Politics

Tea Party blasts media coverage of protests and alleged racist hurls

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Tea party turns into Klan rally — or so the headline of an opinion piece published by the Baltimore Examiner screamed to readers on Monday after weekend reports that Tea Partiers had hurled racial and homophobic slurs at black and gay congressmen.

Despite the absence of any video footage of the alleged remarks, a number of media outlets have used the reports to accuse the 25,000-plus activists who showed up to the Capitol this weekend of hating not simply President Obama’s health-care bill, but all black people. Unsurprisingly, the Tea Partiers reject this characterization.

“The media ran with these allegations and made that practically the only mention of the event,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a FreedomWorks staffer who organized the weekend’s rallies and said he’s “furious at the coverage.”

“It’s so preposterous that they try to make the whole movement to look like this, even if there was an incident, which there is no proof of,” Steinhauser added. He said there were a number of black people on stage at the Saturday protest, but “do you think people went up there and booed them or yelled racial epithets at them? No.”

On Saturday, a spokesman for Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said that a protestor was detained — and then released — by police after spitting on the congressman. The spokesman also claimed that protesters also hurled racial epithets at Reps. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, and Andre Carson, Indiana Democrat. A number of reporters claimed to have also heard protesters hurl an anti-gay slur at Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay Democrat from Massachusetts.

According to an Associated Press report, Carson told a reporter that as he left the Cannon House Office Building the crowd chanted “the N-word, the N-word, 15 times.” Even though video footage of the incident shows a rowdy crowd, none exists that show activists in a racial tirade.

In the Baltimore Examiner story, Melinda Lancaster wrote, “the behavior displayed at Saturday’s rally included an array of racial slurs and anti-gay chants along with spitting and other outlandish actions. This lends proof to the fact that these rallies are no longer ‘harmless’ but ‘hateful’ and have taken on the same demeanor as a Ku Klux Klan rally.”

In another piece, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein wrote that a reporter questioned black Rep. James Clyburn * on if he “wanted an apology from the group of Republican lawmakers who had addressed the crowd and, in many ways, played on their worst fears of health-care legislation, the Democratic Party and the president.” Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell wrote, “Many African Americans had already suspected some of these people are more opposed to the skin color of the man in the White House than they were to the president’s political ideology.”

The New York Daily News offered this suggestion to the Tea Party: “They might want to think about renaming it the Nastea Party.”

“I’ve never really been convinced of this, but Sunday I think I became convinced,” Steinhauser said. “There are elements of the media who want to tar us as racists, who want to discredit us, because they support the Obama agenda and that’s the only thing they can use when that many people show up to hurt us.”

MSNBC has been a villain of the Tea Partiers, with hosts like Dylan Ratigan and Keith Olbermann, who said Monday night, “if racism is not the whole of the Tea Party, it is in its heart.” But after Olbermann recently criticized activists for their lack of diversity, the Dallas Tea Party group produced a video bringing attention to NBC’s all-white line up.

  • rick013

    The dims are afraid and rightly so. They are doing nothing more than trying to split the TEA party movement to neutralize its voting power. Hang in there. It’s going to get much worse. The once proud Democratic party(until the sixties) was OK. Now it has been invaded by the socialists(communists, in truth)to turn our country into another Venezuela, Cuba, or any other marxist state.

    My father, a staunch Dem his whole life, said: “Don’t believe anything you hear, half of what you see, and you should have it about half right.” I was a disappointment. I became first a repub then an independent.

    This little bit of home spun wisdom applies to us regarding the msm spit now being spewed on TV and the news rags. Socialists believe whatever means justifies the ends, even if they have to fabricate lies, employ inuendo or intimate voters at the polls.

    Hey, there’s a great guy in Harlem taking on Rangel, the tax dodger, for his seat in the house. Support this guy. He’s an ex jock(NY Jets), minister, and has done 20 years in the trenches there working for the people. Yep, he’s a Republican. His name is Michael Faulkner.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/01/AR2010030103807.html

  • relayer10

    This is a well planned, and thought out campaign to marginalize opposition. It’s been done many times before. You have to remember some key facts. Obama is in constant campaign mode. He has very skilled and competent media advice and Public Relations experts. Do not underestimate his skill, as it is formidable. Obama was able to acquire over a billion dollars in campaign funds from the internet. The voices of his administration say specific things at specific times to form the conversation. Watch the news programs on all networks and outlets for comments on any subject. Any of Obama’s public statements, or any of his staffers that are asked a question on that subject immediately give the same answer, with the same nuance. Rarely, this blows up on them…like recently when Axelrod and others gave different numbers for a question on stimulus job gains.A mistake they will not make again. By framing the question and answer, they can turn a story around. If Axelrod characterizes Tea Party folk as a hate group, and the public voice of the Obama team just keeps repeating that message, it places the Tea Party folk on the defensive. Once that happens, the move begins to marginalize. The action of some Tea Party groups to force the accusers to produce a tape or police report that backs up claims is a very strong one. Using “Freedomworks” as the lead in this only further harms the Tea Party group. Andrew Brietbart has FAR more credibility on these matters. Essentially- “prove it” as he has done, on tape many times. In this age of constant video and audio connection with smart phones etc. There has to be one credible source. Instead, Obama used this event to begin to consolidate power. Walk through the people you know you are antagonizing to prove visible that you have the power to do whatever you want.

  • tomdoff

    As soon as the teabaggers hold a fund-raiser, and each can own his/her own sheet, they’ll feel more comfortable with the Klan comparison.

  • thephranc

    SO who exactly are all those hispanic and blacks, like the ones in Dallas that invited Olberman, in the TEA party racist against? Does Lloyd Marcus know it’s all about racism? Who is he racist against?

  • patrick

    I.G.N.O.R.E. Them!!! Thats all they have. the race card. who cares? who is going to switch sides over it? no one. no one. Either you believe that the nanny state is a good thing or you believe in Free enterprise and a merit-ocracy. If someone from either side calls me a fathonky/pastycracker or some such it will make no difference in my core belief.

  • sunnyr

    MSNBC has been a villain of the Tea Partiers, with hosts like Dylan Ratigan and Keith Olbermann, who said Monday night, “if racism is not the whole of the Tea Party, it is in its heart.”

    ______________________________________________________________________________
    How DARE you Progressive Moonbat Morons! No wonder you have an audience in double digits. All you do is spew Leftist Sleaze and LIES! You are disgusting.

  • sunnyr

    Hang tough, Tea Party Patriots! There is a concentrated SMEAR campaign going on and the most corrupt administration in the history of our nation is behind it, along with Steny Hoyer in Congress. They are using Saul Alinsky’s playbook. We Tea Partiers are just too powerful for these cowards and they want to demonize and marginalize us so we will go away quietly. LIKE HELL!! We will grow stronger and larger as summer progresses and then we will hit them like a 9.7 earthquake in November!

    The Tsunami is coming……………

    • ImpressedByHonesty

      Saul Who? Tea Partiers should be as strong and as powerful as they want to be. It’s one of the things that makes this country great. The more passionate input into the process the better. Whether I agree with them or not.

      It’s a free country.

  • wf922

    Its a sad day in America when the same group of people that would grant rights to terrorist, would accuse and condemn a group of Americans for protesting what they see as unconstitutional, without any type of recording or video they are being called dangerous, hate mongering racist, and the media just laps it up. The media the supposed watch dog of our republic is bought and paid for in todays America. Our nation is in peril, its time we wake up and really pay attention.