The Media and the Tea Party

By L Brent Bozell III

Media Watch Center – America’s Media Watchdog

The liberal media will stop at nothing to cripple the Tea Party. They are attacking this grassroots movement because it is:

1) An effective force for conservatism
2) They need a bogeyman to blame for the economic disaster caused by the socialist policies of President Obama and his allies in Congress

The Media is all geared to help  left-wingers in the 2012 elections. Here at the Media Research Center (MRC) we’ve documented and exposed the media attacks against the Tea Party since it was born during the Obamacare battle in early 2010. Since then, the vitriol hurled by left-wing journalists against conservatives has grown coarser, in contradiction to all their pleading about “civility.” This was abundantly obvious in the fight over raising the federal debt ceiling in July and August.

Let’s look at some examples from that battle  and remember this is the same media that somehow blamed the Jan. 8 Tucson shooting of Congresswoman Gabriella Gifford and the killing of five others,  on the rhetoric of conservative talk radio and the Tea Party.

Remember also that President Obama gave a nationally televised speech in Tucson after the shooting calling for “more civility in our public discourse.” He also said, “at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized … it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

Okay, now fast forward to the debt-ceiling debate. On July 27, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman  blared, “If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the GOP on a suicide mission.”  (Huh? The usual non-sequitar idiotic Friedman conclusions).

Two days later, MSNBC’s Steven Rattner seriously argued  “the problem with this is it’s like a form of economic terrorism. I imagine these Tea Party guys are like strapped with dynamite, standing in the middle of Times Square at rush hour and saying, ‘Either you do it my way, or we’re going to blow you up, ourselves up, and the whole country up with us.”  In other words, Tea Party Americans are like radical Islamic suicide bombers! Is that civil discourse?

That same day, July 29, Bloomberg News’ Margaret Carlson described Tea Party lawmakers as the “nihilist caucus”, which is, ‘Listen, we want to burn the place down.’ … They’ve strapped explosives to the Capitol and they think they’re immune from it. The Tea Party caucus wants this crisis.”

(Note to Carlson: By the way, President Obama’s communist friends, Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn did in fact, participate in actual bombings of the Capitol and the Pentagon in 1971-72 and somehow got away scott-free!)

Over at CBS, the marginally more rational Bob Schieffer exclaimed, “Some people say the Republican Party has been held hostage by the Tea Party.” At least at CBS Tea Partiers have been downgraded from terrorists to kidnappers. Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post threw another twisted analogy into the mix by telling viewers of MSNBC’s Hardbail, “What’s going on here, as I see it, is a kind of slow-motion secession…. The Tea Party people are saying, we want to secede from that society.”

Hardball  host Chris Matthews (of Obama speech making shivers run up his leg fame) smeared the Tea Party for backing real spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment as part of the debt-ceiling deal. After the vote on the deal, Matthews lamented, “What I saw at least was one guy with a knife and the other trying to avoid being cut. It was a thug attacking a victim. It was a mugging. The mugging continues, again and again and again. The people who perpetrated this assault on the president will come back to do it again.” Nice civility, don’t you think?

Putting the arsenic-icing on the rhetorical cake, totally predictably Far Left, New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd snapped: “Tea Party budget-slashers were like cannibals, eating their own party and leaders alive. They were like vampires, draining the country’s reputation, credit rating and compassion. They were like zombies, relentlessly and mindlessly coming back again and again to assault their unnerved victims, Boehner and President Obama.”

Not surprisingly, the oh-so sensitive left-wing media said nothing about this vile rhetoric. While the debt deal was a loser for conservatives – no real spending cuts and no balanced budget – the hberal media also know the political fallout is bad for Obama especially the downgrading of America’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. So, they’re trying to shift the blame to the Tea Party.

In an MRC press release, yours truly (Brozell III) said, “To blame the Tea Party for the S&P downgrade is like blaming the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism. The entire existence of the Tea Party movement has been based on an attempt to stop the runaway spending of Washington – by the likes of John Kerry.

This is a well-coordinated effort by the left-wing to deflect bad news – very bad news away from their very left-wing President Obama.” The liberal media will do anything to cut the Tea Party off at the knees and cover for Obama and liberals in the 2012 election year. The discourse is only going to get worse.

Media Watch Center is tracking, exposing, and neutralizing that well orchestrated serial dishonesty every day, through our MRC divisions online, and in print, on talk radio, television, Facebook,Twitter, and through our MRC Action Team. The battle is intensifying and we are advancing, so stay tuned.

L. Brent Bozell III
Founder and President, Media Research Center


By Steven Plaut
Jewish Press, September 2, 2011

Israeli radical leftists have long had an intense hatred for American conservatives, who are almost all pro-Israel. Actually, Israeli leftists hate American conservatives precisely because conservatives are pro-Israel. As is the case in most other countries, radical leftists in the Jewish state are anti-Israel in addition to being anti-American.

Israeli leftists insist that overseas supporters of Israel who are conservative should be shunned. Israeli leftists insist that Israel should only allow itself to be befriended by foreign leftists. Never mind that the search for pro-Israel foreign leftists is about as productive as the search for human life on other planets. The left outside of Israel is almost entirely anti-Israel, and foreign liberals are by and large (though not entirely) anti-Israel as well.

Israeli leftists want foreign pro-Israel conservatives to be regarded as personae non gratae by Israel. A few years back, Amiram Goldblum, a professor at Hebrew University and a founder of Peace Now, called upon Israeli officials to prevent American evangelical Christians from entering Israel. He objected to them because they are too pro-Israel. The Israeli left is outraged that Israeli cable TV carries Fox News, because it is pro-Israel. The anti-Israel BBC and CNN, however, are fine.

The most dramatic manifestation of the Israeli left’s hatred of pro-Israel foreign conservatives was evident in the severity of the Beckaphobia we’ve seen in recent days.

Glenn Beck was in Israel last week (he has been here a lot in recent months) for one purpose only – to support Israel. He is an outspoken and well-spoken American conservative. His political opinions are solidly conservative and you cannot listen to his recent speech in Jerusalem without being convinced of the sincerity of his love for Israel and solidarity with Jews. You might even be moved to tears (from his citing the Book of Ruth, for instance).

The Israeli left has been jihading like crazy against Beck. Yossi Sarid, the ex-head of the semi-Marxist Meretz party, crayoned an op-ed demonizing Beck (just recently Sarid published an op-ed in Haaretz claiming Israel fought the Six-Day War out of a Nazi-like quest for Lebensraum – his word). Sarid was joined by lots of left-wing Haaretz writers in Beck-bashing. And even the normally sensible Maariv editor Ben-Dror Yemini decided to gripe about Beck. Naturally, Peace Now denounced the decision to allow Beck into the country.

The leftists demanding that Beck be regarded as persona non grata are almost without exception the same people who protested when Israel denied inveterate Israel bashers Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomskyand Richard Falkentry into the country. The lesson is clear – the left’s mantra is really this: Israel, hate it or leave it.

Meanwhile, Israeli patriots loved Beck and many attended his rallies. Caroline Glick wrote in The Jerusalem Post:

Beck is rare, because he refuses to bow to the intellectual intimidation and group-think that plagues the discourse on Israel in Israel itself and throughout the world . Unlike the leftist public intellectuals such as New York Times columnist, Tom Friedman (may he rot in gehenim – jsk) who are celebrated and obsessively covered by the Israeli media, Beck exerts real influence on public opinion in the U.S.

His calls for action are answered by hundreds of thousands of people. His statements are a guidepost for millions of Americans. Aside from radio host Rush Limbaugh, no media personality in the U.S. has such influence. It is highly significant that thousands of Beck’s supporters followed his call and came with him to Israel for a week to express their support for Israel and the Jewish people. It is similarly significant that millions more of his supporters followed his actions on Internet.

Beck, of course, is also the right-winger American left-wingers most love to hate. He is perhaps the only TV and radio personality who can upset the left even more than Rush Limbaugh does. But those who hate Beck, in almost all cases, also hate Israel. True, some liberal American Reform rabbis denounced Beck for criticizing George Soros, but if anything, Beck should carry their condemnation as a badge of valor.

Some American Jewish liberals squirm when Beck’s name is mentioned because they have a problem with Mormons. Give me a nice team of Mormons any day over liberal Jewish pseudo-clergypersons preaching that Judaism is really “social justice” and pursuing a liberal political agenda.

Mormons may invite you to join their faith and pray for you to do so. Liberal Reform rabbis often misrepresent Judaism and are guilty of chillul Hashem (sacrilege). I feel fine with the former. And I salute Glenn Beck.

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at He can be contacted at