Tea Party Coverage: From Blackout To Whiteout
During its earliest days it seemed as though there was a media blackout in effect for the Tea Party movement's week by week development. Large events, as on April 15th, or September 12 in DC, couldn't be ignored. But even then, what the media couldn't ignore, or minimize, it has sought to marginalize to a great degree.
That's where the whiteout of the Tea Party movement comes in and why I wanted to re-visit this item by Glenn Reynolds in the WSJ.
While liberal media pundits often cast the movement as a bunch of old, typically Republican, white folks, or purely anti-Obama, even to the point of being racist - the movement may be more post-racial than MSNBC's analyst of the tingly leg, Chris Matthews. Based upon his own comments, he can't even watch Obama without first thinking of him as black. (Angela McGlowan – right)
From Glenn's WSJ item - candidate sites at included links:
One primary challenger is Les Phillip. He is running against Republican Parker Griffith in Alabama's fifth congressional district. Mr. Phillip, a black businessman and Navy veteran who immigrated with his parents from Trinidad in his youth, got his start in politics speaking at a tea-party protest in Decatur, Ala., last year.
Mr. Phillip isn't the only black tea-party candidate in the deep south—Angela McGlowan, who spoke in Nashville, has entered the Republican primary in Mississippi's first district—and primary challenges aren't the only way activists are exerting influence. Cincinnati tea-party activists are running candidates for Republican precinct executive in every precinct in their area—if elected, these candidates will help set policy platforms within the GOP and have sway over which candidates the party endorses.
In an earlier Tea Party post from Feb 2009, I issued a protest babe alert, linking out to an Instapundit item on Tea Parties taking place in SC and FL. The vivacious looking black woman at right was later identified in comments as Frances Rice, President of the National Black Republican Association.
And reader Miles Wilson says don’t give Rick Santelli too much credit: “Just wanted to remind you that the Rick Santelli ‘rant’ was not the genesis of this movement – in fact, at least four events (Seattle, Denver, Mesa, Overland Park) occurred before the coining of the term ‘tea party’. So credit where credit is due – to the grassroots organizers far from the madding media crowd.”
Coming up on February 27 in Virginia, and available via webcast, as well, is another Leadership Tea Party Class. Based upon previous discussions, I'll likely be attending and serving on a panel there. According to the announcement, so will Katrina Pierson of Dallas.
Whether it's three young black girls waving American flags in Nashville in June, a black guy sitting next to an "Audit the Fed" sign at the same event, or Antonio Hinton, below, showing up as a Tea Partier protesting a Tea Party event – I'm not sure this story gets played at all by the mainstream media. And it certainly doesn't get played enough.
A TEA PARTY CONVENTION TEA PARTY PROTEST: This is Antonio Hinton, one of the organizers of the Knoxville Tea Party, one of three folks from the Tennessee Tea Party Coalition who showed up to remind people that there’s more to the Tea Party movement than this convention. The press tried to get him to say something bad about Sarah Palin, but he called her a “breath of fresh air,” instead. It’ll be interesting to see how the story gets played.
If, as TPM did yesterday, the media continues to portray the Tea Party movement inaccurately, then it's our responsibility as members of New Media to not let them get away with it.
The real faces of the Tea Party movement are the faces of America as a whole. And I'd bet it's a more accurate portrait of America than the media, or even the Obama administration, too often seeks to portray for political gain. And it's the contributions of all those faces, white, black, brown, red, yellow, or whatever, that are going to lead the way to taking America back for We the people beginning in 2010.
Again, the full WSJ item here.
If 2009 was the year of taking it to the streets, 2010 is the year of taking it to the polls. With ordinary Americans setting out to reclaim the political process, it's likely to be a bumpy ride for incumbents of both parties. I suspect the Founding Fathers would approve.