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Is the media overselling the Tea Party?
Journalists have swung from indifference to "manic obsession" over the Tea Party movement, say Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith in Politico. It's time to get a grip
 
A Tea Party member distributes flyers.
A Tea Party member distributes flyers.
Creative Commons

The news media arrived late to the Tea Party, but now it seems like journalists and pundits won't talk about anything else, say Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith in Politico. Unfortunately, the garden-variety conservative movement doesn't merit the importance it's been accorded by a hysterically fixated media and the "political class," on both the left and the right. After all, 31 percent of Americans have never even heard of the Tea Party movement, according to a new Pew poll, and another 30 percent have no opinion. Here's an excerpt from the article:

"2009 was the year when many journalists concluded they were slow to recognize the anti-government, anti-Obama rage that gave birth to the tea party movement. 

"2010 is the year when news organizations have decided to prove they get it. And get it. And get it some more. ...

"Part of the reason is a convergence of incentives for journalists and activists on left and right alike to exaggerate both the influence and exotic traits of the tea-party movement. In fact, there is a word for what poll after poll depicts as a group of largely white, middle-class, middle-aged voters who are aggrieved: Republicans. ...

"Indifference has given way to curiosity, and — in recent weeks especially — to a nearly manic obsession that sometimes seems to place the Tea Partiers somewhere near the suffragettes and the America-Firsters in the historical ranking of mass political movements."

Read the entire article at Politico

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SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF THE TEA PARTY:
Sabotaging the Tea Party
Scott Brown vs. the Tea Party
The Tea Party's road to legitimacy

 

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