Just after NBC News called Nevada for incumbent Democratic Senator Harry Reid, Meet the Press host David Gregory credited his victory to how “Tea Party-backed” Sharron Angle disrespected journalists, citing how she “made some very unwise decisions, namely, saying things like 'I'm not going to give any interviews until after I'm elected.'” Gregory contended: “I don't think that inspires a great deal of confidence in independent voters, or any voter for that matter.”
Later in the 1:00 AM EDT hour, anchor Brian Williams asked NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker to explain “what's wrong” with the promise by Republican candidates to cut spending? Whitaker channeled a liberal argument in favor of hiking taxes, declaring “the fact is right now the Republican numbers do not add up” since House Republicans want to roll back “spending to 2008 levels, which gets you about a $100 billion, but extending all the tax cuts. And the Congressional Budget Office has said that ends up adding $270 billion, at least, to the deficit.”
Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw threw a bit of wet blanket on the Tea Party's big night, after quoting Tea Party activist Matt Kibbe's declaration that "the people want less from their federal government," Brokaw skeptically added: "We've heard that before, when it bumps up against reality of closing a base or shutting down an agricultural substation...it gets pretty tough to do."
This led current Nightly News anchor Brian Williams to cast Tea Partiers as know-nothing hypocrites, as he added: "Reminds me of the signs at more than one rally this past season: 'Get the government out of my Social Security. Get government out of my Medicare." Williams then went on to cite how Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi mocked Tea Party attendees as he had reported "many people he has met at rallies had been recipients of government."
The following exchange was aired during NBC News' live election night coverage on November 2:
HBO's Bill Maher spouted his usual anti-conservative and anti-Fox News rhetoric on Monday's Situation Room on CNN, attacking the Tea Party movement as "teabaggers [who] are all carrying the banner...of corporatist America" and accusing CNN's competitor of "filling people with misinformation." Maher also labeled Republican voters "far right" and a "fringe group of people who are very forceful."
The left-wing HBO host appeared for two segments starting at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour. Anchor Wolf Blitzer began with an election-related question: "Let's talk a little bit about what's going to happen tomorrow. A lot of Democrats are worried. They're sitting on a potential political disaster tomorrow. Here's the question to you: why? What happened?"
Maher actually first blamed the Democrats: "Well- I mean, partly, it is the Democrats' fault. They don't do very good at bragging about their achievements. This Congress, which I'm sure is going to be tarred as a do-nothing Congress, actually was one of the more successful congresses in recent memory, probably not since Lyndon Johnson in 1965 has a Congress achieved so much." The guest predictably cited health care "reform" and financial reforms as his examples.
Blitzer followed-up by asking, "So is it just a matter of communications?" Maher launched his attack on Fox News in his reply:
CNN led their hour-long documentary "Boiling Point: Inside the Tea Party," which aired on Saturday and Sunday, with the regular accusation from liberals that racism is "running rampant" in the Tea Party movement. Host Shannon Travis highlighted the NAACP's resolution, disgraced former Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams's self-described "foolish satire," and played up two racially-charged signs.
Before raising the racism charge, Travis raised another liberal stereotype perpetuated by the mainstream media: the angry Tea Party: "This is what you know about the Tea Party Movement: rallies like these, angry protesters demanding that lawmakers spend less of your money and spend more time adhering to the Constitution." After stating that "rallies like these across the country, don't tell the full picture" and that "there's a lot you don't know about the Tea Party movement," the CNN host stopped briefly to give some poll numbers on the partisan breakdown of the movement before proceeding to the race issue:
One day before what many say will be an historic election; CNBC appears to finally be embracing one of the most famous moments in the network’s history: A Feb. 19, 2009 “rant heard around the world” by CME Group floor reporter Rick Santelli, which is credited by many for igniting the Tea Party movement.
Throughout the day on Nov. 1, CNBC aired a 30-second spot encouraging viewers to tune into its network for election night coverage. The promo said to tune to CNBC “when the economy is topic A” and concluded with part of Santelli’s famous rant, “President Obama, are you listening?”
Journalists are practically giddy in anticipation of this weekend's Jon Stewart rally on the National Mall. The Rally's staff has recieved more than 1,000 requests for press credentials for the event. Only 400 were given out.
Those statistics underscore just how much the media loves Stewart's leftist message (and it is a leftist message). For some perspective, consider that the September 12, 2010 Tea Party on the Mall received roughly 150 requests for press credentials, according to FreedomWorks, which sponsored the event.
“We’re so eager to promote ourselves with the smartest take on how President Obama and the Democrats got themselves in this pickle that we haven’t done a good job explaining the stakes,” Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter despaired in a piece in the latest issue of the magazine in which he didn’t even pretend to be a journalist and delivered a political activist’s screed, “Why the Midterms Matter: The GOP's agenda has to be stopped.”
Alter, author of the sycophantic book earlier this year, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, feared a dire fate if Republicans gain more power: “The Tea Party will transform itself from an insurgency into the driving force within the GOP” and “extremist Senators like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn will move from being irritants on the fringe to players at the center of our politics.” He concluded by scolding those who won’t come out to vote for Democrats:
A right-wing Republican takeover of Congress and state capitals isn’t something to accept with indifference. Midterms matter, and voters tempted to skip this election should have their heads examined.
When seeking political neutrality in a discussion of the Tea Party movement, it's probably best to avoid including - let alone promoting - a reporter who consistently suggests that racism undergirds the movement.
But that is exactly what the State Department did in selecting New York Times reporter Kate Zernike to brief foreign journalists on the Tea Party last Friday.
Bob Schieffer attempted a nice little gotcha on Sunday when he asked former Bush adviser Karl Rove, "Have you come on 'Face the Nation' this morning and said for the record that Rush Limbaugh takes things out of context?"
The man commonly referred to as The Architect didn't take the bait (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Prefacing his remarks by proposing “you never get into a political discussion unless you bring the word Hitler in. You have to have Hitler, so let's put Hitler out there,” as if that caveat lessened the vulgarity of his impending comparison, on Friday night’s Real Time actor/director/writer Rob Reiner (IMDb page) contended all the Tea Party needs to match Adolph Hitler is a charismatic leader:
He wasn’t a majority guy, but he was charismatic and they were having bad economic times – just like we are now – people were out of work, they needed jobs and a guy came along and rallied the troops. My fear is that the Tea Party gets a charismatic leader, because all they're selling is fear and anger and that's all Hitler sold. “I’m angry and I’m frightened and you should hate that guy over there.”
“Right,” Bill Maher chirped in as Reiner, to applause from HBO's Los Angeles audience, declared: “And that’s what they’re doing.”
(Apparently, that means he at least doesn’t consider Sarah Palin to be a Hitler-like charismatic leader.) Audio: MP3 clip.
In broadcast network stories on how Ginni Thomas left a phone message for Anita Hill (“I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband”) , a revelation which ABC and NBC decided merited their lead slot, the network journalists couldn't resist scolding her for her conservative political activity.
“Ginni Thomas has long stretched our idea of what a spouse of a non-partisan Supreme Court justice should be,” ABC's Sharyn Alfonsi contended, explaining: “A long-time conservative activist, she now heads Liberty Central, an advocacy group opposing what she characterizes as the leftist tyranny of President Obama.”
On CBS, Jan Crawford declared the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “has come under scrutiny” because “she formed a grass-roots conservative group and speaks at Tea Party conventions.” NBC's Andrea Mitchell echoed: “Recently, Virginia Thomas has emerged as a high-profile Tea Party activist and skilled fundraiser,” calling that “an unusually partisan role for a Supreme Court spouse, as the New York Times wrote on the 19th anniversary of the hearings, the same morning Mrs. Thomas called Anita Hill.”
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts on Wednesday hyped an attack on the "racist" Tea Party by the left-wing Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Roberts never once mentioned the liberal slant of the group, instead passing it off as a "human rights group."
The News Live host interviewed Ben Jealous, the President of the NAACP, who wrote the forward to the report. Roberts parroted, "The Tea Party, the Racism Within. That is the provocative headline of a new report out today by a human rights organization. And some of its findings are pretty troubling."
What, exactly, does the IREHR believe? According to the group's website, it's focus is on promoting abortion rights, gay rights and fighting bigotry and racism from religious Americans.
As NewsBusters reported Thursday, a UCLA graduate student has published a study debunking the myth that the Tea Party is racist.
On Monday, Gretchen Carlson invited the study's author on "Fox & Friends" to do what every news outlet ought to, namely, tell the truth about what the movement that is radically changing the political landscape is really all about (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS reporter Lesley Stahl was very confused on Monday's "Morning Joe". She just couldn't figure out why there are so many women involved with the Tea Party.
Stahl received a basic civics lesson from two unlikely personalities: columnist Mike Barnicle, and Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review and author of "The Death of Conservatism".
Tanenhaus noted that economic issues are of particular importance to women, and therefore that women are going to be more active when their economic livelihood is threatened. Barnicle suggested that since women generally handle household finances, the illogic of deficit spending is especially clear to them (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Caroline May).
The Washington Post is now farming out its liberal hit pieces to outside journalism groups. On the top of page A3 Monday was a story from the liberal Center for Public Integrity slashing Republicans (and conservative Democrats) as hypocrites for voting against the so-called “stimulus” but then sending constituent requests for “stimulus” support. This, by now, is a very tired White House talking point from February, but reporters John Solomon and Aaron Mehta were retreading it anyway:
Rep. Pete Sessions, the firebrand conservative from Texas, has relentlessly assailed the Democratic stimulus efforts as a package of wasteful "trillion-dollar spending sprees" that was "more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs."
But that didn't stop the Republican lawmaker from seeking stimulus money behind the scenes for the Dallas suburb of Carrollton after the GOP campaign against the 2009 stimulus law quieted down....
ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday discovered “a long and venerable tradition of conservatism in this country” exemplified by Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley and “all of that sort of intellectual conservatism,” but she only showed respect for that tradition in order to contend “people,” who she failed to name, “are saying that right now, it's really gone to the extreme.” Repeating her “people” generality, she insisted: “People are looking at the Tea Party and saying this is not conservatism as we knew it but it's extreme.”
George Will retorted: “Which is exactly what they said about Bill Buckley and Bill Buckley's candidate, Barry Goldwater, who was supposedly representing the paranoid style in American politics.”
Later, during the October 17 roundtable, Amanpour fretted: “Where is campaign finance reform?” Will called the lack of legislative prospects on that front be “an absolutely wonderful development this year,” to which an appalled Amanpour wondered: “How can that be wonderful for a democracy, I mean not to know where all of this money comes from and who is putting it in?”
Conservative Richard Viguerie brought his criticism of CNN's "left-of-center" bent on Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, and recommended that the network bring on more "articulate conservatives." The two CNN hosts, whom Viguerie recently criticized in a recent column, did their best to support his allegation by bringing on four liberals as guests during the program.
The conservative wrote an August 17, 2010 column in the Washington Examiner criticizing CNN for claiming that they're "playing it right down the middle," when in reality, they lean towards the liberal side. Parker launched right into addressing her guest's criticism: "So, we're going to go ahead and get the elephant out of the room, and I'm not talking about you. But you did write about me....that I am a 'pleasantly wishy-washy, mostly plain vanilla Republican.' It's hard to see your words applied when the person is actually present, isn't it?"
Viguerie replied by half-jokingly taking back his label, but immediately gave her another:
Chris Matthews' level of political advocacy as we approach November's elections has now crossed from being unprofessional into almost pathological.
After claiming on Wednesday's "Hardball" that the Chilean miners would all be dead if they followed the so-called "every man for himself" philosophy of the Tea Party movement, he proceeded on Thursday to use this incident as an example of why people should vote for Democrats on November 2 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Not that we needed a study to tell us this, but according to one conducted by a UCLA grad student, media coverage of Tea Party rallies has dramatically overrepresented the presence of racist or other offensive signs there.
According to the Washington Post, which laudably reported on the study today, UCLA grad student Emily Ekins found that "media coverage of tea party rallies over the past year have focused so heavily on the more controversial signs that it has contributed to the perception that such content dominates the tea party movement more than it actually does."
Ekins, who, it should be noted, is a former intern at the libertarian Cato Institute, actually attended the September 12 rally (imagine that) and kept a tally of the types of signs she saw there:
As it's grown in influence and power, the Tea Party movement is increasingly being attacked by fearful liberals looking for ways to paint it as racist. One of their favorite lines of late is that the desire to "take the country back" is actually veiled bigotry, even a call to return to institutionalized racism. Considering how many liberals used this phrase during the Bush 43 administration, however, this is yet another case of media liberals throwing stones from a glass house.
"We're talking about the extreme portions of the tea party movement and they're overwhelmingly white. Those are the folks that are saying I want my country back," Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart said on today's "Morning Joe". "And it does have that tinge of I want my country back from them." The word racism was never mentioned, but check out the video below the fold. The implication was clear.
No word yet on whether Capehart and every other media personality to parrot this line of attack also think racism animates Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, James Carville, Paul Begala, Nation editor in chief Katrina vanden Heuvel, and libtalker Thom Hartmann. All have used the phrase "take our country back" or some form of it in electoral rallying cries (see details below the fold).
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham on Wednesday took on the creator and executive producer of the hit television series "CSI" over the season premiere which featured teen heartthrob Justin Bieber as a "domestic terrorist with Tea Party leanings."
"If that’s not a drive-by hit against the Tea Party movement, then I don’t know what is," Ingraham told her guest Anthony Zuiker (audio follows with partial transcript and commentary):
On Monday's Parker-Spitzer, CNN's Kathleen Parker picked up where her co-host Eliot Spitzer left off on Friday, bashing conservatives as "fringe elements" inside the Republican Party. Parker continued the Tea Party movement was the result of the GOP "catering" to such elements and that "the kooks have come home to roost."
The pseudo-conservative columnist returned to her old habit of attacking conservatives during a panel discussion with Reason magazine's Nick Gillespie and NPR contributor John Ridley minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. Gillespie criticized how both Republicans and Democrats handled the past decade: "It's really awful, and we had- you know, six years of Republican rule, which was awful and disastrous on every level, and everything since then has been equally bad." The writer continued with a commentary on the phenomenon of Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell selection in Delaware:
Europe isn’t socialist enough for ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, who pushed French’s finance minister about how “prominent” economists are urging Europe to abandon “austerity” since “it needs more stimulus to provide more growth,” and later during the This Week roundtable, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman ridiculed Tea Party candidates as “irrational” and “seriously strange” before he insisted that irrationality is demonstrated by their inability to recognize Barack Obama is a “centrist moderate President.”
Krugman asserted: “If we have a Republican Party that actually takes the White House, actually has control of Congress, but contains a large wing of these people, it's going to be incapable of making real choices. These are people who are as irrational as they seem in these ads.” He soon parodied the views of Tea Party enthusiasts:
Eliot Spitzer returned to attacking the Tea Party and their allies on Thursday's Parker-Spitzer, lamenting that people "kind of from the fringe" like Christine O'Donnell "seem to be taking over the Republican Party." Guest Bernard-Henri Levy also joined in the Tea Party bashing, labeling the movement "really crazy" and insulted Sarah Palin as being less "American" than President Obama.
The new CNN program led the 8 pm Eastern hour with a replay of correspondent Jim Acosta's interview of Delaware Republican Senate candidate O'Donnell, which first aired earlier in the day. Once the interview finished, the former New York governor launched into his lamentation of the supposed takeover of the GOP, and invoked a past failed Republican presidential candidate as he continued:
SPITZER: Why there are so many folks like her [Christine O'Donnell] who seem to be taking over the Republican Party? I mean, this is not Bob Dole's Republican Party anymore- thoughtful, serious people. This (sic) is people who are kind of- I hate to say it, but kind of from the fringe.
There was almost a full-fledged panic attack on Thursday's "Hardball" as three devout liberal media members fretted over the possibility that Tea Party success at the polls next month could make the GOP more conservative.
So worried about this was MSNBC's Chris Matthews that he opined at the end of the segment, "At some point, they`ll become not the party of the elephant but the party of the barking dogs as the cars go by" (video follows with commentary and full transcript at end of the article):
A new CBS News poll found the public rejecting President Barack Obama and Democrats – so the CBS Evening News focused its story on discrediting the legitimacy of the Tea Party movement. “Tonight, 26 days til the elections,” Katie Couric teased, “a CBS News poll finds support for Republicans growing, but most Americans don't believe the Tea Party represents them.” Couric proceeded to highlight how “45 percent of likely voters would choose the Republican candidate, 37 percent the Democrat” and Obama's disapproval on the economy is soaring while “two out of three think he's been only an average or poor President so far.”
Couric then pivoted, however, to how “that would no doubt include members of the Tea Party,” and asked: “But do most Americans agree with the movement's agenda?” Reporter Dean Reynolds set up a straw man and shot it down: “While they style themselves as insurgents angry at both parties, the CBS News poll says 81 percent intend to vote Republican next month.” He next tried to discredit the movement for its demographics: “Tea Partiers are overwhelmingly white, male, protestant...” Reynolds demanded of a Tea Party supporter: “ Where would we be today were it not for the stimulus or the bailouts of the banks and the auto industry?”
The Chicago-based Reynolds stressed how “the poll found that only 30 percent of the country believes the Tea Partiers reflect the views of most Americans, 41 percent of the country does not.” A Chicago resident charged: “They represent a very small sliver of Americans who are upset about paying taxes. There's always going to be people who don't want to pay taxes.” Reynolds concluded that “despite all the publicity it's generated, only 22 percent of Americans view the movement favorably.”
CNN's new host Eliot Spitzer slammed the Tea Party movement on Tuesday's Parker-Spitzer: "I think that that piece of the Republican Party is vapid. It has no ideas....They're going to destroy our country." Spitzer also accused Tea Party members of forwarding a "Herbert Hoover vision of government...saying, we want to take away the very pieces of government that created the middle class."
The former New York governor of "Client Number Nine" infamy launched his attack on the nascent political movement minutes into the 8 pm Eastern, as he and his co-host, Kathleen Parker, discussed Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's new ad. After listing what he thought was positive about O'Donnell and her ad, Spitzer gave his "vapid" remark about the Tea Party and made his first mention of former President Hoover: