Media Continue To Push Myth Of Tea Partiers As A Political Force
“The facts notwithstanding, many in
the media will continue to push the Myth of the Bagged Teasers as if it
were a credible force in contemporary politics. They will saturate the
air with coverage of [today’s] tax day Tea Bagging and pretend that
this fringe (and often vulgar and violent) group deserves recognition.” – News Corpse
News Corpse, (The Internet's Chronicle of Media Decay), in a story called Sinking Fast: Sarah Palin And The Tea Bag Sag, lays it all out about the tea partiers and the media [also see Politico, April 14, GOP Operatives Crash the Tea Party by Kenneth P. Vogel for an added twist]. BFIA has but one question: Will the corporate media apologize for the damage they've caused the nation when it becomes clear to everyone that this was all just one prolonged balloon-boy story? Like they did after it turned out there were no WMDs in Iraq?
By the way, Iowa's only statewide newspaper, the Des Moines Register, is doing its share of pandering to the partiers. Today the Register is handing out free media to the partiers, promising “live news updates, photos and video, blog and twitter posts throughout the day.” Like we need that. Further evidence of the Register's pandering: This shallow analysis by Kathy Obradovich: Insult the Tea Party? That's Risky (Feb. 8) ran on the same day as a 2-page spread that glorified and exaggerated the partiers' supposed political might, but left out key facts that would have gone against the grain of the story's angle (I wrote to Obradovich about this who said she would pass it on to Carolyn Washburn, but I heard nothing back after that. I also wrote a letter to the editor about their coverage which did not get published). This past week, I saw this tired, cliche storyline in the Register - The Tea Party, A Groundswell of Anger; and Tea Party Rallies Set for Tax Day! Just to make sure we didn't miss it.
So what about the groundswell of anger that makes up the national movement for media reform? What, you haven't heard about that? That's because the corporate media, in order to affirm themselves, have decided the tea partiers, dangerously misinformed individuals that they created, deserve all the coverage all the time.
Enjoy the Newscorpse articles.
Newscorpse.com ~ In a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, the ephemeral nature of the Tea Party movement is once again revealed. When asked for their opinion of Tea Parties, respondents were decidedly unenthusiastic.
Strongly Support 12% 15%
Moderately Support 15% 20%
Moderately Oppose 6% 8%
Strongly Oppose 21% 11%
Don’t Know Enough 45% 45%
While the total numbers for support and opposition are tied at 27%, the support numbers have declined since January and those strongly opposed have doubled. A mere 4% reported having attended a Tea Party rally or meeting. And, although little attention is usually paid to the “Don’t Know” response, 45 is a pretty high figure. Nearly half the country has no opinion at all about the Tea Party.
These numbers confirm previous polling that shows the Tea Party to be a much smaller phenomenon than the impression given to it by the media. It incorporates a tiny percentage of the population and is widely disliked. This disparity between the reality and the press coverage is something I detailed in two previous reports:
The Tea Party Delusion … ["The fact that the Tea Baggers have failed to create a significant
presence despite being bankrolled by some of the biggest and wealthiest
AstroTurf lobbying organizations in the country (i.e. FreedomWorks,
Americans for Prosperity), and having the promotional backing of Fox
News, illustrates just how unappealing most Americans regard that brand
of disruptive griping.
This is typical of how the press distorts trends. They make an
observation from a narrowly defined (and usually conservative) vantage
point and then extrapolate that to the broadest scope of interpretation...." click on the link for more] and
The Phony Populism Of The Tea Crusades …["It is beginning to set in amongst some members of the press that the Tea Party “movement” is a mirage that attracts far more attention than its paltry numbers deserve... Nevertheless, the media treats this ephemeral blur as if it were a political tsunami. They apparently aren’t reading their own polls. The Tea Baggers Ball last weekend brought about 600 registered attendees to the Opryland Hotel. The National Wild Turkey Conference next week is expecting 40,000 at the same venue. Yet there are no news networks camping outside the hotel salivating at the prospect of interviewing turkey aficionados in Revolutionary War garb."]
The Tea Bag sag coincides with the plummeting popularity of the Tea Bag Hag, Sarah Palin. The CNN poll showed Palin’s favorability rating at 39% (55% unfavorable). 69% of respondents said that she is not qualified to be president. She came in third in preference rankings following Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. And while Obama beats all three in head-to-head match-ups, Palin fares the worst losing 55% to 42%. This confirms the findings of a Fox News poll in January that had Obama over Palin 55/31.
The facts notwithstanding, many in the media will continue to push the Myth of the Bagged Teasers as if it were a credible force in contemporary politics. They will saturate the air with coverage of tomorrow’s [today's] tax day Tea Bagging and pretend that this fringe (and often vulgar and violent) group deserves recognition. And Fox News will, once again lead the parade with its top anchors dispatched around the country to herald the phony movement that they helped to invent.
It’s particularly telling that Fox, and their partners in talk radio, have invested so much time and money in the Tea Crusades and have so little to show for it: 4% participation and overwhelming unfavorability. By any measure, that’s a lousy return on investment.
[Addendum] CBS also released a poll that asks Tea Partiers about themselves. The short story: They are old, white, Republican, Fox News junkies who believe that Obama is a foreign-born socialist. Surprise!
Thank you, News Corpse…we could not have said it better ourselves. Click on the artwork for more truthiness from News Corpse.