ABC Uses Michelle Obama's NAACP Speech to Accuse Tea Party of Racism
ABC News on Monday used Michelle Obama's speech before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to accuse the Tea Party movement of racism.
The news network prominently featured at its website a story with the headline "Michelle Obama Rouses NAACP Before Vote Condemning 'Racist' Elements of Tea Party."
The problem is the First Lady didn't talk about the Tea Party at her address to the NAACP Monday. She didn't even mention the group. NOT ONCE.
She was there to talk about childhood obesity.
Yet ABCNews.com chose to make its entire report on her speech about alleged racism in the Tea Party (photo courtesy AP, h/t NBer motherbelt):
First Lady Michelle Obama brought renewed energy to the NAACP today, delivering the keynote speech at the annual convention one day before the nation's largest civil rights group is expected to condemn what it calls racist elements in the Tea Party movement.
The nation's largest and oldest civil rights organization will vote on the resolution Tuesday during its annual convention in Kansas City, Mo.
In her speech, the first lady focused on the issue of childhood obesity and her "Let's Move" initiative, but outside of her remarks, anti-Tea Party activism has been a key focus of the gathering, which conservative leaders say is driven solely by a political agenda.
Tea Party members have used "racial epithets," have verbally abused black members of Congress and threatened them, and protestors have engaged in "explicitly racist behavior" and "displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically," according to the proposed resolution.
"We're deeply concerned about elements that are trying to move the country back, trying to reverse progress that we've made," NAACP spokeswoman Leila McDowell told ABC News. "We are asking that the law-abiding members of the Tea Party repudiate those racist elements, that they recognize the historic and present racist elements that are within the Tea Party movement."
Next, the article promoted a rally being orchestrated against the movement:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in coordination with 170 other groups, including labor unions, is planning a protest march in Washington, D.C., Oct. 2 as the next step in building momentum against the Tea Party.
The "One Nation" march is designed as an antithesis to the Tea Party, and it's about "pulling America together and back to work," McDowell said.
"We see it as a threat to democracy. We see it as a threat to human rights. We certainly see it as a threat to civil rights," McDowell said, adding that the resolution will likely pass when it's voted upon Tuesday.
Supporters of the Tea Party movement have frequently faced charges of racism.
After listing some of the allegations of racism in the movement, and giving some print space to members that disagree with the accusations, author Huma Khan concluded:
The first lady's speech focused on childhood obesity and her "Let's Move" initiative designed to promote healthy living and eating for children.
NAACP leaders have individually taken on the Tea Party in the past, but the organization is now trying to build a bigger momentum against the Tea Party, which has emerged as a strong grassroots, albeit fragmented, force across the country.
"We have to close the enthusiasm gap," NAACP president Ben Jealous said in an interview with the Associated Press Friday. "The danger of the Tea Party is that people see them and think about periods in history when groups like them were much more powerful than they are now, and so a lot of what we spend energy doing is explaining to people what reality is, and that the reality is that the majority from 2008 still exists."
That's correct. Her speech DID focus on childhood obesity. But ABC News chose to focus its report on her speech on allegations of racism within the Tea Party.
Not only that, the article was prominently featured at the top of the front page of the news organization's website Tuesday: