Because The Media Says There’s A Problem, That’s Why

Bob Collins at MPR’s NewsCut NewsQ Gather.com posts a picture…:

Notice the sign with the little arrow by it?

Notice the sign with the little arrow by it? Click for a larger view. Photo by Bob Collins.

…showing a sign saying “Tax Cuts: Even A Monkey Can Do It”.   That’d be one sign, out of hundreds of signs and thousands of people at the Jason Lewis Tax Cut rally, with a (possibly) racist overtone.

Was that the sign’s intent?  “A monkey could do it” is a not-uncommon way of saying “Duh”; the Bush years saw more than a few “Chimp” references that passed without (disapproving) comment from the mainstream media.

If it was racist – was it a tax protester, or one of the ringers sent from the left to stand by the media’s cameras to smear the tea party?

We don’t know.  Bob Collins didn’t check.  Perhaps it was because it didn’t fit the narrative that the media has set up about the Tea Party, which both the WaPo article and (wittingly or not) Collins extend – that it’s racist until proven otherwise.  Or maybe he didn’t feel like walking through the crowd to check.  We’ll never know.  For the media’s narrative about the Tea Parties, “knowing” might be inconvenient.

Not sure if Bob ever asked Jess Mador how many racists signs were at the 4/15 rally?  There were none.  Partly, I’m sure, because the Tea Party publicized the fact that its security people would have cameras, and would be actively looking for scabrous signs, to post on blogs and run down identities.  I’m not sure that that would have kept a racist away – it’s not like they read blogs.  We don’t know.  But there was not one single racist sign at the rally, and near as we can tell only one questionable one at the Jason Lewis rally last weekend.

Collins adds a bit from a WaPo article quoting a few Tea Partiers and bunch of Democrat pundits saying the Tea Party is “fighting a perception” of racism – that, nobody adds, was largely a media meme in the first place, borne of cameras lingering and editors drooling over signs at previous rallies that were – let’s be blunt – spectacularly non-representative of the Tea Parties as a whole.  “But nearly three in 10 see racial prejudice as underlying the tea party”, the article says, elaborating that “About 61 percent of tea party opponents say racism has a lot to do with the movement, a view held by just 7 percent of tea party supporters.”  In other words, the left – which includes the media – spreads the meme that supports their prejudices; the Tea Party itself rebukes the idea.

How to get to the bottom of this?

I invite Bob Collins to come with me to the next Tea Party event.  We’ll skip the usual MPR Reporter drill – hanging out in front of the crowd taping speakers.  We can wander around there the real fun is; the middle of the crowd, the fringers, the vendor row, where all the real conversation happens.  Y’know – doing a crowd on the dynamics of a grass-roots movement by actually meeting the movement.

Pass the word.

67 thoughts on “Because The Media Says There’s A Problem, That’s Why

  1. Dog Gone, you are missing the fact that what you linked to was not the results of a CNN poll, but a CNN story about an ABC/WaPo poll. The only reference in the story is to the ABC/WaPo poll, and to get at the real poll #’s you have to dig — the CNN writer, Shannon Travis, does not give a direct link.
    You have misunderstood this line of Travis’ story:

    In an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Wednesday, 87-percent of Tea Party supporters said that racism does not play a part in the movement’s opposition to the president’s policies. A small number, one in 10, said that anger at having an African-American president is a reason to support the Tea Party movement.

    The phrase “one-in-ten” refers to everyone polled, not people who consider themselves “tea partiers”. Your mistake. This is obvious if you look at the poll and do not depend on your interpretation of CNN writer’s summary.
    Before you go around accusing people of being racists, is it too much to ask that you CHECK YOUR DATA FIRST?

  2. is it too much to ask that you CHECK YOUR DATA FIRST?

    Dont’ be silly, Terry. There’s an impression of racism. And we’ve been told the only reason to oppose this administration is racism. Facts are for peasants; the narrative is watching over you.

    We love you, Big Narrative.

  3. Like Peev… Dog’s too busy talking and running-on (and on) to get the story straight.

    I’m shocked [Claude Raines] SHOCKED [/Claude Raines]!

  4. Indeed, unclebenjamin. It is so much easier to simply assume they are racists until they prove (on our various and unreasonable terms) otherwise.

  5. Another document:
    http://abcnews.go.com/images/PollingUnit/1109a4TeaParty.pdf
    It has wording & factoids in common with the CNN story, so I suspect that this, rather than the WaPO data, is what Travis used as the source of his story.
    The ABC document has this line, which I believe Travis (& then Dog Gone) repeated uncritically:

    At the same time, the movement’s supporters broadly reject the suggestion of racial prejudice
    against Obama. Eighty-seven percent of Tea Party backers say this is not a reason people support
    it. (One in 10 say it is).

    I don’t know where Gary Langer (who has the byline) came up with his parenthetical “One in 10 say that it is”. It’s not in the poll data. But it seems Dog Gone has rephrased this as “[I]t indicated that of tea partiers polled in a recent survey, 1 in 10 indicated that anger at having a black president is a reason to support the tea party”. Esp. note the word “anger” she inserted.
    Way to prop up that narrative, baby!

  6. Also from the above mentioned ABC doc:
    Ultimately, a statistical analysis indicates that the strongest predictors of supporting the Tea Party are views of Obama, ideology, partisanship and anger at the way the government is operating.
    Views on the extent of racism as a problem, and views on Obama’s efforts on behalf of African-Americans, are not significant predictors of support for the Tea Party movement.

    *sigh* This is why I stopped commenting on Penigma’s blog. Simply pointing out the errors in their reasoning over there is full-time job.
    I stopped commenting on Apathyboy’s blog because by re-jiggering it on May Day he announced to the world that he sympathized with the Wobblies. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas . . .

  7. Gosh, I almost forgot to critique Slash’s exercise in drooling idiocy:

    Can monkeys read newspapers?

    “Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman’s presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-05-10-taxes_N.htm

    Sure they can, they just can’t understand them.
    /jc

    Remeber when Bush’s miniscule income tax cuts for the middle class combined with $400 billion dollar deficits meant that Bush was ruining the country & conservatives were idiots for supporting him?
    The new liberal argument — illustrated by Slash’s clumsy attempt to make a point — is that Obama is running trillion dollar deficits with miniscule income tax cuts for the middle class and conservatives are idiots for not supporting Obama.
    No sense of history, no notion of how to reason, %100 liberal, that’s our Slash.

  8. Two firebrands of the anti-tax movement in Minnesota — Michele Bachmann and Tom Emmer — headlined a rally at the Capitol in St. Paul on Saturday, the Star Tribune reported.

    But a photograph in the Star Tribune revealed an obviously racist message that muted the message protesters wanted to deliver.

    The rally at the Capitol was organized by Jason Lewis of KTLK. To be clear: Most of the signs were merely political in nature. But, at some point, doesn’t someone have to say, “Hey, buddy, ditch the sign; you’re killing our cause, here”?

    Bob Collins thinks Mitch is attacking a straw man. I think the man holding the monkey sign is the straw man and Bob is in full attack mode.

    First, it is not “obviously” racist. Maybe it’s “specist” but I doubt that is a word. There is a long history of using animal images to lampoon political opponents in America. Take a look at the ways Lincoln was caricatured during the Civil War. Closer in time, does anyone recall the horrific cartoons of LBJ? Of George W Bush?

    Sorry, Bob, but the sad history of race relations in America does not give African Americans immunity from free speech simply by playing the race card. The presence of a lone protestor carrying a sign you find objectionable does not obligate the other participants to eject the guy as long as he is not breaking the law.

    Where were you when Code Pink, Cindy Sheehan and other guerilla elements were participating in anti-war protests and holding signs that out side found objectionable? I recall the sound of silence. And that is OK. Free speech is protected by the Constitution. Most Tea Party activists respect the office of the President enough not to engage in sophomoric stunts, but if one or two do, there is no reason to shun them and their presence does not negate the message being delivered, as much as you try to argue that it does.

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