There’s a media pile-on afoot. Led primarily by the New York Times, a variety of news organizations are attacking the National Tea Party Convention, scheduled to begin Feb. 4 in Nashville, Tenn., with Sarah Palin as the keynote speaker. The Times claims the event is a “profiteering” enterprise, suggesting that the convention violates the grass-roots nature of the “tea party” movement. “Fractiousness,” territorial disputes and suspiscions have cast a shadow over the effort, the paper says.
Yet the event is sold out. There’s a waiting list, even among those seeking entrance to Mrs. Palin’s speech alone. Eight sponsors include Judicial Watch, the Eagle Forum and the National Taxpayers Union. The convention center is ready, the surf and turf waiting.
“It is going to be a great event. We have a lot of people who are coming who are very excited about the event, and I think they are going to leave inspired and with some great new tools to take back to their groups,” organizer Judson Phillips tells Inside the Beltway.
He adds that few journalists “have bothered” to get his side of the story, which has been ramped up in the last 48 hours by the Los Angeles Times, Politico, CBS News, MSNBC, the Atlantic, Media Matters for America and other sources.
It’s a classic — and convenient — media frenzy.
“A lot of individuals want to get involved in the political process, in the organization of the tea party movement. And now we find that the news media is seizing on this, and extrapolating that the tea party is in trouble or divided,” John O’Hara tells The Beltway.
He is the author of the new book “A New American Tea Party,” and contends that tea party believers, while representing a spectrum of ideas, are united by the same motivation: the well-being of the nation.
“The press has tried to marginalize the tea party movement from the beginning. They recognize it as a potent political force, and they want to do it in. A little less than a year ago, these same journalists were dismissing the tea party as a ‘fringe’ phenomenon, not even worth their time,” Mr. O’Hara says.
“Now they smell blood,” he adds.
So so SOTU
An hour of great gravitas, history, dignity? Nah. Some Americans use the State of the Union address on Wednesday as an excuse to misbehave, a trend that has become so pronounced in recent years that speech-watching parties have proliferated and drinking games, well — that’s the main event for some.
There are dozens of waggish advisories and public directives on such things; some go so far as to include legal disclaimers like this:
“The Huffington Post in no way encourages binge drinking. This is the comedy section.”
OK. Uh-h-h-h, yeah. We concur. This is your comedic relief section, not your party guide. That behind us, we now proceed with the real floor show: Gleaned from a dozen assorted guides for “State of the Union Drinking Games,” here are the best moments when viewers should either imbibe, or throw something or kiss someone:View Entire Story
A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.
She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...
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