CNN's Piers Morgan hosted New York Magazine columnist Frank Rich for a conservative-bashing session on Thursday. Morgan took the opportunity to ask his liberal guest if the Tea Party can even govern.
"But can they actually govern? Or does the rather intransigent streak that they bring to all that policy-making, is that always going to be the problem?" Morgan asked. Rich responded that the Tea Party's refusal to compromise on the debt ceiling was "temper tantrum-throwing and pure, you know, far right ideology."
Rep. Allen West (Fla.), the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), is considering leaving the CBC after a fellow member of the caucus practically compared Tea Party members to lynch mob members.
Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) recently told a gathering in Miami that Tea Party members "would love to see us as second-class citizens" and to see blacks "hanging on a tree."
New York Times staffer Jennifer Steinhauer reported the development yesterday on The Caucus blog. Today the Times ran a condensed version of that blog post on page A16 and headlined it "Taking Issue With Criticism," as though Rep. Andre Carson's comments were legitimate critiques of the Tea Party movement.
Using a time-honored establishment press technique, an unbylined Associated Press report out of Indianapolis this evening ("Ind. lawmaker's lynching reference riles tea party;" saved here at my web host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) twisted the real news about Congressman Andre Carson's inexcusable, hateful comments at a Congressional Black Caucus-sponsored event in Miami on August 22 by making the story largely about the reaction to what he said. By doing so, the AP largely diverted attention from Carson's clear primary targets: Tea Party-sympathetic congressional colleagues.
The AP report also opens by contending that what Carson said was only a "metaphor." Really.
On Tuesday, The Washington Post's Felicia Sonmez noted how MSNBC's Tamron Hall moderated the recent Congressional Black Caucus town hall where Rep. Andre Carson smeared the Tea Party by accusing them of wanting to bring back Jim Crow laws and endorsing the lynching of blacks. Former Obama aide turned NBC employee Joy-Ann Reid also attended the CBC event, but omitted Rep. Carson's attack from her report.
During the August 22 town hall in Miami, Carson, a leader within the liberal Congressional Black Caucus from Indiana, actually apologized to Hall in the midst of his inflammatory remarks against the Tea Party:
Representative Andre Carson's inflammatory attack on the Tea Party has yet to have receive any attention from the Big Three networks. As reported by Politico on Wednesday, Rep. Carson accused Tea Party-friendly members of Congress of wanting to bring back Jim Crow and went so far to accuse his colleagues of wanting to bring back lynching: "Some of them...would love to see you and me...hanging on a tree."
Jake Sherman's report for Politico noted that the "explosive comments, caught on tape, were uploaded on the Internet Tuesday, and Carson's office stood by the remarks." The Blaze, a website run by Glenn Beck, uploaded a video compilation onto YouTube on Tuesday morning which included the Indiana Democrat's smear of the Tea Party. Carson attacked the Tea Party immediately after complimenting Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Emanuel Cleaver at a CBC town hall in Miami on August 22:
During Thursday's 12 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC, host Contessa Brewer, who is soon to be leaving the anchor chair, declared that moderate Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was "trying to turn things around with a new take-no-prisoners strategy, calling out his conservative competitors for their far-right views."
Brewer talked to Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the liberal Slate magazine, who wrote a fawning profile of Huntsman for Vogue magazine. She wondered: "Is Jon Huntsman sort of an anti-Republican?" Weisberg didn't agree with that description, but argued: "He's what used to be the mainstream of the party, he's the kind of Republican who could win a national election against Democrats....But for some reason, for various reasons, the Republican Party seems to have been taken over by the Tea Party movement, by these sort of patriotic anarchists."
The liberal blog Talking Points Memo is highlighting an academic study of the Tea Party that somehow finds that the Tea Party is both authoritarian and libertarian (in addition to being nativist and afraid of change). How does that make sense?
Apparently, this means that Tea Party activists want a return to constitutional principles and also believe that children should listen to their parents:
One of the greatest perversions of statism is the use of taxpayer money to push for ever more government spending and more government intervention. A casual listener to the far-left end of the FM dial, National Public Radio, will quickly conclude that NPR is one of America's leading offenders in this perversion.
Let's just take one show, the August 22 evening newscast "All Things Considered," perhaps one of the most ill-named programs in the history of radio. Conservatism is never considered. It is only besmirched, assaulted, and rhetorically dismembered.
In two separate interviews of Republican presidential candidates, CNN's Piers Morgan exhibited an obvious contempt of Tea Party politics as well as a double standard toward moderate and conservative presidential candidates.
In Monday's interview with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, CNN's Piers Morgan baited the moderate candidate to criticize the Tea Party for its unwavering defense of its principles. In contrast, Morgan used the same rhetoric the week before to put Tea Party champion Ron Paul on the defensive.
As defined by Collins English Dictionary, a bigot is "a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on religion, politics, or race."
In contemporary culture, those who claim to tolerate everything are intolerant of ideas that come from perspectives other than their own, especially when those ideas are rooted in conservative politics or evangelical faith.
NPR's Nina Totenberg spent more than 4 minutes on Wednesday's Morning Edition to supposed ethical conflicts of interest for conservative Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia. By contrast, Totenberg devoted only 17 seconds to the more current issue of liberal Justice Elena Kagan's service in the Obama administration as a factor in upcoming cases before the Court.
Host Renee Montagne introduced the correspondent's report by noting how both "liberal groups have chastised conservative justices for attending private conferences put on by conservative political interests, and conservative groups have responded by leveling some criticism in the other direction." However, the journalist devoted the first three minutes of a seven-and-a-half minute segment on the criticism launched at Clarence Thomas's wife from the left:
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer declared: "In your face. The Tea Party puts its confrontational style on display during a stop on President Obama's bus tour." Later, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd lamented how "uplifting moments" of Obama's Midwest tour were interrupted by "a bitter taste of the energy and confrontational style of the Tea Party."
Throughout Todd's report, the headline on screen read: "The Politics of Anger; Tea Party Tactics Change Race for President." Todd noted how: "For their part, the leading Republican presidential candidates are going out of their way to defend the Tea Party's in-your-face tactics." In a sound bite, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza explained that Republicans, "want a candidate who is willing to fight President Obama on all fronts at all times. They want confrontation, not conciliation."
A hot item on the New York Times website is an op-ed by Harvard professor Robert Putnam (who drew a lot of media notice for his nonfiction book "Bowling Alone") and Notre Dame professor David Campbell called "Crashing the Tea Party." The professors earn their Times real estate by regurgitating the CBS-Times polling on the alleged growing unpopularity of the Tea Party, and calling the Tea Party brand "toxic" for the GOP.
But Putnam and Campbell bring their own data, which purports to find that the Tea Party is even less popular than atheists and Muslims, that they're defined by "low regard for immigrants and blacks," and that their more common characteristic is their theocratic tendences to "mingle religion and politics" which they allege is causing the crash in public support:
On Monday's CBS Evening News and Tuesday's Early Show, CBS failed to cover an Iowa Tea Party activist's confrontation with President Obama. Both ABC's GMA and NBC's Today mentioned the encounter. Just days earlier, CBS and ABC spotlighted how left-wing protesters heckled Mitt Romney at an Iowa appearance and how the Republican apparently made a "gaffe" in reply.
NBC correspondent Chuck Todd noted the "heated exchange" between Tea Partier Ryan Rhodes and the President midway through his report just after the top of the 7 am Eastern hour of Today:
Tea Party activist Ryan Rhodes and President Obama got into a heated debate following an Iowa town hall yesterday after Rhodes asked Obama whether or not Vice President Joe Biden had called the Tea Party "terrorists" during debt ceiling negotiations.
Obama denied the remarks, but as Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry reported, further explained, "As someone who’s been called a socialist, not born here, taking away freedoms for providing health care, I’m all for lowering the rhetoric." Check out the video of the exchange after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
It seems as though the media mixed their labels on the two activist groups, sympathizing with the rioters while viciously attacking a mainstream and completely non-destructive conservative group. The same sympathy the media felt for the British youth was never applied to the Tea Party, which has always peacefully worked to enact political change.
It's not very often that you run into a story that so perfectly captures both the sheer contempt which many reporters hold for the public and their desire to enable Democratic politicians. That's what happened in Chicago earlier this week when conservative journalist Bill Kelly had the temerity to ask Illinois Democratic senator Dick Durbin if he felt that he shared any responsibility at all for the recent U.S. debt downgrade.
As a coddled and protected Democrat, Durbin certainly wasn't used to a tough question and he proceeded to ignore it, turning instead to a more compliant journalist, one Jim Anderson of Illinois Radio Network, for a different question. Little did he know just how helpful Anderson would be, even going so far as to threaten Kelly with expulsion from the news conference. Read on for video and summary of the disgraceful encounter.
"I don't know what's worse," Tina Brown's selection of the wild-eyed Michele Bachmann cover photo for Newsweek or her "bold-faced lie" defending the choice, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity on his program last night.
"There's not a person in the face of this Earth that looks at that picture and says, 'she looks more presidential,' which is what Tina Brown" insisted on the August 10 edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Liberal bias is rampant among the media, but there is no more tangible example of it than in how the media treat Conservative women. The most recent cover of Newsweek features a very wide-eyed Michele Bachmann, looking surprised and unattractive. Perhaps more disturbing is the caption Newsweek placed below the presidential candidate's photo: "Queen of Rage."
Bachmann, an attractive 55 year-old mother of five, is a three term member of the House of Representatives, constitutional conservative and prominent voice of the Tea Party movement. But if you get your information from liberals or the mainstream media, you might know her as 'crazy,' a "zombie" a"phony-ass broad" and a "skank."
With such esteemed liberal intellectual heavyweights like comedian Bill Maher and Al Gore calling for the liberal grassroots to stand up and make their voices heard, CNN's Carol Costello floated the idea of a liberal version of the Tea Party on Monday.
"Does America need a liberal Tea Party?" Costello asked during the 11 a.m. EDT hour of CNN's Newsroom. Costello was not completely enthusiastic over the idea – she worried that it could "lead to more hyper-partisanship," as if the Tea Party was already doing enough of that.
This was going to be a column insisting that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida run for president of the United States. Now. Even though he has ruled out the possibility; even though he is but a baby senator. (Neither of these considerations has invariably stopped people in the past.)
But no: That's not this column. Not because I don't think it might be an excellent idea, but because I take a man at his word. He has a young family that has already endured a long and brutal campaign. And I'm actually not a fan of leaping from two minutes in the Senate to a potential presidency. As one seasoned political pro puts it: "We don't do ourselves or our future leaders any favors by rushing the wine before its time. Reagan would not have been nearly as good a president had he won in '68 or '76 as he was in '80, having been tempered by failure and steeled by defeat and adversity."
John Kerry is on a crusade to destroy the Tea Party. To blame the Tea Party for the S&P downgrade is like blaming the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism. The entire existence of the Tea Party movement has been based on an attempt to stop the runaway spending of Washington – by the likes of John Kerry. Any media outlet that features his outrageous blame game remarks without challenging his serial dishonesty is giving aid and comfort to the crusade to vilify and extinguish conservative thought.
If this is the ‘Tea Party downgrade’ then I’m the fairy godmother. No, this is a well-coordinated effort by the left-wing to deflect bad news – very bad news – away from their very left-wing President Obama.
On Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, host David Gregory allowed Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to blame Standard and Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt on the Tea Party without challenge. However, minutes later, in an interview with Arizona Senator John McCain, Gregory was quick to accuse Republicans of "politicizing" the issue by criticizing Democrats.
After quoting a statement from House Speaker John Boehner on the downgrade – which cited the unwillingness of Democrats to curb massive government spending as a cause – Gregory fretted to McCain: "Do you not see this downgrade as something akin to war that should galvanize political leadership on both sides of the aisle, rather than politicizing it?"
While the liberal media scoffed at George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" in 1999 and 2000 as gimmicky and insufficient compared to traditional big government social welfare spending binges, they're starting to miss it now.
We are engaged in a long war — actually two long wars. The first and most commonly accepted of our wars is the long war against Islamofascists. It is not a war against vast armies. Comparatively speaking, it is just a war against a handful of thugs, but they want to strike at our heart, wherever we are ill-prepared, and if they can they will cause incalculable destruction. This we discovered on September 11, 2001. We are on the hem of wiping al-Qaeda out, but there are other thugs waiting. We must be vigilant against them. It will be a long war.
The second long war is at home on budgetary matters. That both the left and the right are in a fury about an early battle in that war, the debt-ceiling battle, suggests just how long that war will be. We have little consensus on this war. Yet a war it is, and a very long war I fear it will be. It is a war to balance the budget, putting the economy on a sustainable course, ensuring growth and jobs. It is a war to get the country back to a federal budget that accounts for 20 percent of GDP rather than the 25 percent of GDP that President Obama has snatched from us while we were not looking.
"During the Clinton years, there was great discipline in the Democratic ranks where they could all speak on-message. There continues to be the same great discipline in liberal ranks, but they've just torqued it up ten degrees now," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News viewers on the August 4 "Hannity."
The Media Research Center founder made that argument after host Sean Hannity played a montage of liberal media reporters and pundits compared Tea Party conservatives in the House of Representatives to suicide bombers for their principled stand on the debt ceiling debate.
"I think this is going to backfire big-time on them," Bozell concluded.
Hannity and Bozell also discussed Chris Matthews arguing that Republicans hate Obama and want to kill him, "politically," that is.
For the full segment's video, watch the embedded video that appears below the page break or click here for MP3 audio.
On Thursday's The Situation Room, Fareed Zakaria said the tactics used by Tea Party congressmen in the debt ceiling debate were akin to holding the country hostage and threatening to "blow up" the economy.
"So nobody has ever held a country hostage and say [sic] if you don't pass our policies, we'll blow up the economy, we'll blow up the credibility of the United States," Zakaria remarked on CNN Thursday. He called the recent debt ceiling fight "unprecedented" and slammed the Tea Party for its refusal to compromise.
According to the website Politico, Vice President Joe Biden agreed "with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting" that congressional tea party members "acted like terrorists" in the way they stood against attempts to raise taxes and force spending reductions as part of the debt-ceiling deal.
Biden denied making the comparison. Given the heated rhetoric behind and in front of the scenes, the use of such a phrase, particularly in light of Biden's known salty language, has credibility.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on Wednesday continued to ramp up the newspaper's vitriolic attacks against Tea Party conservatives, bizarrely describing them as "cannibals" "zombies" and "vampires."
Connecting the debt ceiling deal to The Exorcist, Halloween and Alien (among other horror movies), Dowd offered these hyperbolic comparisons:
Monday night, to the surprise of many, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the Capitol to cast her first vote since being shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner seven months ago. Her triumphant return brought cheers from everyone in the room, despite their contentious disagreements over the past few weeks.
Ironically, these disagreements have often turned to using the same violent rhetoric that was so widely blamed by the media as the reason for Loughner's violent shooting spree. In reality, martial rhetoric is virtually ubiquitous in our political system, but the same people who condemned it seven months ago are now hypocritically using the same language, having no problem calling Tea Partiers "terrorists," "kidnappers," or congressmen on a "suicide mission."