Tea Parties? What Tea Parties? Predictably, Established Media Coverage of Tea Party Protests Is Sparse

Coverage of "tea party" protests in various cities around the country (this March 4 Pajamas Media press release, HT to FreeRepublic, cited 22 locations on February 27 and seven this weekend) has been sparse to non-existent, especially at major establishment media outlets.

Most notably, based on a seach on "tea party" (not in quotes) at its ap.org home page at about 10:00 a.m., there has been no coverage of this weekend's or last weekend's protests by the Associated Press, the self-described "essential global news network":

APsearchTeaParty030809

What's more, even though over 20 of the protests had already taken place, the AP's David Bauder, in his coverage of a dispute over the prominent use of CNBC's Rick ("Rant Hear 'Round the world") Santelli's name at a protest web site (the March 2, 8:06 p.m. item above), either did not know that the protests had occurred, or didn't care to inform his readers that they had.

Looking at this weekend's coverage thus far, a 10:15 a.m. Google News search on "tea party" for March 7-8 (in quotes, sorted by date with duplicates included), returned only 47 items (the over 1,500 results claim at the top of the first page of the results is wrong; scroll to the bottom to see that there are only 5 pages of results). Roughly a quarter of them are unrelated to the protests; most of the rest are from local publications and TV stations results. One exception is Michelle Malkin's column ("The Wealth Battlefield") in the Washington Times.

As if you didn't know already: With the exception of a one-paragraph blog post at the New York Times, searches at the Washington Post and the Times on "tea party" (not in quotes) indicate that there was no coverage of the protest events.

Maybe the tea partiers should have told the press that they were holding Iraq War protests.

UPDATE: Patrik Jonsson at the Christian Science Monitor did an even-handed report on the tea party movement on February 27 ("Budget debate launches new tea party"). I appreciate his e-mail calling his work to my attention.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.