Both arms of the right wing media machine are lying right and left about the "Tea Party" movement and it's roots, obscuring the truth that there is hidden support provided by corporate America.
Think Progress reports:
Yesterday, Think Progress reported on Republican lawmakers planning to speak at anti-Obama "tea party" protests taking place nationwide on April 15. Last night, Eric Odom of the DontGo website -- one of the organizers of the protests -- wrote a blog post stressing that these protests are displays of "regular American[s] in protest of government spending and extreme taxation," rather than something affiliated with a political party or special interest agenda.
Today on Fox News -- which has actively been promoting the protests -- Glenn Beck pushed the tea party talking points, similarly claiming that the protests aren't "coordinated" and are fully organized by "regular" people. Watch it:
Beck is lying through his teeth.
Despite these attempts to make the "movement" appear organic, the principle organizers of the local events are actually the lobbyist-run think tanks Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. The two groups are heavily staffed and well funded, and are providing all the logistical and public relations work necessary for planning coast-to-coast protests:
- Freedom Works staffers coordinate conference calls among protesters, contacting conservative activists to give them "sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country."
- Freedom Works provides how-to guides for delivering a "clear message" to the public and media.
This type of corporate 'astroturfing' is nothing new to either organization. While working to promote Social Security privatization, Freedom Works was caught planting one of its operatives as a "single mom" to ask questions to President Bush in a town hall on the subject. Last year, the Wall Street Journal exposed Freedom Works for similarly building "amateur-looking" websites to promote the lobbying interests of Dick Armey, the former Republican Majority Leader who now leads Freedom Works and is a lobbyist for the firm DLA Piper.
Americans for Prosperity is run by Tim Phillips, who was Ralph Reed's former partner in the lobbying firm Century Strategies. The group is funded by Koch family foundations -- a family whose wealth is derived from the oil industry. Indeed Americans for Prosperity has coordinated pro-drilling 'grassroots' events around the country.
Republicans continue to believe that prolonging the recession will prove to be beneficial to the GOP in the 2010 elections, so corporate America is backing these phony 'grassroots' efforts to to convince Americans they've reasons to be outraged.
The rich want to fight Obama's taxation plans, and they are using the conservative media as their puppets.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!