Media Coverage of TEA Party Protests – Compare and Contrast

Posted: April 16, 2009 in Celebrating Diversity, Economics, Godwin's Law, Journalism, Meltdown, Nut Jobs, Obamania, Politics, Random Observations, Utter Inshanity!

Well, on CNN, the Tea Party protests got only one link, but amazingly enough, the article was balanced, fair, and by no means a hit piece.  I encourage you to read it.  It lays out the basics of what the protests are about, and even seems to paint them in if not a positive light, then at least in neutral terms.

Nationwide ‘tea party’ protests blast spending

However.

Let us compare that article to this one from that bastion of journalistic objectivity, MSNBC.

 Anti-tax ‘tea parties’ being held across U.S.
Obama aims to ease dread of deadline day, vowing ‘simpler tax code’

Notice how they manage to toss a puff for Obama into the Headline?

Also notice that the Page Title in the HTML actually says, “Anti-tax ‘tea parties’ vent anger across U.S.”  The anger part becomes important pretty quickly. I’ll just highlight in bold all the fun, inflammatory terms and polarizing language:

Whipped up by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged “tea parties” across the nation

Whipped up. As in, into a frenzy.  At least they didn’t downplay the numbers, got to give them that.

Protesters even threw what appeared to be a box of tea bags over the fence onto the White House grounds, causing a brief lockdown at the compound before the package was declared not dangerous.

The assumption being, of course, that something the protestors threw over the fence would be dangerous.  Which, if it “appeared to be tea bags”  would, I propose, be a bit of stretch, wouldn’t you think?  Unless of course it fits your narrative.

Shouts rang out from Kentucky,

Looks a bit like “shots rang out,” doesn’t it?

“Frankly, I’m mad as hell,” said businessman Doug Burnett at a rally at the Iowa Capitol, where many of the about 1,000 people wore red shirts declaring “revolution is brewing.”

That’s right.  Angry, red-shirted Iowans warning of revolution.  Hey, maybe that DHS report was right!?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up a tea party at Austin City Hall with his stance against the federal government, as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, “Secede!”

Not just revolutionists, but successionist as well!  The way this is worded, does it not give the impression that Texas Gov. Rick Perry might tacitly approve this sentiment, as it is “HIS” flag-waving audience?  Not THE audience, but HIS audience.  A subtle but grammatically significant difference.

Other protesters also took direct aim at Obama. One sign in the crowd in Madison, Wis., compared him to the anti-Christ.

Don’t forget rabid, fundie Christians.   “Taking direct aim” at Obama.  I believe they use to call this sort of thing “yellow journalism.”  Now they just call it, well, MSNBC.

Jim Adams of Selma carried a sign that showed the president with Hitler-style hair and mustache and said, “Sieg Heil Herr Obama.”

Must have changed the name on one of the Code Pink signs, I guess.

To be honest, I can’t tell if the penner of this AP piece was simply trying to present a sense of the moral outrage of the participants, but I doubt it.    The use of such charged terms as “whipped up” and “shouts rang out” do more than convey intensity…the suggest a frenzy, the possibility of violence.  Which is at odds with the vast majority of other reporting on the events out there.

The movement attracted some Republicans considering 2012 presidential bids.

Really?  Like who?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich planned to address a tea party in a New York City park Wednesday night. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sent an e-mail to his supporters, letting them know about tea parties throughout the state. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford attended two tea parties.

These three have all expressed interest in running in 2012?  Who knew?

To me, giving cherry-picked statements from isolated firebrands equal time with the more common tone of frustrated but motivated political activism in the name of “balance” really isn’t.  It makes it appear that this undercurrent of revolutionary fervor was a common theme, which it is not.

The TEA Parties are really just about getting the government back on track, under control, and accountable to the people again.  Rather than the other way around.

Folks, all you have to do is look at the pictures from the various Tea Party rallies, and then compare and contrast the pictures over at ZombieTime from a series of Lefty proteests, to see what a fallacy it is to be so cautionary against “conservative” activism.  The Radical Left long ago cornered the market on crazy.

Comments
  1. kontan says:

    MSNBC is a load of crap with zero journalistic integrity. Very sad that they make CNN look fair and balanced. Great compare/contrast

  2. snarkolepsy says:

    Same shit – different day. The funny thing is – they were all on about the conservatives. Yet, if I had to guess, the crowds were filled with more independents.

  3. Steve B says:

    Hey Snarko,

    I just realized that you weren’t on my Blogroll, so that has been most expeditiously remedied!

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