t free.” One video from the earlier tea parties has close to a quarter million views as angry taxpayers realize national media and politicians ignore their protests. Journalists are as clueless as ever. But some politicians are getting the message as modern day patriots create security scares by sending tea bags to their politicians in Washington.
On April 15, the group hopes to dump more Tetley into the budget battle with at least 500 events – including one in every single congressional district. Their goal is to “stop this crazy spending,” according to Michael Patrick Leahy, co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter. TCOT, as it is better known to Twitter users, is working with the Dontgo Movement, Smart Girl Politics and Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions to make rising taxes and a tone deaf government the top national issues.
Their message to politicians is simple: “Vote for the wasteful spending bill and we will find someone from the crowd to run against you and we will beat you in 2010,” said Leahy. He puts it more nicely than I would. The hardworking people of this country are tired of being robbed and two months in, Barack Obama looks more like Jesse James every day.
If you rely on the mainstream media, then much of what you’ve just read truly is news. The tea parties have only gotten passing mention on the major broadcast news shows. Papers like The New York Times and Washington Post would rather cover just about anything than a conservative protest. The Times preferred to regale readers with the “significance of the tea ceremony in Japan” instead of telling them the significance of tea protest in the United States.
The Post has completely ignored tea party events in recent weeks, but it’s there for meaningless demonstrations like “Genital Integrity Awareness Week.” (Such is the state of modern media that they need a week to find that which the lord gave them.) The Style section delivered a protest story involving "about 50 people" opposed to male circumcision. The event was typical Post fodder, lacking only the “Free Mumia” idiots who usually abound in left-wing gatherings. I guess it’s only natural that the Post would rather cover 50 penis protesters than thousands in an actual tax demonstration. Given how much they cover Congress, they are uniquely familiar with the subject of the first protest and care little about the second.
Even CNBC, which helped make the “Chicago tea party” an idea that the White House had to address, has slinked away from the battle. Santelli cancelled his scheduled appearance with Jon Stewart and the network itself has made a major left turn by adding analyst Howard Dean and getting Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington to host “Squawk Box.” Almost over night, CNBC’s star attraction Jim Cramer went from comparing Obama to Lenin in January to saying he was “pro-shareholder” two months later. Apparently somebody at GE wants CNBC to be more like MSNBC.
But a news blackout won’t stop the tea parties. They are just getting started. The April 15 event is only round two of 10 planned rounds of butt-kicking activism. Round three, fittingly, is on July 4. On tax day, we get to remind Washington that we pay the bills for all of their pork-barrel spending. On Independence Day, we get to remind them that we can vote them out just as easily as they were voted in.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and Vice President of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum and he can be seen each Thursday on Foxnews.com’s “Strategy Room.”