I have, on occasion, noted that there appears to be a slight disparity in the way in which our media, including the “liberal” New York Times, reports on rallies held by right wingers as opposed to those held by left wingers. So long as two or more gather in the tea party’s name, the event is covered, while thousands of people braving the snow in Wisconsin merit barely a word.
Yesterday, the “tea party”, the world’s greatest astroturf organization, “rallied” at the National Capitol, and the Times covered it straight:
Outside the Capitol on a cold, damp afternoon, Tea Party activists from around the country warned that they would not accept less than a $100 billion cut from this year’s budget, and that there could be election consequences for those who did not heed their call.
Were they from around the country? No evidence is cited? Was it a rally? Well, if a ragtag group of perhaps 200 people qualifies as a rally, given the venue, then it was a rally. Would a group of 200 people demanding government spending on education have gotten this kind of press? Would they have been favored with one close cropped photo designed to mislead the casual observer into thinking there was a crowd, never mind the two misleading photos the tea party “rally” got?
Now, if you read deep into the article, you finally do find that even the Times finally gets around to estimate that this “crowd”, which Mitch McConnell claimed “sent a powerful message to Washington” consisted of no more than 300 people, including counter demonstrators and, most likely, the legions of the press that are attracted to tea party rallies like flies to dog shit.
It was, by any rationale standard but one, a total failure. It succeeded only because the media feels compelled to treat this political fraud seriously.