After over a year of marginalizing and demonizing Tea Parties, CNN has tried something completely and totally radical: they sent a reporter to some.
Yes, I’m shocked and astounded as well.
And the verdict? Why, those Tea Parties aren’t nearly as bad as stereotypes that CNN has ruthlessly promoted and propagated might lead one to believe.
When it comes to the Tea Party movement, the stereotypes don’t tell the whole story.
Here’s what you often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: offensive posters blasting President Obama and Democratic leaders; racist rhetoric spewed from what seems to be a largely white, male audience; and angry protesters rallying around the Constitution.
I think that first part should have read: “Here’s what we cherry-pick and show.”
Case in point: During the health care debate last month, opponents shouted racial slurs at civil rights icon Georgia Rep. John Lewis and one person spit on Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver. The incidents made national headlines, and they provided Tea Party opponents with fodder to question the movement.
But here’s what you don’t often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: Patriotic signs professing a love for country; mothers and fathers with their children; African-Americans proudly participating; and senior citizens bopping to a hip-hop rapper.
Perhaps had the media been interested in actually reporting on the Tea Party movement instead of slandering it, this would have appeared in the coverage a year ago.
It is important to show the colorful anger Americans might have against elected leaders and Washington. But people should also see the orange-vested Tea Party hospitality handlers who welcome you with colorful smiles.
There were a few signs that could be seen as offensive to African-Americans. But by and large, no one I spoke with or I heard from on stage said anything that was approaching racist.
Almost everyone I met was welcoming to this African-American television news producer.
And though speakers railed against the “lame-stream media,” activists and their leaders praised CNN, especially for being the only national media outlet riding along for the post-weekend stops. Some of them e-mailed me after my trip, thanking our crew for fairly giving them a voice.
The Tea Party has had a fair voice. Fox News. But the mainstream media has been working to slander them as well. Still, I will give CNN some credit for finally deciding to do their job, even if it is considerably late, an way too little to overcome the damage that their previous propaganda coverage has already done.
Michelle Malkin isn’t so generous with CNN:
They’re more than a year late and a dollar short. After incessant mockery, vulgar epithets, and condescension, desperate, ratings-starved CNN is now sending me e-mails touting the fact that one of their producers is saying nice things about Tea Party activists. From CNN’s publicity department:
I thought this might be an interesting post for you– a behind-the-scenes piece about the Tea Party and how the stereotypes don’t tell the full story. Let me know if you need anything else!
Reporter’s notebook: What really happens at Tea Party rallies
“Let me know if you need anything else!”
Yeah, In need an airsickness bag.
Ratings stunt? Possibly. CNN is being utter pwnt in the ratings as its bias becomes more and more apparent and slanted. And the polls that show that the Tea Party isn’t a fringe movement but actually represents mainstream Americans’ views has probably led CNN to conclude that constantly bashing the Tea Party may not be good for its ratings. Well, at least they were the first to figure it out.