WaPo Celebrates 'Uncommon Forcefulness' of Anti-Tea Party Protest, Submerges Anti-Thomas Hate Speech

While conservatives were shocked at a video showing liberals at a Common Cause rally suggesting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should have his toes cut off one by one, be lynched alongside his wife, or be put "back in the fields," The Washington Post seems to find mostly a burst of liberal pride. On Thursday's Fed Page on A-17, reporter Dan Eggen's story is headlined "Uncommon forcefulness from Common Cause."  The Thomas remarks don't surface until  the end, in paragraph 17. The story begins with a smile, for the nerds have gotten rowdy:

Common Cause has long been something of a nerd among the jocks. While other activists staged loud demonstrations and nervy stunts, the 40-year-old good-government group was more likely to hold a forum on filibuster reform or the vagaries of redistricting. 

But suddenly Common Cause is manning the barricades, leading a rowdy campaign by liberal groups decrying the outsized role of big money in U.S. politics.

At least Eggen is using the L-word, adding "Liberal activists led by Common Cause staged noisy protests last motn outside a private political gathering held by the [Koch] brothers in Rancho Mirage, California." Conservative critics surface in paragraph 8, with Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity objecting to pre-printed liberal signs saying "Koch Kills." Perhaps Eggen deserves a point for that, too, since the AP story from January 30 on the Post website excluded that one (and the Thomas remarks):

Protesters carried signs reading "Troops Home Now," "Medicare for All" and "Tea Party Founded and Funded By The Kochs."

Several dozen people dressed in hazardous materials suits and held police tape and a banner that read "Quarantine the Kochs."

Eggen characterized the hate speech as an "embarrassing distraction." But when someone (like Lyndon LaRouchies) carried Obama-as-Hitler signs, reporters considered it emblematic of the whole movement, not a distraction:

The protest resulted in about two dozen arrests. In addition, conservative activists released a video showing two unidentified white demonstrators at the event saying that Thomas, who is black, should be lynched or put "back in the fields."

The incident was an embarrassing distraction for Common Cause, which said in a statement that it was "outraged" by the racist remarks.

"We condemn bigotry and hate speech in every form, even when it comes from those who fancy themselves as our friends," Edgar said, adding that the group will continue to stage forums and other events focused on Koch Industries' role in U.S. politics.

The oddest part of the conservative video is watching Van Jones saying "I don't care how viciously any of us are targeted by the politics of hatred, I am never going to surrender the politics of hope,"  and then seeing so much hatred from the protesters.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis