Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fox News, Conservative Think Tanks Behind "Tea Party" Protests

The organizers of the anti-Obama, anti-tax "tea party" protests, leading up to and including tax day, are trying to sell the idea that their events are spontaneous uprisings of concerned citizens. In fact, they are being coordinated by conservative lobbies and a certain media outlet. Can you guess which one that is?

Surprise. It's Fox News, the propaganda wing of the Republican party that masquerades as a news station. Watch the parade of Fox pundits cheerleading for the event:

Karl Frisch, senior fellow at Media Matters for America, explains Fox's "fair and balanced" role:

...Fox has offered viewers and readers such vital organizing information as protest dates and locations and addresses of websites where people can learn more. It has even posted information and publicity material for the events on its own website. Tea-party planners are now using the planned attendance of Fox News hosts to promote their protests and listing Fox News contributors as "Tea Party Sponsor[s]" on their website. (h/t Huffington Post)

In fact, the Fox News Company (FNC) is so identified with the tea parties that it even claimed ownership of them. Check this image from Neil Cavuto's April 9 edition of "One World," with the usual suspects in various locations around the country (clockwise from top left: Neil Cavuto, Greta Van Susteren, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck) (h/t Media Matters):

Meanwhile, Think Progress has debunked the notion that the tea parties are organic uprisings. Behind them are lobbyist-run, right-wing think thanks:

Freedom Works staffers coordinate conference calls among protesters, contacting conservative activists to give them “sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country.”
Americans for Prosperity is writing press releases and planning the events in New Jersey, Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, and several other states.

Why would the tea parties take place on tax day? President Obama's plans to raise taxes on the wealthy raises the ire of the right-wing. Paul Krugman explains:

One way to get a good sense of the current state of the G.O.P...is to look at the “tea parties” that have been held in a number of places already, and will be held across the country on Wednesday. These parties — antitaxation demonstrations that are supposed to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so.

...President Obama is being called a “socialist” who seeks to destroy capitalism. Why? Because he wants to raise the tax rate on the highest-income Americans back to, um, about 10 percentage points less than it was for most of the Reagan administration. Bizarre.


Barack Bottom said...

The next time tea parties are organized, FOX news needs to advertise free abortions. The Obama Mania Media will come running with open arms.

Jeff Tone said...

To be pro-choice does not mean that one has a mad mania to have an abortion. Your proposal makes as much sense as most of what one hears on FOX.

Mark Meloy said...

Nicely said, Jeff. And great blog.

Jeff Tone said...

Thank you, Mark. Much appreciated.