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Right Wing Blogs and Fox News Lie About Tea Party

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 staffers apparently moved to "take over" the planning of local events in Florida.

- Freedom Works provides how-to guides for delivering a "clear message" to the public and media.

- Freedom Works has several domain addresses -- some of them made to look like they were set up by amateurs -- to promote the protests.

- Americans for Prosperity is writing press releases and planning the events in New Jersey, Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, and several other states.

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.

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Comments (4)

Paul Hooson:

If the Obama White House renews the economy, the wealthy should just thankful for that. Right now the economy is so bad, that many millionaires aren't made through prosperity, but made by a billionaire who opens a business, goes broke and loses most of their money.


you keep saying that the republicans want the recession to continue so that they can reap the electoral gains in 2010. however, you offer absolutely no proof of that. all you have is a bunch of conspiracy theories about the origins of the tea party protests and who's backing them.

well, i know from first hand knowledge that the tea party protests are being locally organized. if some of the people doing the organizing are also associated with national think tanks or organizations, so what? really. are they then denied to opportunity to speak on issues adn organize because they have other ties as well? it's not like anyone is being forced to go to these rallies.

oh, and have you even noticed that many of these organized protests are refusing to let elected politicians speak?

and it's not like those on the left complain with MoveOn, ANSWER, ACORN, George Soros, KOS, CNN, ot the NYT pump money, organizational forces, or media attention onto a leftist/progressive agenda, now do you?

the fact that you are complaining about a genuinely grassroots, non-partisan movement that has drawn the attention and backing of national organizations because you don't like their message, yet remain silent when organinzations on the left actively do exactly what you are accusing the anti-tax protesters of doing shows just how hypocritical the left can be.

Lee Ward:

It's not a genuinely grassroots effort - flat-out bald-faced lie.

"well, i know from first hand knowledge that the tea party protests are being locally organized. if some of the people doing the organizing are also associated with national think tanks or organizations, so what?"

And in that statement you admit that they aren't and that you don't care.

And as you rant on about George Soros, MOveOn, et al - and then point at lefties as hypocritical.

Mirror time. It's not grassroots - and saying it is grassroots is just a lie - that's the subject of the post. Lots of links. Read a few.



seriously, they are a grassroots effort. i know the people who are organizing it in my area. they are just a couple of folks who don't do politics on a regular basis. they're just sick and tired of more taxes and more spending on stupid crap from the government.

and that is true of the majority of the protests that have been organized. however, it's estimated that there are going to be 500 of the protests around the country on Wed. i think it is quite likely that there may be some protests that are organized by people who also have ties to other organizations. but that the organizations they belong to did not orchestrate this phenonomon.

the difference being that in your imagination, it's some corporate entity telling people to go put these one. when in reality, it's the anti-tax groups saying "hey, we agree with these protests, what can we do to help?"

and my point, not rant, about the leftist groups was not to complain about them, but to point out to you that it is far more common on the left than it is on the right to have some organization pretending to be grassroots try to organize protests. after all, at least on the right, we don't have to pay the protesters to show up. =)

i did read a few of those links, lee. lots of ennuendo, not a lot of concrete facts. they imply a lot.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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