Monday’s column by former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, “Is the Tea Party Over?”, indulged in the usual doomsaying for the G.O.P.’s 2012 presidential prospects (too negative, too far to the right, etc.). Keller also found the “doofus” Gov. Perry guilty of giving “a wink to the evangelicals, a nod to the executioner, and an ardent defense of personal liberties for those who are heterosexual and don’t need an abortion.”
Keller, who as editor of the paper virtually ignored the Tea Party during its first year of existence, has now turned around and said the movement is about to blow its big political opportunity:
From the editorial page to the news pages to a page of graphic design, the spreading leftist protest known as Occupy Wall Street occupied major swathes of Sunday’s New York Times, and the mood was celebratory – at last the left wing (or as the Times puts it, “populist message”) is off the mat and fighting back.
In the paper’s Sunday Review, journalism professor and veteran leftist Todd Gitlin gushed over the leftist revival on Wall Street (while attacking the Tea Party) in “The Left Declares Its Independence.”
On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, host Howard Kurtz and guest Erik Wemple of the Washington Post both took exception with FNC's Bill O'Reilly for recently calling some of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters "far-left loons" and "anarchists." Kurtz noted the contrast in how MSNBC and FNC have responded to the protests:
ABC's Brian Ross on Friday investigated the alleged misdeeds of "billionaire boosters" to the Tea Party and even used a liberal documentary to attack the conservative group. Appearing on "Good Morning America," Ross touted a Bloomberg report hitting the "secret sins" of Koch Industries and whether the corporation traded with Iran.
An ABC graphic linked, "Billionaire Boosters of the Tea Party: Donors' Company Under Fire." Ross used a clip of businessman David Koch and simply added, "...A documentary filmmaker was rolling [sic], as David Koch appeared before Tea Party leaders and spoke of American values." There was no information that "(Astro)Turf Wars" is a liberal documentary trashing the Tea Party, in addition to David and Charles Koch. See video below. MP3 audio here.
In a report filed at the Los Angeles Times's Politics Now blog earlier today, Washington Bureau reporter James Oliphant relayed a number of whoppers delivered by Vice President Joe Biden without anything resembling a challenge.
Breaking Biden's bilge into three sections, they involve his claim about the historical origins of the Tea Party, which Biden characterized as a collection of "barbarians" only a month ago (and as "terrorists" two month ago); his hit at Bank of America and its $5 monthly fee for debit-card use; and the nature of the "bailouts" which followed the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the fall of 2008. In this first part, I will go after what Biden said about the Tea Party. An excerpt from Oliphant's writeup follows the jump (bolds are mine throughout):
I am not the first to note the vast differences between the Wall Street protesters and the tea partiers. To name three: The tea partiers have jobs, showers and a point.
No one knows what the Wall Street protesters want -- as is typical of mobs. They say they want Obama re-elected, but claim to hate "Wall Street." You know, the same Wall Street that gave its largest campaign donation in history to Obama, who, in turn, bailed out the banks and made Goldman Sachs the fourth branch of government.
This would be like opposing fattening, processed foods, but cheering Michael Moore -- which the protesters also did this week.
New York Times columnists Gail Collins and David Brooks talked about “The Long Stagnation” in their weekly online chat posted Wednesday.
When Brooks, the paper’s idea of a conservative columnist, said he wasn’t impressed by the numbers participating in the Occupy Wall Street protest, compared to the figures generated at Tea Party rallies, Collins, the paper’s former editorial page editor, indignantly replied the Tea Party had no principles besides a "crazed" refusal to accept the idea of Democrats in power:
During the 1 p.m. hour of Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN's Randi Kaye touted the potential for the "Occupy Wall Street" protests around the country to morph into a "left wing Tea Party." Kaye reported that the group is "gaining momentum" and hosted one of the protestors for a soft interview.
"The scene from Wall Street as the numbers multiply and the message gets louder, it seems the 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters have the potential to grow into a political party, sort of a left wing Tea Party," Kaye hyped. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
While the Times’s coverage of conservative Tea Party rallies pointed out the most extreme and “fringe” elements present, the paper has thus far eschewed labels like "far-left" or even "liberal," and ignored the cadre of Communists and offensive posters decrying “Nazi bankers” in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan.
Trust him--he might be young, but he's a "professional sociologist." So did Harrison Schultz, an organizer of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests, describe himself to Al Sharpton on MSNBC this evening. And he wants Al and us to know that "a lot of the people that are here are in fact anarchists, are in fact revolutionaries. . . . We don't really want to fix [the problems]. It's revolution, not reform."
There are also some amusing factoids about Harrison. When he's not out fomenting revolution, Schultz is an . . . analyst for a marketing firm. Oh yeah, and in his oh-so-bourgeois LinkedIn profile, Harrison wants people to know he worked at Bank of America providing "assistance for several investment bankers." Oh, the horror! Video after the jump.
On Monday's NBC "Today," correspondent Michelle Franzen reported on the left-wing "Occupy Wall Street" protests in New York and proclaimed: "Protesters fed up with the economy and social inequality turned out en masse over the weekend....Voicing their discontent and marching for change."
Touting the protest as "a movement that has taken off in the past few weeks with protests spreading to other cities around the country," Franzen declared: "Labor experts say uprisings overseas have empowered protesters to speak out." A sound bite was included of Columbia University's Dorian Warren arguing: "Those movements, those revolutions led by young people [in the Middle East]...I think that's another, let's say, inspiration for why they are sitting-in now."
Actress Eva Longoria appeared on Tuesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live to trash the "dangerous" "extremist movement" that opposes Barack Obama. The Desperate Housewives star became just the latest celebrity to smear Tea Partiers.
Longoria didn't directly identify the group as the target of her anger. However, she made her point clear, fuming, "...[Obama] keeps getting beat up lately because there's such an extremist movement happening and it's a very dangerous."
Discussing the possibility of Chris Christie entering the presidential race on Wednesday's NBC "Today," Tom Brokaw praised the New Jersey Govenor as a moderate: "He's not an ideologue.... he played outside the ideological lines that have been drawn in the Republican primary."
Co-host Matt Lauer said of Christie, "...a lot of conservative Republicans, while loving the fact that he's a fiscal conservative, perhaps aren't going to like his stand on some other issues..." Brokaw saw that as a positive: "The question is, who's going to run the Republican primaries? Right now, the dialogue is being dominated by the Tea Party but there are a lot of other Republicans who say, 'We've got to play outside of the Tea Party playbook and this is a guy who can do that.'"
It wouldn't be an awards show in Hollywood if there weren't the typical cheap shots against conservatives and the 63rd Emmy Primetime Awards host Jane Lynch didn't disappoint as she mocked the Tea Party as anti-Latina. The star of the Fox hit show "Glee," during that network’s broadcast of the Emmys on Sunday, joked that her "daughter had a tea party with her little friends" where "they complained about taxes, called Obama a communist and wondered how the Latina kid got in?"
Later on in the broadcast, Lynch also went on to name check MSNBC's ultra liberal host Rachel Maddow when she listed her "gay agenda."
David Lewis is running for Congress as a Republican in Ohio's Eighth Congressional District for the seat House Speaker John Boehner currently holds. To be kind, Lewis doesn't stand a chance. To be not as kind, the establishment press is using Lewis's candidacy as an excuse to attempt to cast doubt on the ability of Tea Party activists and the GOP establishment to get along. To be clear, there's plenty of reason for the existence of such doubts, but David Lewis's candidacy is certainly not one of them.
To the chagrin of the GOP establishment, I'm a fan of serious primary efforts, especially against incumbents who may have lost their way. But Lewis's effort is not serious. It is fundamentally flawed in its premise and completely miscasts Boehner's current prolife record. It also has given the press an opportunity to distort the priorities of the Tea Party movement.
In a completely out-of-left-field smear posted on CNN.com, James Carville called the GOP presidential field "mortality-fascinated" and ripped the entire Tea Party as a bunch of bloodthirsty sadists.
The outspoken Democratic strategist, addressing Obama in a letter, wrote "This may be news to you but this is not going well. For precedent, see Russian Army 64th division at Stalingrad. There were enough deaths at Stalingrad to make the entire tea party collectively orgasm."
CNN's political analyst David Gergen remarked Monday that many Americans were "horrified" at what they heard from the Republican presidential debate, co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express and CNN. "I was getting notes about they ought to keep this people locked up and not let them out. Don't let them do anything to the country," Gergen remarked.
Gergen's comments came in the post-debate analysis and during the 10 p.m. EDT hour of Anderson Cooper 360. He mentioned that Tea Partiers "loved the debate" and pitted them in contrast with the many on Twitter who expressed their disgust with the debate.
In the last few weeks, leading Democrats in Congress have called Tea Party constituents terrorists, said they should go to hell and accused them of wanting to lynch black people. Last weekend, at an event attended by President Obama, the head of the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., attacked the Tea Party, screaming, "President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches (Tea Party members) out and give America back to an America where we belong." (Note: the president was not on the platform when Hoffa spoke.)
So far, neither the president, nor any prominent Democrat has condemned such remarks — even though the phrase "take out" is commonly used to describe an act of criminal homicide. Thus, Hoffa's statement might rise to the level of incitement to violence.
That civility thing which Democrats and the Left thought to be all-important earlier this year is sooooo January. Unless it changes its stripes overnight, the incivility and hostility on display today in Detroit, which hasn't been seen much in establishment press reports to this point, won't appear on the Big 3 Networks' morning shows tomorrow. The American people really need to see what has become of the labor movement, and the type of behavior its head cheerleader in the White House condones.
On Wednesday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), quoting Indiana Congressman Andre Carson's inexcusable, hateful comment at a Congressional Black Caucus event on August 22 (key sentence: "Some of them in Congress right now of this Tea Party would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree"), I observed that "Carson was obviously accusing some of his congressional colleagues, whom he gutlessly would not name, of actually wanting (not metaphorically wishing) to see himself and his black colleagues lynched." I should also note that in an earlier segment of the quote originally cited by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters, Carson said, of Tea Party sympathizers wishes, "And this is beyond symbolic change." This is why I also wrote that "The meaning of the words Carson used is not arguable."
With a disregard for the truth and gutlessness similar to Carson's, Indianapolis Star columnist Erika D. Smith wrote today that the congressman "had the guts to stand up and say what we've all seen over the last three years," while also asserting that "I really don't care" if any congressmen actually want to lynch anyone. Here's more; brace yourself (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
According to the Associated Press's Steve Peoples in a Saturday evening report, presidential candidate Rick Perry, speaking at a private reception in New Hampshire (which begs the question of whether Peoples was even there), told those attending: "I don't support a fence on the border." Then, again according to Peoples, "The answer produced an angry shout from at least one audience member."
"Jane" (actually Jane Woodworth) at the YouTooCongress blog (HT Instapundit) says otherwise: "I attended that event, stood about 15 feet from where he delivered those remarks and never heard an 'angry shout.' Either the AP is making it up or it wasn’t much of a shout. Perhaps they can supply the audio." They definitely should.
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.