Friday, April 17, 2009

CNN Versus the Tea Parties

And Fox had some of its highest ratings ever, hmm.

CNN Versus the Tea Parties
When thousands of people in all 50 states assemble to protest government policy, you might suppose that this is news. Not according to the coverage on the front pages of the Washington Post, New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal. The "tea party" rallies went unmentioned. In Washington, D.C., despite temperatures in the 40s and a driving rainstorm, about a thousand demonstrators assembled across from the White House. The front page of the Times found space for a big story with accompanying pictures of competing public demonstrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, but not a word about the American protestors.

Perhaps this snub was intentional. Fox News (becoming a participant itself and not a recorder of events) had been beating the drums for these rallies for days, and some pressies clearly regarded them as therefore necessarily illegitimate. One reporter, Susan Roesgen, who "covered" the Chicago tea party for CNN, was downright confrontational with attendees she interviewed, challenging a protestor who referenced Abraham Lincoln with "What does this have to do with taxes?" The man attempted to explain. But the reporter interrupted him. "Did you know that you are eligible for a $400 rebate? Did you know that your state, the state of Lincoln, gets $50 billion out of the stimulus? That's $50 billion for your state." She then tossed back to the anchor noting that "This is really not family viewing."

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