Newsweek Writer Claims 200,000 Coffee Party Members

Does anyone out there remember the Coffee Parties?

You can be forgiven if you have forgotten them. They made a brief appearance due to media driven hype over a month ago and then quickly disappeared from view when they inspired a collective yawn from the public. The photo at right shows a typical Coffee Party "rally" from back then. Typical in that few people showed up to protest against private ownership (aka free enterprise). Even the organizer of the Coffee Party non-movement, Annabel Park, seems to have lost her enthusiasm for the cause as evidenced by her Twitter page. After an initial flurry of posts, Park's interest pretty much petered out as you can see.

However, despite the utter failure of the liberal Coffee Parties to counter the popular Tea Parties, the MSM continues to hype them to the point of absolute absurdity.  And the latest entry in this category comes from Steve Tuttle of Newsweek with his claim that the Coffee Party now has 200,000 members and that they had 500 meetings one day recently.

Here is Tuttle in the midst of extreme hype mode. Please be prepared to have your BS meters fly off the scale while reading:

When Annabel Park imagined what it would be like to head a new national political movement, here is what she had in mind: a coming together of engaged, intelligent citizens who had tired of the angry rhetoric and accusations of the Tea Partiers; Americans of all political persuasions joining in a spirit of equanimity to discuss the nation's problems, and maybe even share a laugh. It was this beautiful vision that danced in Park's head on a recent Saturday as she made her way to Busboys and Poets, a cafe in Washington, D.C., for one of nearly 500 Coffee Party meetings taking place nationwide that day.

...All of a sudden Park was a political leader—of what, she didn't quite know—and the target of right-wing fury. Conservative bloggers unearthed—scandal!—that she had once briefly worked for The New York Times and supported Sen. Jim Webb, a moderate Democrat from Virginia. One online commenter accused her of being a "Chinese agent." The notoriety didn't really hurt: the group now has more than 200,000 members, and every status update Park posts gets about a million views.

So where did Tuttle get that 200,000 figure? Hmm... By odd "coincidence" the Coffee Party FaceBook Page (which features photos of no more than about a couple dozen partiers) shows that a little over 200,000 "People Like This."  Come on, Steve, 'fess up. Is that where you got your 200,000 figure? From people sitting on their duffs at home and hitting the "Like" button while munching on pizza? While you're at it, please explain to us where that 500 simultaneous Coffee Parties figure came from.

Meanwhile the MSM is doing everything it can to downplay the size of the Tea Party movement. As NewsBusters Alex Fitzsimmons pointed out:

Is the Tea Party movement nothing but a mirage? That’s the impression left by an odd confluence of recent reports.

First, the Christian Science Monitor’s Patchwork Nation blog reported that the entire Tea Party movement consists of just 67,000 members. PBS NewsHour cross-posted the story on its The Rundown blog the same day. The next day, CNN reported the findings on its Political Ticker blog and Politico’s Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith co-authored a piece titled “The tea party’s exaggerated importance.”

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.