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:
Since the Tea Party movement first captured America's attention in 2009, the media have gone apoplectic over some of the signs held by event attendees.
To give you an idea of the level of fascination, a Google search of the phrase "hate-filled Tea Party signs" produces 378,000 results.
With this in mind, as Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in the nation's capital approached, numerous press outlets hyperventilated in expectation of all kinds of offensive posters adorning the National Mall.
Sadly for the conservative despising media, such fears didn't come to fruition.
However, at Saturday's "One Nation" rally, numerous hate-filled signs did emerge:
Here's something you wouldn't expect to read in the New York Times: Republicans are better informed about political issues than blacks, Hispanics, and young people.
"Big-city liberals and their blogging buddies love to paint Tea Partiers as yokels with incoherent candidates and language-mauling signs," began Charles Blow's column Saturday.
"The unpleasant fact that these liberals rarely mention, and may not know, is that large swaths of the Democratic base, groups they need to vote in droves next month - blacks, Hispanics and young people - are far less civically literate than their conservative counterparts."
Advancing the Democratic-liberal effort to discredit Tea Party-favored candidates as unhinged cads, Thursday’s NBC Nightly News elevated a heated exchange, between New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino and a reporter, into an excuse to denounce “mean” and “angry” candidates. “The mean season in politics gets nastier with charges of infidelity, something close to a fistfight and they're just getting started,” Brian Williams teased. “Tonight,” he soon relayed, “opponents of the GOP nominee for Governor of New York are saying he behaved like a thug in a piece of videotape that rocketed across the Internet today.”
Reporter Kelly O’Donnell asserted: “Carl Paladino has admitted his own infidelity and then just accused his opponent of cheating with no proof. That's what set off this fight. But the bigger picture,” she intoned, “is how many voters and candidates have been losing their cool. Anger management is not required or even expected this year.”
She proceeded to highlight how “in Maine this week, a candidate for Governor lashed out at the President.” Viewers then saw Web video, promoted by a left-wing blog, of Republican Paul LePage promising an audience: “You're going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying, ‘Governor LePage tells Obama to 'Go to Hell.'”
"What's the answer to the Tea Party racist question?"
Galloping into the 10 p.m. Eastern timeslot as the white knight of truth, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word," challenged left-wing writer Matt Taibbi on September 29 to answer this incisive question.
Eager to discuss the subject of his latest conservative hit-piece, Taibbi imparted the sort of thoughtful analysis viewers should expect from a Rolling Stone political reporter: "My answer is it's not so much about hating black people for these people, I think it's more about believing in this preposterous fantasy that white people are some kind of oppressed minority in the age of Obama."
After belittling the Tea Party for its "incredibly stupid" worldview, Taibbi pointed to the grassroots movement's "collective narcissistic" behavior as the source of its alleged stupidity. A seemingly entranced O'Donnell concurred with Taibbi's diagnosis, then invited the correspondent to press on:
As we near the midterm elections, left-wingers will be reading from the same tired playbook – the attempted marginalization of the Tea Party movement, but just more of it. But more and more, they are discovering the tactics are tougher to defend, as their side has their own fringe, loose-cannon elements.
KERNEN: I want to talk to you about something, later about -- you're calling Tea Party people wing nuts and fruit loops? RENDELL: Not all of them. KERNEN: Not all of them? You saw the president, the president basically said that most of them, most of the Tea Party “are directed and financed by powerful and special interests lobbies,” this is in the Journal today. That's most of them and the rest of them are bigots. So you're either directed by special interests … RENDELL: I don't believe it. KERNEN: Seventy-one percent of Republicans, according to this poll today in the Journal identify – so, you've just trashed the entire half of the country. CARUSO-CABRERA: He says slowly but surely, the GOP is taken over by whackos. RENDELL: There’s no question about that.
Lately the Fox News Channel’s overnight program “Red Eye” has offered a plethora of media criticism – much of it dead-spot on. Last week during this his “Gregalogue” segment, host Greg Gutfeld took on the so-called “Rally to Restore Sanity” offered up by Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
“So President Obama was just interviewed in Rolling Stone magazine -- that thinning pamphlet for our country's dwindling supply of pony-tailed pensioners,” Gutfeld said. “When asked about Fox News, this is what our Commander-in-Chief had to say.”
New York Times correspondent Thomas Friedman is clearly unhappy about the Tea Party, so much so that he considers the movement "not that important."
Instead, he envisions another group, "which stretches from centrist Republicans to independents right through to centrist Democrats," sitting silently out there in America waiting for the right leader to emerge.
If Arianna Huffington, an admitted “progressive,” announces she’s offering transportation to individuals that desire to participate in Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “million moderate march,” can it really be described as “moderate?”
“We are getting a Huff Post bus. If there is anybody unsure how to get there, talk to me,” Huffington said. “[J]ust come to the Huffington Post, 560 Broadway in SoHo. The bus will be there. We’ll take you with us.”
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll didn’t come up with numbers pleasing to the NBC News staff, though Brian Williams, on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, did his best to spin the findings as showing “there is really bad news if you're an incumbent officeholder of either party” and Chuck Todd insisted the public wants more from the elections than “just change [in] the color of the jerseys.”
Todd, however, couldn’t avoid reporting that “the change that voters want” includes 54 percent who “hope that this Tea Party enthusiasm in the Republican Party makes them a fiscally conservative party” and “54 percent want to see the repeal of health care.” Plus, “42 percent tell us” the Tea Party movement has “been a good thing” – more than twice as many as see it as a “bad thing.”
Unmentioned by Todd or Williams: Those pro-Tea Party/anti-ObamaCare numbers came from a polling sample dominated by MSM television news consumers. Question 36, in the PDF rundown of the survey, asked from which “television news sources do you get MOST of your information about politics and current events?” From the list offered, 35 percent said “broadcast network news, such as NBC, ABC, or CBS,” 16 percent named “the cable channel CNN” and 8 percent affirmed they rely on “the cable channel MSNBC.” That adds up to 59 percent, compared to 24 percent who cited “the cable channel Fox News.”
Interviewing David Axelrod on Sunday’s This Week, Christiane Amanpour asked him to explain why “people don't appreciate some of the amazing legislative agenda” that President Barack Obama has “accomplished,” then with Senator Mitch McConnell she denigrated Republican Senate candidates who are Tea Party favorites: “Are you not afraid that their somewhat, one would say, some might say bizarre statements, their sort of fringe quality might actually turn people off?” She also condescendingly demanded of McConnell: “What is Christine O'Donnell's qualification for actually governing? What is Sharron Angle's actual qualification for governing?”
In a third segment, she cued up Jordan’s Queen Rania to confirm “Islamophobia” mars America: “You've seen the reaction and the fallout from the Islamic center, but it goes broader than that. Do you see a sort of a dangerous Islamophobia in the United States?”
While she repeatedly pushed Axelrod about why Democrats were delaying a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts for “the middle class,” with McConnell she tried to discredit extending the tax rates for everyone, childishly describing how “there's also this huge thing that the people of the United States are worried about, and that is the deficit, and keeping the tax cuts will add trillions to that.”
George Will on Sunday gave a much-needed education to the entire "This Week" panel about how the Tea Party is moving the GOP in a positive direction that could alter politics in this nation for years to come.
As Christiane Amanpour and her Roundtable guests - Democrat strategist Donna Brazile, National Journal's Ron Brownstein, and Republican strategist Matthew Dowd - all fretted about the so-called Civil War brewing in the GOP, Will was once again the voice of reason.
"At the beginning of the year, the question was, will the Tea Party people play nicely with others and will they obey the rules of politics? Who's sort of not playing nicely?" asked Will.
"Mr. Crist starts losing the primary to a Tea Party favorite Rubio. He suddenly discovers that he's an independent and changes all his views overnight," he continued.
"Mrs. Murkowski loses a primary and suddenly discovers that she has a property right in her Senate seat and she's going to run as a write-in. Senator Bennett thought of that in Utah, Senator Castle in Delaware is thinking of a write-in candidate. Who are the extremists?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On the September 15 The View on ABC, co-host Joy Behar insisted that co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was wrong to assert that taxes are set to increase in January as the two sparred over the issue. Behar: "It's not an increase, Elisabeth. It is not an increase." She soon added, "They are not, stop saying it's an increase because it's not." After Hasselbeck shot back, "Okay, we’ll talk in January," Behar continued, "The Democrats want to eliminate the tax cuts for the rich. That's all. Stop doing that."
Behar also exaggerated the anti-big government views of the Tea Party movement, claiming that members "don’t believe in any government at all, zero," and mocked activists for supposedly not realizing that Medicare and Social Security are run by the federal government. Behar: "They just don't believe in any government at all, zero. At the same time, it's fascinating about them, at the same time that they don't believe in any government, a lot of them are like, ‘Don't touch my Medicare.’ Well, what do you think that is? That's the schism within the Tea Party. Don't touch my Social Security. Get the government out of my house, you know, come on."
All three broadcast evening newscasts on Thursday covered the formal unveiling of the Republican ‘Pledge to America,’ a campaign document calling for the repeal of ObamaCare, no tax hikes and balanced budgets. CBS’s Nancy Cordes cast it as pro-Tea Party, “littered with references to the Constitution and promises to reduce the federal debt,” and Tea Party members as “grateful” for its policy prescriptions.
But ABC’s Jonathan Karl said the Pledge was “hardly a Tea Party manifesto. The 45-page document includes more photographs than specifics on spending cuts. No mention of controlling Social Security or Medicare. No mention of eliminating any federal departments. Not even a promise to eliminate earmarks or pork barrel spending.”
Karl even hit GOP Representative Mike Pence from the right: “There aren’t enough cuts in this thing that I see to get anywhere near a balanced budget.”
For the last several weeks there has been a debate raging over whether the grounds surrounding where the 9/11 attacks in Lower Manhattan are sacred and if it would be an appropriate place for an Islamic place of worship to be built. But if it isn’t appropriate, would it be an appropriate place for a Tea Party rally to be held? Possibly not.
But whether that’s the case or not, Newsweek’s David A. Graham would have you believe there will be a so-called “Election Day Tea Party rally” held at Ground Zero, led by former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, as an effort to shore up support for a 2012 presidential bid.