Fox News Is On Board The Tea Bagger Express – Again

In a reprise of last April’s Tea Party propaganda campaign, Fox News is once again heavily promoting the latest Astroturf movement by rightist opponents of the administration. This episode of tea baggery is focusing specifically on health care reform.

Recall last April, when Fox News not only aired millions of dollars worth of free publicity for the Tea Baggers, they also assigned their anchors to host the events. Neil Cavuto in Sacramento. Greta Van Susteren in DC. Sean Hannity in Atlanta. Glenn Beck in San Antonio.

The latest promotional effort is already underway. One of the first assignments is Griff Jenkins (Bill O’Reilly’s ambush specialist) who is actually tagging along with the Tea Party Express bus tour. His reports consist of unabashed cheerleading for what he falsely identifies as a grassroots movement (It’s more like grassROTS. After all, these people don’t care much for nature). The Express is winding its way across America. paid for by the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, an organization headed by far-right talk radio host Mark Williams.

But the “fair and balanced” network is demonstrating its bias by ignoring another bus tour that is generating as much or more popular appeal as the Tea Baggers. This project, sponsored by Organizing for America and Health Care Reform Now, is taking a similar path across the country, stopping along the way for rallies, and is scheduled to wrap up in Washington, D.C. on September 13, one day after the Tea Baggers. OFA has reported brisk attendence of their events so far:

“…hundreds of health insurance reformers [in Milwaukee] […] Earlier today, more than 3,000 reformers gathered in New York City with the same message of hope. One thousand came out in Portland. Another 1,800 are finishing up a reform event in Austin, Texas. And, nearly 800 rallied for health insurance reform in Fargo, North Dakota today.

“These crowds come on the heels of last night’s 1,500-plus reformers gathering in Denver, Thursday’s 1,000 plus rally in Albuquerque and another 1,100 on Wednesday night in Phoenix”

With turnout like that, these events are at least as newsworthy as those by the tea bag/insurance lobby. Yet Fox News has invoked a virtual blackout on any news of reform activists. Not only do they not have someone like Griff Jenkins riding along with the reform bus, they haven’t even reported that the effort exists (except for a couple of tangential and backhanded references). What might the media landscape look like if there were an alternative to the overtly partisan Fox News that published something like this:

I harbor no illusions that anything like that will happen. It isn’t an accident that Fox News is ignoring these events – it’s deliberate. They have a vested interest in keeping this information from their viewers. In addition, they surely don’t want to raise the profile of these events for fear that it might enhance turnout. So Fox has committed to suppressing coverage as part of their political agenda.

What would it take to get Fox News to assign a reporter to the Reform Now bus tour? Could any amount of phone calls or emails turn the trick? Could a sustained campaign of exposing and/or ridiculing Fox for their journalistic dishonesty result in a reporter (even a biased one) embedded with the reformists? Probably not. But here’s another question: What would it take for the rest of the media to cover the reform bus tour? Because they aren’t in the game either.

There are going to be two events on the weekend of September 12 and 13. One of them is getting premium promotional services from a major television network and its extended media platforms in print, radio, and online. The other is not. It’s impossible to predict the attendance for either of these rallies, but if progressives could draw more reform advocates in spite of the media imbalance, it would go a long way toward educating our representatives, and the press, as to where the people really stand on this issue.

Your assignment, if you chose to accept it, is to get to D.C., if you possibly can, on September 13. If that’s not possible, get to a local reform event. And by all means contact every media outlet, not just Fox, and ask them why they are not covering this truly grassroots movement.

The Organizing for America Action Center:
Where you can find local events and send letters to your local and national newspapers.

Contact these National TV news networks and ask them to cover the Health Reform Now bus tour.
Fox News / CBS News / NBC News / ABC News / CNN News


13 thoughts on “Fox News Is On Board The Tea Bagger Express – Again

  1. As a member of the Worker’s Party I say we need to shove back at the Capitalists. The only way to free America is to destroy Capitalism. Enough with FOX News, we should take them off the air. My fellow workers unite to free America and the world from the rich who suck the lifeblood from the worker.

    We will show these capaitalists who has the power to bring real freedom to working people. Join and unite. Union jobs promote equality. The State will provide for your needs if you support those leaders who want to bring you change.

    • Are you serious? Or are competing for the cliche of the month award?

    • What are you an idiot? How do you think your job exists? If not for people interested in building a business to make money (Capitalists) no one would care to make things which in turn means no one would hire others to work.

      Funny, the union workers are who drove industry and manufacturing out of the US and to China. The pure UNION greed.

  2. Hey Tom Milbank – You worthless loser.

    Unions = LAZINESS, can’t cut it in the real world, seniority ranks over hard work, and common sense is 100% UNavailable. We need to destroy the union THUGS, not capitalism!

    You’re just a bunch of sissies! I’m a girl with more get up and go – than your prized whinny mutants that cry about their union contracts. Anyone that is worth a damn can make it on their own in this country. That’s why the world is knocking on America’s capitalist door.

    Come on – say it – you hide behind “Worker’s Union” – you are a COMMUNIST! It doesn’t work, freak….just check out the rest of the countries that have tried – why do you think we have people taking a canoe from Cuba to get here…not because life is so peachy in commie Cuba.

    Get a brain…better yet leave the country.

    • I’m sure you have lots of get-up-and-go. Part of the reason is that you aren’t forced to work 16 hours days; or face unsafe workplaces; or not have employer-provided health care, or endure workplace discrimination.

      These are just a few of the benefits brought about by unions. You are a beneficiary of a lot of work done by others on your behalf. Without them you would be be a virtual slave to your boss.

      It isn’t communism. That is the whine of lazy opponents. It IS Americanism. It is in the great tradition of our country that values unity, compassion, and a commitment to one another.

      It’s too bad you can’t appreciate that.

      • Wow, That was three quarters of a century ago!

        The question is what have you done for me lately?

        Besides getting employers to push their jobs off shore?

        and YES it IS communism. Just look up the whole theroy of communism, read Marx for God’s sake!

        • Show where in the Communist Manifesto it argues for collective bargaining to balance the power of employers. It aint there. Unions are NOT communist. In fact, under communism the employer IS the state and they do not allow workers to strike or otherwise oppose their authority. Unions are a unique expression of American freedom.

          And unions provide valuable services everyday. They fight to maintain the gains of the past, which would be abandoned in the blink of an eye were they to disappear. They fight for minimum wage and for wages to keep pace with economic growth. They support employees who are mistreated or exploited by employers.

          And as for companies moving off-shore, that is done just as much by non-union companies. That movement is motivated by greed due to the fact that some third world countries offer labor for pennies a day. Are you arguing that we should compete for that business by paying Americans pennies a day?

  3. Just wondering where you commies expect the “state” to get their money to provide your needs if there aren’t any jobs out there to supply them taxes? Who will be taxed to pay for these needs? YOU WILL>>>>Everyone being equal in pay means everyone pays equal taxes..Think the rich are going to stick around here if they have to pay your way?…………shoo them away…the bees that make your honey will provide no more! So you have to get a new bee..YOU…you would have paid less if you had left it alone…

    • What on earth are you talking about? Everyone equal in pay? Put down the crack pipe, teenee.

  4. Guess it is okay for msm to NOT cover tea parties, but yet you punch back with..they don’t cover reform bus? How childish. When Fox is only ONE mainstream media is many…seems fair to me….FOX rules!

    • In case you haven’t notice, Fox IS the MSM. How can the number one cable news network in the country not be considered the mainstream media? And neither Fox nor the rest of the press is covering the reform rallies.

      Also, you are essentially arguing that Fox should NOT be fair and balanced if you think they shouldn’t cover the health reform rallies. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

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