Born of an off-the-cuff comment made by CNBC business personality Rick Santelli, the tea party movement has risen in stature to become a major political power player in Washington, D.C.
Its name refers both to the Boston Tea Party and the acronym for the phrase “Taxed Enough Already.”
With its seeds initially rooted in spontaneity, the movement has blossomed in its effectiveness, maturity, and scope of influence.
The liberal response to its political ascendancy was wholly predictable. It arrived in the form of malicious falsehoods and distortions, which were repeatedly circulated by a variety of media outlets including print, television, and the Internet, and were designed to damage the tea party’s brand, marginalize its members, and rein in its clout.
Recently, comic TV personalities Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, and Joy Behar affixed a "bigoted" label to the tea party. House member Maxine Waters condemned members to eternal damnation. The president, Sen. John Kerry, and Sen. Chuck Schumer along with numerous media personalities used a salacious street term to refer to the group. And actor Morgan Freeman hurled the racist charge, which may incidentally have hurt ticket sales for his current film, “Dolphin Tale.”
One of the latest celebrities to do some tea party mudslinging is Eva Longoria. Fresh off a Left Coast fundraiser where she dropped a cool $17,900 to dine with President Obama, the “Desperate Housewives” star appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and laid Obama’s problems at the feet of tea party members.
“I'm a big Obama supporter no matter what he's been through,” Longoria said. “And, you know, he's been beaten up the past couple of years.”
Longoria went on to give her opinion as to why the president is being battered.
“He keeps getting beat up lately because there's such an extremist movement happening and it’s a very dangerous — for me it's very dangerous — because it’s not the character of America,” the actress said.
A reality show contestant couldn't seem to resist the urge to launch some verbal missiles in the tea party’s direction, too. On ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” contestant Carson Kressley threw a jab in the group's direction. Kressley donned the gorilla mask that Bristol Palin had once worn when she was a contestant on DWTS. He then quipped, “[It] smells like a tea party still.”
Comedienne Janeane Garofalo appeared on Current TV’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and came up with a bizarre explanation of Herman Cain’s popularity with the so-called racists in the tea party in which she insinuated that Cain is being used to conceal the group's and the GOP's supposed racism.
“Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party, conservative movement, and tea party movement,” Garofalo said.
Cain, according to Garofalo, provides the opportunity for conservatives to say, “Look, This is not a racist anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look, we have a black man. And look, he’s polling well and he won a straw poll.”
Racist accusations against the tea party are part of a longtime political pattern and leftist strategy. Ward Connerly once wrote, “Race is the engine that drives the political Left.” The former University of California Regent posited that when racism is not there, “There are those who will manufacture and amplify it.”
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for InternationalEsq.com. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood:
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