Saturday, February 27, 2010

LA Times Article Gets It So Wrong Again

This blog wonders what's else is in the water coolers at the LA Times. Several weeks ago, they ran an article that attempted to explain away the Tea Party movement as merely another vestige of the '60's counterrevolution. Yesterday, they ran a similar article. I corrected them then, and I'll do it again now. Maybe, after a few hundred of these corrections, the staff out there might start to understand what this movement is all about.

Exhibit A: The Offendingly Inaccurate Article. It's title is "Most "tea party" followers are baby boomers reliving the '60's".

It begins by subtly suggesting that tea partiers are racists:
More likely to be white and male than the general population, tea partyers also skew toward middle age or older.
Secondly, they insist that, since they themselves likely protested during that era, that everyone always protested:

In their wonder years, they learned that politics was about protesting the Establishment and shouting down the Man.
While that may have been part of everyday life for the authors, most of the rest of us just watched these protests on the evening news.

It's about here where the authors veer off into fantasyland:

The tea party is a harbinger of midlife crisis, not political crisis. For men of a certain age, it offers a counterculture experience familiar from adolescence -- underground radio, esoteric tracts, consciousness-raising teach-ins and rallies replete with extroverted behavior to shock the squares -- all paid for with ample cash.
By "underground radio", I think we're supposed to insert the Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity shows here. Or Neil Boortz, or Mark Levin. Underground? When I was listening to underground radio, nobody knew it existed, hence the name. With millions of listeners, these shows hardly qualify.

As for the "extroverted behavior to shock the squares", I'll admit they have me at a loss. I don't recall seeing anyone at a Tea Party frolicking nude in the mud while tripping on acid. Our only "consciousness raising teach-ins" consist of town hall meetings, and the conciousness we're trying to raise is that of entrenched politicians who willfully ignore our wishes in Washington.

It gets better in the next snide put-down:

In a flashback of "turn on, tune in, drop out," the partyers reject mainstream culture, don the equivalent of Che T-shirts that say "Don't Tread on Me," and join sects with trippy names like Oath Keepers, Patriotic Resistance and Freedom Force. Instead of getting themselves "back to the garden," they get off the grid and, like the Bill Ayers crew, indulge in fantasies about armed rebellion against the establishment.
Reject mainstream culture? Well, when it includes semi-literate rappers who have an extremely limited vocabulary, known more for the quality of drugs they're able to use instead of the quality of their music, yeah, we tend to reject that. "Get off the grid'? Hardly. The average Tea Partier is much more informed and "plugged in" than ever before. They know about the waste and fraud in Washington and aren't very happy to have their hard-earned tax money frittered away on useless research grants to study the mating habits of obscure species, just to name one concern. The only fantasy indulged is having a responsible government inhabited by fellow citizens committed to the best standard of living for the country, not armed rebellion.
When the authors finally get to the crux of the biscuit, nothing happens:

The tea partyers' pictures and sound bites are so good, no one cares that their math doesn't add up: Cut taxes and the deficit but keep your hands off my Medicare; do something about jobs but don't increase spending. Everyone understands it's about something deeper.
Aahhh, math. That we do understand. Tea Partiers understand that spending $787 billion to create jobs hasn't worked, that high deficits harm our credit ratings and the value of the dollar overseas. We also understand that tax cuts (a conservative idea rejected by the "progressives" currently in power) result in an economic revitalization, the rising tide that lifts all ships. We understand very well that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama haven't the slightest idea how free market capitalism works and demonstrate their ignorance every day.

If you're a baby boomer who's had your blood pressure medicine today, click on over to read another installment of blind men describing an elephant. You'll discover, unlike them, that they are truly blind.

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