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