The liberal media's handling of any conservative political organization is a four-phase process, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Tea Party News Network reporter Scottie Nell Hughes in a recent interview in the MRCTV studio. "It begins by ignoring them, and if you can make them go away that way, you're done," the Media Research Center founder noted. "If that doesn't work, then you go to phase two, which is to ridicule them. And if that doesn't work, you go to phase three, which is try to destroy them. And if that doesn't work, then you're at phase four, where you have to accept the reality that they're there."
Bozell then examined how the coverage by the liberal media evolved along that template. [see full interview below the page break]
"When the Tea Party movement began, it was ignored," Bozell observed. Although "the perception is that there was a lot of coverage," but in reality that numbers don't bear that out and "the perception was not reality. The Tea Party was ignored" by the liberal media.
Next came all the offensive "tea-bagger" jokes and the like,"this kind of offensive humor that would never be used" against liberal groups, Bozell noted.
The Tea Party is now at the "tipping point," where the liberal media will either succeed or it will fail and although the media will still hate the movement, it "is going to have to accept" the presence of the Tea Party as "a valuable player in the public conversation."
Thus far the media have succeeded in vilifying the Tea Party movement in large part because the movement has not fought back, Bozell insisted. "I don't see any Tea Party movement [members] standing up to the media, making an issue of the left-wing media" but "when you do that, you can neutralize them," the veteran media critic concluded.
Bozell also noted that the Tea Party are in the same boat as the NRA, pro-lifers, and pro-tax cut groups, which are all favorite bogeymen of the "cornered rat" liberal media, which is going to get "more and more militant" as they lose market share to conservative competitors like Fox News and the alternative media outlets like talk radio and conservative websites.