The New Tea Party People: Now With Black People (Onstage, Anway), Proud to Teabag, But Still Batshit Insane
There were several Tea Parties on April 15, and rightbloggers who normally have nothing good to say about the "mainstream media" (whom they consider biased and/or corrupt) were surprised by relatively flattering coverage from the New York Times, CBS, and other agents of the evil MSM.
Perhaps because they are unaccustomed to such treatment, they could not take it with good grace. "The Times tells us what we already knew," scoffed Tom Maguire -- namely, that TP people are popular and great. "Even the New York Waste of Times is no longer buying the meme that Tea Partiers are dumb and uneducated," said Moonbattery. The Times' finding that TP people are well-educated "is glossed over" by the Times, claimed Don Surber. "And the New York Times could have said Tea Partiers are more likely to go to church, be married and work," if they really wanted to tell the whole, wonderful truth.
It may be that the MSM doesn't try harder to satisfy these people because there is obviously no satisfying them.
Surber took the Times' survey results to mean "an overwhelming majority of Americans prefer a smaller government. Again, Obama rides the wrong unicorn." The survey results actually show that, while 92 percent of TP people demand smaller gummint, among all respondents the proposition only pulls 50 percent -- a less "overwhelming majority" than that which the tyrant Obama received in the 2008 Presidential election. And all good Tea People know that doesn't count!
Surber didn't mention that the Times and CBS also found only 41 percent of the TP people think Obama was born in the United States. Other rightbloggers had an answer for that, though: 24Ahead said, "The use of 'myth' implies that their beliefs are false... there's the possibility that those beliefs (or at least some of them) aren't false, and in that case they wouldn't be 'myths.'" This airtight logic is hard to answer, at least in standard debate format.
Also, while several of their gatherings drew a nice crowd, some citizen journalists yet succumbed to the time-honored rightblogger tradition of helping the TP attendance numbers along. W.C. Varones told us the Midway event in San Diego drew "hundreds of patriots and supportive honks and waves..." You may see her linked photo stream, and judge from the sparsely-populated group shots whether the "hundreds" applies to "patriots" or to "supportive honks and waves."
Varones also complained of a "fake Tea Partier," which phenomenon had before the event been a matter of very grave concern for the brethren, who believed a vast left-wing conspiracy of "false flag" operations was seeking to bring down their Parties.
These counter-demonstrators -- particularly the most famous ones, who announced their intention to misbehave beforehand, which would defeat the whole purpose of a false flag -- seem to have mainly intended satire. This, as you may imagine, did not go over big with rightbloggers who, in addition to being averse to satire and humor in general, had been trained to look for sneaky liberals pretending to be of the Elect, and were unwilling to accept other explanations of events.
"The results sent in so far," said a puzzled Bob Owens at Pajamas Media, "indicate that tea party crasher efforts range from uninspired to unintentionally ironic." Rather than consider the possibility that the jokes were intentionally ironic, Owens asserted that it was "lost upon the mostly college-aged protesters" that "for their false flag operation to work, they must blend in to the group..."
As an example of this failure of the counter-demonstrators to live up to his preconception of them, Owens showed a girl carrying a sign that said "I Know Nothing About What I'm Protesting" -- a time-honored demo prank. "No one doubted her sign," said Owens, presumably with one eyebrow raised and a pause for laughs afterwards. Other such counter-protesters he accused of a "generic failure to be ironic."
Irony may not be Owens' strong suit: At yet another page, he complained of a man "in full Confederate regalia attempting to enter a tea party with the Stars and Bars." Owens operates a site called Confederate Yankee and refers to the armed conflict of 1861-1865 in the United States as the War of Northern Aggression. Oh, and he accused the counter-demonstrators of racism. Either he has no idea what irony is or else he is steeped in it -- let's not dismiss the possibility that Owens is a clever invention, like Andy Kaufman's Tony Clifton, rather than what he pretends to be, at least for charity's sake.
Speaking of racism, there was also a strong interest among rightbloggers in disproving an alleged slander that the Tea Parties are very, very white. They've been on the case a while: The well-known Instapundit makes a habit of finding the few black attendees at any given tea party and running pictures of them expressly for that purpose. And as those of us who have attended such events know, even Tea Party crowds as white as a new snowfall will often be regaled by a black speaker or two, who will talk about how diverse the event actually is. As we have observed elsewhere, Tea Parties are the greatest affirmative action program for black conservatives of all time (which should greatly please Megan McArdle).
This time out the same people followed the same strategy, and got bent out of shape when a black Times columnist, Charles Blow, noticed that the "diversity" on stage didn't quite match that of the crowd.
Oh yeah, said Big Journalism's Larry O'Connor, well, "the majority of the readers of Mr. Blow's newspaper are male, educated and have an above average income, just like the Tea Party members; unlike the Tea Party members, an inordinate number of Times readers live on Manhattan's Upper West Side."
We figured we knew where O'Connor was going with this, but wondered what new and exciting route he'd take to get there. We were not disappointed: "The Times's Media Kit does not provide a racial profile of its readers (apparently it was only relevant to the Times poll of the Tea Party members). But I used to live in New York and I know which people read which paper on the subway. I'm sure the readers of the Times appreciate Mr. Blow confirming all of the pre-conceived notions they had about the Tea Party."
There you go: Since everyone (or at least Larry O'Connor) knows black people don't read the Times, Charles Blow and the Times are racist. Or something.
"I suspect 'Zo is going to hit back pretty hard," said Jammie Wearing Fool, referring to the black guy working for Pajamas Media. We're sure he will, and how that will hearten Pajamas Media's audience -- the diversity stats for which, come to think of it, would make an interesting point of comparison with those for the Times. Alas, like the Times, PJM doesn't provide such information; maybe Larry O'Connor can go spelunking for more observational data wherever PJM readers congregate (real estate investment seminars?).
Speaking of tolerance, another watershed was reached with the April 15 Tea Parties: Some of the brethren decided to own with pride the once despised "teabagger" label.
They had previously flipped out when called by that name, disgusted to learn (from whom, we wonder) that it "refers to a sexual act involving part of the male genitalia and a second person's face or mouth." And some of them are still outraged by it. But a few rightbloggers -- perhaps flushed with what they considered a big April 15 victory -- decided, hell yeah, they were teabaggers.
"This is for you Ducky, laugh up that silly little name but I wear that label with pride," said Mind of a Misfit. "I am a tea-bagger, and this November you liberals are going to be washing the warm brown liquids from your foreheads... Open Your mouth up and say ahhhhhh!!!... it's ok if you choose to scream a little." Apparently rightbloggers don't mind a little sexual fantasy, so long as it's non-consensual.
And the top rightblogger Instapundit posted a bizarre video of actors who also proclaimed themselves proud to be teabaggers, and pelted a caricature of Nancy Pelosi's face with wet teabags. Get it? "Better than a teabaggee, I guess," said Instapundit -- because, you know, that would make you gay. Or a woman. You know what they mean. Not that there's anything -- hey, look, they've got black people!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.