April 15, 2009

Teabag Americans

Republicans are much better than Democrats in the faux populism field, and they’re real good at using and abusing the middle classes to advance the cause. Take for instance the Reagan Revolution, Gingrich’s contract on America, and more recently… Sarah Palin. So today’s Tax Day Tea Parties are really nothing new. These events are supposedly of a grassroots nature, but actually promoted and funded by the usual suspects.

As Paul Krugman's column in the Sunday paper points out, Republicans have historically been over the edge, even crazy, and they are particularly good at duping the middle class. What were once called Dittoheads are now known as memes, but they still rant and make up weasel word phrases for those things they stand against – usually taxes. Yesterday’s bad old liberal is today called socialist, and the behavior we are seeing today with these tea parties is just SOS-DD.

So, here come the teabaggers; a supposedly grassroots effort by down home folks, but as Krugman says, there is little organic about this grass. Astroturf would be a better description. Krugman points to FreedomWorks, a decidedly well funded (by corporate America) right-wing outfit, as having more than a little bit of doings about these tea parties. Further, old Fair and Balanced FOX News is heavily promoting the circus, with Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto, and Greta Van Susteren all slated to broadcast live from various parties, act as celebrity MC’s, and make speeches. FOX analyst Newt Gingrich will be in New York. Glenn Beck hosted a $500 a plate fundraising dinner for this Astroturf effort. Even Joe the Plumber will be at one of the shows.

I’d bet most of the folks participating in these events couldn’t give you a good definition of socialism, and might even be surprised at what they’d find in the dictionary.

Regardless, the people are being led like sheep. The original tea parties were less about taxes and more about protesting against the unfair practices of one of the largest corporate entities at the time, the East India Company; something the corporate sponsors of our modern tea parties fail to tell the participants. These sponsors, and FOX News, seem to rely on ignorance of history. But then forgetting the past and rewriting history is nothing new for those guys. They make a living off of it.

ADENDUM - Just found these stats:

From April 6 to April 13, FOX News featured 20 segments on tea parties and aired 73 in-show and commercial promotions. FOX News repeatedly described the events as "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties." Of the programs, Your World with Neil Cavuto featured the most segments on the protests with at least seven. Including weekend editions, Fox & Friends and America's Newsroom came in second with at least four segments each. Hannity featured the most promos during its hour (12), while Your World and Glenn Beck each showed at least eight promos, five in-show. The study also found that at least nine of the 20 segments and 40 of the 73 promos aired April 11-13.



Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

The photos of the fake protests were interchangeable with those from a McCain-Palin rally, only with older crowds.

Terrant said...

"...more about protesting against the unfair practices of one of the largest corporate entities at the time, the East India Company..."Good observation. I totally missed that.

Anonymous said...

This round of Tea Parties have gotten quite a bit of attention and sponsorship from the Republican party and associated groups. The protests back in February didn't receive any major media attention, despite having thousands of people protesting nationwide. Once a grassroots movement takes off, of course Fox News is going to jump on board. That doesn't make those of us who are unhappy with excessive government spending (I wasn't happy with Bush's spending either, for that matter) are any less sincere.

Mule Breath, said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mule Breath, said...

andrewsviews writes: That doesn't make those of us who are unhappy with excessive government spending are any less sincere~~

No, probably not for the small cadre of conservatives who actually take the time to learn and understand truth and facts. My post was aimed at the infotainment angle of the April 15 events, and the insincerity of the right wing smear machine.

For the record, I'm in your camp. Excessive federal spending is killing us. But historical revision, selective memory and wingnut cheerleading won't solve the problem.