- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 18, 2010


Disdain for the “tea party” is emerging among some skittish Republican lawmakers, suggests Redstate.com editor Erick Erickson. The Washington Post’s Shailagh Murray, meanwhile, observes that Republicans typically “gird for the rowdy tea party” - a force embraced by Rand Paul, who won the nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky by virtue of tea party power. Scorn or nervous tittering over the tea party and bloggers who support it could be imprudent, however.

“I’ve had off-the-record conversations on the topic with Hill Republicans. It’s not surprising to hear one say something akin to, ‘Well, you know those bloggers, they’re not very bright people, a bit crazy, with too much time on their hands.’ ” says conservative bloggerDan Riehl.

“In a recent conversation with a GOP ‘new mediatype’, I learned that new media to the GOP simply means taking the same old top down messaging and creating it on websites, or for digital distribution. With some few exceptions, Todd Herman at the Republican National Committee being one, the establishment GOP has no real conception of new media as bloggers understand it,” Mr. Riehl says. “Nor do they have much desire to engage with it.”

He adds, “If the tea party and blogs continue to become increasingly powerful, this will begin to change. Electing grass-roots candidates will certainly help. But it won’t be because the GOP establishment wants it to change. Why should they, when their standard operating procedure is message control? Unfortunately for them, you cannot control the message in the era of new media. For now, this disconnect is going to breed plenty of problems for the Right and Republicans.”


Left-leaning Hollywood does little to enhance the image of CIA officers. They get short shrift in blockbuster movies, says new research revealing that 68 percent of CIA-based characters on the silver screen “appear in films that depict government negatively.”

Political science professors Michelle Pautz from the University of Dayton and Laura Roselle of Elon University based their conclusions on analysis of 150 top-grossing hits. Sixty percent “depicted government as inefficient, incompetent and/or bad,” with six out of 10 film plots framing the government “system” as evil.

Stereotypes prevailed. Compared to the actual civil service, characters in movies were more often male - 84 percent vs. 56 percent in real life - and white - 80 percent vs. 69 percent, respectively.

“We should think about the images and portrayals of government and civil servants we take in, often even subliminally, and take a step back and ask, ‘Are these perceptions justified?’” Ms. Pautz adds.

Not all civil servants got bashed. More than two-thirds of teacher characters and 100 percent of astronauts were in the hero category, she says.


“As frequent speaker at tea party rallies around the country, I can assure the NAACP that the tea party movements concerns are about President Obamas policies and not his race,” says Deneen Borelli, a full-time fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network, a nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“Im deeply concerned that the NAACP is being used as a political tool to do the dirty work of the progressive movement. I urge blacks concerned about the tea parties to read the ‘Contract From America’ - a list of policy objectives for Congress that was developed by tea party members nationwide. These objectives are clearly about limited government and liberty.”


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