Hundreds of thousands of Americans came together in more than 300 locations across the nation to shout, “Enough government!” They met on Tax Day to protest the expanding government apparatus and big government spending.
Thousands of protesters – some dressed in colonial wigs with tea bags hanging from their eyeglasses – showed up in states from California to Kentucky to Massachusetts, holding signs and reading speeches in protest of the Obama administration’s tax-and-spend policies.
It was probably the largest grass-roots organized event in the history of the republic. The governor of the state of Texas openly accused the federal government of “overturning the rights we had one by one, making choices that would leave our Founding Fathers scratching their heads.” Gov. Perry spoke to the crowd of thousands who turned out for the Dallas tea party.
Perry went so far as to remind Washington that Texas retains the right as a republic to secede from the Union. Don’t tread on me.
But as far as much of the mainstream media were concerned, it all might just as well have happened on the dark side of the moon. The New York Times completely ignored a nationwide anti-government protest in favor of a demonstration in Afghanistan.
What mainstream attention the effort did get was heavily propagandized. CNN openly mocked the tea parties and their thousands of participants as if they were all morons. MSNBC launched an all-out effort to marginalize it as a GOP political operation.
Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, said the media coverage was “insulting.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Bozell said. “The oral sex jokes on (CNN) and particularly MSNBC on teabagging … they had them by the dozens. That’s how insulting they were toward people who believe they’re being taxed too highly.” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House was “amused” by the tea parties, but that “nobody out there is making $250,000 a year” – as if that were somehow relevant.
President Obama said that he was “completely unaware” of the tea party protests. How can it be that the president could be “unaware” of a grass-roots protest movement of this size and scope? Doesn’t he have a TV?
Actually, it was possible to watch the news of the day and scan the daily headlines and never know anything about the protests, unless one took place near your house.
Those news organizations that did take notice of the events around the country presented them as a Fox News-promoted, GOP-affiliated non-event that drew pockets of Obama-haters.
Only days before, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin to law-enforcement officials warning of the dangers posed by “right-wing extremists” that, according to the government definition from the bulletin, were the very people that showed up for the tea party demonstrations. Specifically cited were “those who … reject federal authority in favor of state and local authority.” (Like tea party protesters?)
I couldn’t help but notice the fact that, despite the size of the crowds and the depth of their feeling, there was not a single recorded instance of violence.
There was not a single riot among all those thousands of protesters in those hundreds of cities. Nobody’s windows were smashed. Nobody was injured in clashes with police. Nobody was killed. It was astonishing to watch. Tens of thousands of Americans gathered together for no other purpose except to have their voices heard.
They stood up … only to discover to their shock and dismay that their own government now considers them to be enemies of the state and that the allegedly unbiased mainstream media marginalized them as nut jobs – or ignored them altogether. One would never have dreamed it possible in America.
But that was before The Change That You Can Believe In. Now, it seems, anything is possible.