Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's Up With the Tea Parties?

I'm trying to understand these conservative tea parties being promoted by Fox News.

As I understand it, conservatives are mad that the government is trying to stimulate the economy, and showing their outrage by sending teabags to Congress, because teabags, of course, symbolize taxation without representation, and also Obama is a socialist because he is raising taxes 3% on those in the top 5% of the tax bracket. Or something like that. Help me out here, Bob.

While I applaud people's interest in civic engagement, I wish they'd do something constructive. Like protest the lack of government oversight and collective greed that led to this mess. Instead, it seems they are protesting in favor of greed. I guess being pro-war, pro-torture, anti-science, and anti-civil-liberties got old.

My favorite part of this is how much Fox News is outright promoting these parties, showing once again the double standard in news expectations. Can you imagine the conservative outrage had CNN outright promoted war protests? Sean Hannity's head would have exploded. Which is saying something, given the size of his head.

Tim pointed out Krugman's take on it here, which is always right on the money. I liked Rachel Maddow's segment on teabagging too.

28 comments:

brownie said...

Do you actually watch Fox news? Or do you take the word of others (read: liberal bloggers) that they "promote" tea parties?

I read your link to "tea parties" Don't know much about who wrote it, but they were hardly objective about the issue at all. Certainly it was slanted your way.

(earth to bob...a little help)

Dan S said...

Go through the list here: http://mediamatters.org/items/200904080025

I would call this level of exposure "promotion" not "reporting," especially since its an event that hasn't even happened yet.

David Wright said...

It's not that diff, though, from those of us who have sent rice in order to promote hunger relief. The obvious difference is the promo of this by a "major" "news" network.

dw

Dan S said...

Yes, they are similiar in that they are both protests that require sending some token to politicians.

But rice symbolizes reducing hunger in the world. Tea bags symbolize taxation without representation, which is irrelevent here. What they are mad about is that they have to pay taxes and have social obligations.

So, the form is the same, and yet the particulars are incoherent to me. Perhaps I am missing something basic here.

brownie said...

I'm not sure that conservatives (or whoever) protesting (whatever they're protesting)via tea-party is much different that liberal or peace-niks protesting the Iraq war.

They see something they don't agree with and protest it. They just don't happen to agree with you.

Shay said...

I think Jon Stewart said it best: "They are confusing tyranny with losing."

I have to listen to Fox News every night (due to the vagaries of a relative who should know better). These people are so over-the-top they are embarrassing. I want to throw a bucket of water over Glenn Beck, who seems recently to be trying to out-rush Rush.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Brownie,
Sorry to point out the obvious, but these are EXACTLY like every other protest of a non-violent nature. They have a right to do this and so on blah blah. But you either missed the point or you are being deliberately obtuse.
These protests are being PROMOTED by a so-called news outlet. While it is new to report a protest during or after the event, Fox is giving them lots of air time BEFORE the event-thus promoting.

Robert Sievers said...

Actually, I am not engaging in this debate. I understand economics well enough to know what government at 28% of GDP means for the next generation. I understand God's mix of compassion and justice well enough to know what is in our future.

I am done. I am finding a safe place to camp out and ride out the disaster that's coming. You guys can sort it out in the rubble afterwards.

brownie said...

Big Bear (love the name, really)-

Before is promoting? Okay.

Then every other event that's ever been reported on before it actually takes place is also a promotion. And by extension, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, even Fox, can be seen as promoting "liberal" agendas like the million man march, protests at G8 events, gay pride parades, planned anti-Iraq war protests,etc, etc. because they 'promoted' them before hand. Now I'm being obtuse, sure. But that doesn't mean I'm not making a valid point.

Is reporting on something before it happens promotion (or clairavoyance)? No. Just newsworthy.

Robert-
Where will you be while we're "sorting it out"?

Dan S said...

Bob, you must be really pissed at Republicans for getting us into this unholy mess.

Fingtree said...

"newsworthy"? Fox news is hardly news worthy. All of the liberal bloggers and the whole of the so called liberal media (insert laughter here)combined, do not promote slanted propaganda like Fox news does. They are outright dispicable and unapologetic about it. The main reason the so called liberal media can't get away with it or has to disguise it (Daily show) with humor, is because the Rush Limbaugh's and Fox news, O'Rielly etc., that have dominated and infiltrated the weak minded that are susceptable to such retoric, have been effective in preying upon these sheeple. Carl Rove and his ilk of trickery have studied this for many years and have been laughing behind closed doors at how it's been so easy to manipulate things in their favor at the same time being able to blame the so called liberal media and use abortion and religion to mask their evil. I find it insulting personally. I see through our system (shitstem), there are far more than two sides to it. But the Fox news types take hateful name calling and generalizing blame to the most repulsive levels. It makes us the laughing stock of developed countries.

Robert Sievers said...

No Dan,

Credit default swaps were legalized by bill Clinton under a Republican congress, blame enough for both sides. Community reinvestment packages were democratic, lack of oversight republican. For you to suggest this is one-sided is ridiculous.

However, the new spending IS one sided. The mess we are in is nothing compared to what Obama is going to bring us. Where will I be? Along with the rest of you, but hopefully positioning myself into a spot where I can whether massive inflation and unemployment.

Nate said...

Yep, people are having tea parties and Fox News may or may not be promoting them. I personally don't know, as the only time I watch Fox News is when I am suffering from insomnia and it is the first news channel I land on. Sometimes it might be MSNBC or CNN also.

Fing, you may be right about Fox. I would guess that anytime you have humans reporting the news though you are going to receive a biased view of that story based on their perception of it. For example, if I were to take Dan and Brownie to see a speech by our President, I'm sure that we would get two very different reports back on the same speech.

I would say the real concern is not tea parties or Fox's promotion of them but that this country continues ripping itself even further apart. We have now went as far as having the Governor of Texas bring up the idea of seceding from the Union.

brownie said...

Let the Texans go. I lived there for over four years and I'll tell you this: if they go, I won't miss them.

John O'Neill said...

Hey Bob!

>Credit default swaps were legalized
>by bill Clinton under a Republican congress,
> blame enough for both sides.

Good point.

But are we debating what triggered another recession, or gov't policy on deficit spending? Clinton was elected in a recession, and left office with a surplus. Bush was elected - and served - through a remarkable economic bull run, and left office with a record deficit.

I think that's why most liberals are amused when, less than 100 days into an Obama admininstration, suddenly conservatives seem to be speaking in apocalyptic terms about record debt.

>I understand God's mix of compassion
>and justice well enough to know what is in our future.

Speaking of apocalyptic terms... are you saying that God will punish us for our debt load?

- John

Dan S said...

Well, the Bible *is* pretty clear that usury is evil.

Fingtree said...

I can see why Texan's would have a problem now, after being the USA's new Washington DC for the last 8 years. That State was certainly heavily invested in during Cheney's presidency. He certainly has made a lot of white people richer at the expense of the tax payers.
I wonder if they are having tea parties in Iraq? The one thing we certainly are not hearing from any news organization is the fact that the Iraq has been and remains the root of our current crisis.

Fingtree said...

That depends on what *is* is Dan. The Bible may be clear to Republicans like Bob, but you and ALL other Liberals will always misinterpret it or fall short. If God were here today and could vote, the Republicans would gain another vote.

brownie said...

I think it's clear that god is an anarchist. Just look at somalia for cryin out loud.

David Wright said...

And to make clear that far right hysteria is far more rational and less demonizing than radical leftist hysteria, read these lovely signs of the times. All of this could make a fella want to secede.

Robert Sievers said...

Dan,

Here is an "unbiassed" description of the tea parties. And I thought I was just against big government.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAAHMDpk7Ik

PG said...

I'm just here for the comments.

Moving to Mexico,

PG

PG said...

Garafolo is a comedian. Olbermann is a commentator, like Limbaugh or Beck. They would be the last people to claim they are "unbaissed," Robert. They are biased.

What Fox News promotes takes the form of news stories, and pretends to be news. It's not.

If you want news and not commercials and opinionated commentary, watch PBS.

PG said...

I think Obama announced his unwillingness to prosecute CIA torturers as a means of getting him off the hook for the inevitable prosecutions to come. He will be able to say, I opposed it. He's shrewd that way.

I get no kick from vengeance. But, in this case, I would like to follow the word of Jesus and visit those in prison, especially if they are Dick Cheney or Karl Rove.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/us/politics/21intel.html

PG said...

One more thing and then I'll go away. Republican David Brooks today talks about Obama's actual conservatism and, to me at least, reveals once again the shrewdness of the President.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/opinion/21brooks.html

Anonymous said...

The tea parties are about unjust taxation to cure a made up problem that does not exist to instill fear and dependancy in the american people. The money is than used to finance control measures that the elite will use on the american people to create subordinate pets. The people should be careful going to these tea parties because when a dog won't stop barking it will get beat.

Global warming is not man made or is it even a threat to humans living on earth. Now the elite are instituting a carbon tax in numerous areas such as the beef, pork, electric, and gas industries. Yes they are taxing their fellow rich brethern but their brethern will just charge us more for their products like they did when gas went up to 4 bucks a gallon so they don't take a loss. These industries stay rich and the people get poorer paying for goods. They have created a dependant enviornment for most of the population and people will be forced to pay more money because they have to eat and have electricity and a car. This is just one aspect on why the tea parties are happenings and only one example of thier many new unjust taxes.

Open your eyes, Republicans and Democrats are the same people pretending to hate each other to show a veil of democracy. Both parties are supported by the same conglomerates that own most everythang in the know world.

Just research arnold swarznagger and obama and watch how they are rebulican and democrat. They both support the main issues that are destroying the moral fabric of our once free society. Homosexual activism, and abortion. These are the two most important topics. Both are used for population control. More gay people, less children. More abortion, less people. Destroy the family and train the youth. Read up on what rockefellar, the greatest american elitist currently alive and see what he has to say on population control. The Amish were the only ones that had it right from the start.

Dan S said...

Yeah, that's pretty much what I suspected the tea parties were all about.

brownie said...

"Global warming is not man made or (sic) is it even a threat to humans living on earth..."

Huh? You're kidding right? Millions of tons of extra CO2 in the atmosphere EVERY year due to man-made industrial activity is nothing huh? I hope your right...but I know your wrong.

I guess I understand why you left your entry "anonymous," because if I was that far gone, I wouldn't want to chance creating a psuedonym either, in the off chance someone might figure out my identity, not to mention how blind, (forgive me) stupid or hoodwinked I truly am.