Stupid Tea Party Tricks: FreedomWorks Launches Pointless Boycott Against Comcast

The Tea Party has been involved in too many idiotic escapades to count. One of their more memorable proposals was to fly a plane over the Superbowl with a banner reading “Impeach Obama.” Apparently they were not aware that the game would be played in a domed stadium and that it’s illegal to fly over it anyway. Or recall their assertion that ultra-conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is a Muslim infiltrator. Their proof? He has a beard. And who could forget the call for Americans to rise up and burn their ObamaCare cards. No matter that ObamaCare cards do not exist, FreedomWorks will be printing them up and providing them to Tea Party pyromaniacs.

Tea Party Comcast Boycott
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The very same FreedomWorks is now embarking on a massive campaign to punish Comcast because their MSNBC subsidiary employees Al Sharpton. They have produced a comically amateurish video (below) declaring it “a disgrace that Sharpton has his own TV show.” They sent an email to their 2.3 million suckers…er…members urging them to cancel their cable service if Comcast is their provider. The email states that…

“By paying your Comcast cable bill, your money is helping to pay for Al Sharpton’s salary…Comcast cable subscribers can take action against Roberts and his biased media empire by changing their cable TV service provider. By exercising marketplace choice, consumers can prevent their money from supporting media propaganda.”

If you get the idea that FreedomWorks didn’t think this through very well, you’re quite right. After all, Sharpton works for MSNBC, not Comcast. Any cable customers who cancel their subscriptions will have zero effect on Sharpton’s employment status. Those customers were encouraged by FreedomWorks to switch from Comcast to DirecTV, AT&T, or some other provider. However, all of those providers also offer MSNBC, so the revenue generated to the cable network will be exactly the same. Should they opt to do without cable programming, their boycott will do just as much harm to Fox News, and every other channel, as to MSNBC.

So this threat is as impotent as Rush Limbaugh sans Viagra. When liberals mounted a successful boycott against Fox News’ Glenn Beck, they targeted Beck’s advertisers. The same tactic has drained the bank account of Limbaugh and his radio affiliates. But going after Comcast won’t have any more impact on Sharpton’s MSNBC program than it will on Donald Trump’s unreality show on NBC.

There are plenty of good reasons to boycott Comcast: It is an anti-competitive conglomerate that exploits its market power; it unfairly discriminates against progressive advertisers; it improperly uses data it collects on its customers, invading their privacy. If Tea Partiers want to shun Comcast for any of those reasons, I’m with them. But this attack on Sharpton (of whom I am not a fan), is utterly absurd. However, it is another clear indicator of just how dumb the Tea Party community can be.

GOP: Greed Obsessed Profiteers – How the Right Fleeces Donors To Enrich Themselves

The election of 2012 broke all records for spending on campaigns and collateral causes of political movers and shakers. The orgy of spending was triggered by the Citizen’s United decision allowing donors to make unlimited contributions anonymously. A by product of this landscape littered with special interest cash was a new industry driven by hucksters intent on sucking up substantial portions of the money flying around in the political ether.

One of those hucksters was the toe-sucking grifter, Dick Morris. Rachel Maddow recently reported on his scam that involved soliciting donations for a Super PAC that he claimed to have founded, and funneling those funds to his accomplices at the right wing blog Newsmax. Then NewsMax used some of that money to pay Morris for access to his email donors list so that they could solicit more donations. In effect, Morris was raising money to pay himself to raise more money.

Another example of this racket involved the Astroturf-roots, Tea Party operation, FreedomWorks. In the wake of scandalous revelations that their former chairman Dick Armey had staged an armed coup to wrest control of the group from his partners, it has been learned that the organization was taking the funds received from unsuspecting donors who opposed big government waste and depositing them in the bank accounts of wealthy broadcasters like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. These payouts were ostensibly intended to buy positive promotions of FreedomWorks on their programs in order to produce more donations that could also be paid out to the promoters. It was a blatantly circular self-enrichment scheme that was also described by Armey as “ineffective” and “a mistake.”

These incidents illustrate a congenital characteristic of the conservative mindset. It is a philosophy that explicitly lauds a dog-eat-dog flavor of wealth creation and celebrates the success of ruthless entrepreneurship and Greed-Obsessed Profiteers (i.e. GOP).

At the center of this con game is Fox News and the associated right-wing media machine. The unprecedented sums of money raised and spent in the last election cycle exceeded $5 billion dollars. Of that it is estimated that $3.4 was spent on advertising. In the world of Republican politics there is only one elephant in the room when it comes to media, and that is Fox News, the number one rated cable news network (for now) and the PR division of the GOP.

Fox was the first stop on every Republican’s campaign trip. It was where groups like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity dumped the bulk of their television ad dollars. It was the TV base for Dick Morris, Karl Rove, Scott Rasmussen, and the Breitbart-affiliated activists who were pretending to be movie producers.

Fox News was running the same scam as those described above. They would provide a platform for conservative politicians and organizations to solicit donations. The organizations would then pay Fox to run their ads with the money they raised from their appearances on Fox. And round and round it goes.

Rupert MurdochThis is a tactic exploited so well by Rupert Murdoch himself in the last election cycle when he donated a million dollars to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who promptly returned it to Fox in the form of ad buys. In this way Murdoch actually made a 22% profit on his donation to the Chamber, and the Chamber got their ads broadcast at a 78% discount.

The maze of campaign finance laws makes it difficult to ascertain whether or not any laws were broken by these financial shenanigans. But the Federal Elections Commission is such an impotent agency that it would be surprising if they ever bothered to investigate or punish such lawbreakers.

However, what is even more surprising is that anybody would contribute to these organizations if they knew that their donations were not being used to advance the causes they support, but instead are lining the pockets of the executives and fundraisers. It is brazen betrayal of the folks who put their hard-earned dollars to work for their beliefs. But it is also precisely what conservatives are best known for: making themselves rich at the expense of the little people.

Hysterical Addendum] Dick Armey is now claiming that when he spoke with Media Matters and made his remarks about FreedomWorks, and their wasting money on Beck and Limbaugh, he actually thought he was talking to the uber-rightist Media Research Center. That explains his candor. He clearly believed that those comments would never be made public by MRC.

The Delusional Tea Party Plan To Cut $9 Trillion From The Budget

While the congressional Super Committee struggles to agree on budget reforms that would result in paltry savings of $1-2 trillion dollars, the financial geniuses at the Tea Party front group FreedomWorks have managed to shape a plan that will slash the deficit by more than $9 trillion without raising taxes on the long-suffering One-Percenters who control the vast majority of the wealth in America. How did they do it?

    The Tea Party Debt Commission

  • Repeals ObamaCare in toto.
    This would actually increase the deficit because, as the independent analysts at the CBO have concluded, the Affordable Care Act saves $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period.
  • Eliminates four Cabinet agencies — Energy, Education, Commerce, and HUD — and reduces or privatizes many others, including EPA, TSA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.
    This furthers the Tea Party goal of dismantling any government program even if it is critical to national security, economic growth, and public safety.
  • Ends farm subsidies, student loans, and foreign aid to countries that don’t support us — luxuries we can no longer afford.
    In other words, keep America stupid and drive all of our international allies into the arms of unfriendly nations.
  • Saves Social Security and greatly improves future benefits by shifting ownership and control from government to individuals, through new SMART Accounts.
    Privatize Social Security and abandon seniors to the uncertainties of the stock market.
  • Gives Medicare seniors the right to opt into the Congressional health care plan.
    Kill Medicare by depleting the pool of members and siphoning off those with means leaving only low-income and high-risk participants, which would substantially increase costs.
  • Make the so-called Bush tax cuts, and other expiring tax relief provisions, permanent.
    Make permanent the tax cuts for the rich, which is the single biggest factor that has produced our current deficits.

The Tea Party proposal is wildly out of touch with economic reality, as well as public opinion. When exploring the details of the plan you will find such absurd suggestions as privatizing the Transportation Safety Administration and Air Traffic Controllers. That makes perfect sense to anyone who is pleased with the way that private airlines keep passengers trapped aboard planes that have been delayed on the tarmac for eight hours. Let’s empower those folks, who are motivated only by profit, to manage the safety of our airports and air travel.

The FreedomWorks Tea Party Debt Commission asks us to…

“Imagine a plan that cuts, caps, and balances federal spending without raising taxes; that gives future generations control over their own retirement security; and that lifts the massive debt burden from our children’s shoulders so they can know the American dream of ever-higher freedom and prosperity.”

I think I can imagine exactly what the Tea party has in mind:

Flip Flop: Glenn Beck Embraces Community Organizing

Glenn BeckThere are a number of words and phrases that are repeated incessantly by Glenn Beck as he pontificates against the menagerie of menaces that haunt him. He is driven into a near panic by the mention of “social justice” or “transformation.” And because Barack Obama used the word “change” in his presidential campaign, anyone else who ever uses it in any context is immediately pegged as a member of the progressive cabal that seeks to destroy America.

But no other phrase is as foreboding to Beck as “community organizer.” He has spent years demonizing the notion as some sort of secret society mechanism that can only produce harm. He frequently disparages the President as the “Community-Organizer-in-Chief.” On his radio program on July 27, 2009, Beck said that…

“If you want to understand Barrack Obama (sic), you’ve got to think like a community organizer – one that is transforming America into some sort of a thugocracy, and in the process trampling on and erasing our individual rights.”

A few days ago Beck advocated the need to “rebuild our communities, and not through community organizing.” But he has now taken an abrupt turn to the enemy camp. In a shocking fit of betrayal Beck told his listeners that…

“Community organizing is going to change the world. And last week I said to you, before I found out about the Freedom Connector, if you’re not organized you lose. Why did this thing happen in Egypt? Because of organization. It is community organizing on a global scale. […] Community organizing is the answer. They’re doing it and they are way ahead of us. You must, must, must connect.”

So Glenn Beck is now a community organizer. The problem is, he doesn’t really grasp the concept. The “Freedom Connector” he mentioned is a new system he was announcing to help his Tea Party disciples clasp hands and fend off the nasty progressives and radicals that have infiltrated America. He teased his audience last week that he would be introducing this organizing tool that was brought to him by a couple of guys he had met with last year.

Beck never mentioned the names of the “guys” with whom he had met, but we now know who they are. The Freedom Connector turns out to be a project of FreedomWorks, the right-wing lobbying group led by Dick Armey that was instrumental in creating and bankrolling the Tea Party. I don’t think that wealthy lobbyists coordinating AstroTurf offshoots of the Republican Party qualify as community organizers. But that’s Beck’s version of it.

The revolutionary idea behind Freedom Connector is that it enables people to find friends and form groups of like interest. Gee, I wonder why no one ever thought of that before. It’s like a big social network where people can post their personal profiles and….oh, wait a minute. I guess Facebook has too many liberals and foreigners for the Beck/Tea Party crowd.

Technology is not a strong point for conservatives. There are too many young people associated with it and Beck hates those darn kids. On today’s program he actually escalated his assault on a Google employee who had helped to coordinate the protests in Egypt. Beck implied that Google was somehow responsible for this individual’s activities. Therefore, Beck advised his viewers not to use Google when researching his crackpot schemes. (Did Bing’s servers just get a traffic spike?)

I really am beginning to think that Beck may be attempting to preempt Jon Stewart and The Onion by coming up with stuff that is too crazy to satirize.

The Many Faces Of The Tea Party

Malice in Wonderland - Tea PartyOn the cover of the new Weekly Standard is a caricature of two people that the magazine’s cover story regards as the banner carriers of the Tea Party movement. They are Rick Santelli, a correspondent for the cable business network CNBC, and Glenn Beck, a delusional Fox News host with a Messiah complex. The title of the cover story is The Two Faces Of The Tea Party.

The article by Matthew Continetti is an overly verbose examination of the Tea Party founding and philosophy. It employs a comparative clash between conflicting visions of the movement represented by Santelli as a sober, businesslike advocate for economic rationality, and Beck as a feverish, paranoiac warning of impending economic and social doom. The problem is that, even as Continetti defines the battle in terms of this duality, he entirely misses the real source of the Tea-volution. He insists on distilling it down to these two charactors, despite recognizing in his opening paragraph the multiple personalities residing in the body of the Tea Party:

“Is the anti-Obama, anti-big government movement simply AstroTurf fabricated by Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks? Is it a bunch of Birthers, Birchers, conspiracists, and white power misfits? Is it a strictly economic phenomenon […] Or are the Tea Partiers nothing more than indulgent Boomers […] Reagan Democrats and Perotistas?”

Continetti correctly answers his own question saying, “All of the above.” However, he then immediately retreats to present the argument as one between Santelli and Beck for the remainder of his interminably long essay. And Continetti takes sides. He characterizes Santelli and Beck in starkly different terms. Santelli is the “former businessman” who “you’d expect to find at the Rotary Club,” while Beck is the “former Top 40 DJ” who “was addicted to alcohol and drugs.”

On Santelli: They are the words of a man who is worried about America’s future, but who thinks the right mix of policy and leadership can cure the nation’s ills. They are the words of a forward-looking, optimistic, free-market populist.

On Beck: For Beck, conspiracy theories are not aberrations. They are central to his worldview. They are the natural consequence of assuming that the world hangs by a thread, and that everyone is out to get you.

As if to confirm Continetti’s portrayal of Beck as perennially victimized, Beck’s producer, Stu, posted a response that blasts the article and the magazine with both barrels. He condemned the author for his laziness and accused him of deliberately lying. But worst of all, says Stu, is that these attacks appeared in the Weekly Standard, an organ he must have presumed would always be friendly.

But Stu wasn’t finished. He helpfully published the Standard’s phone number so that readers could boycott the magazine by canceling their subscriptions. And then, in a fit of hysterical hypocrisy, Stu adds a postscript asserting that he doesn’t believe in boycotts.

The Weekly Standard (until recently owned by Rupert Murdoch) is one of the few remaining advertisers on Beck’s program. They may not take kindly to spending scarce advertising dollars on a program whose producer is encouraging people to cancel their subscriptions. Is this a trend on the part of Beck and company to insult their advertisers? Just a few weeks ago the Vermont Teddy Bear Company was blindsided by Beck bashing Mother’s Day in an intro to the company’s ad for Mother’s Day gifts.

I have to give Continetti some credit for drawing sensible distinctions between Santelli and Beck. Not that Santelli was right. He basically rallied a bunch of commodities traders to whine about financial aid for working people while supporting bailouts for their employers. But there is still a difference between his greed-infused ranting and Beck’s fear mongering.

There are many faces of the Tea Party that Continetti didn’t even mention. Nowhere in his eight page opus did he recognize Tea Party Queen, Sarah Palin, even though he is the author of a book called “The Persecution of Sarah Palin.” I think he is desperately trying to shift attention to folks he feels are reasonable and away from the Becks of the world. But Continetti’s most egregious failing was something that ought to have been pretty obvious. As the Tea Party was forming, neither Santelli nor Beck were representatives of the people. They weren’t activists or politicians or academics or citizen advocates. They were, and are, media personalities. They represent a class of elite, well-to-do broadcasters working for giant, multinational corporations.

Look back at the opening paragraph of Continetti’s article where he identified lobbyists, birthers, racists, etc., as the components of the aborning Tea Party. Notice that he left out what is arguably the most influential component of all – the media. Fox News acted as the public relations arm of the Tea Party. They hosted the early organizers and candidates. They produced lavish rallies that aired live with custom graphics and music. They dispatched their top anchors across the country to perform the duties of masters of ceremonies. They literally branded Tea Party events as Fox News productions.

The question as to what the face of the Tea Party is can be debated for hours on end. But there is one thing that is indisputable: Without the media, there would not have been any Tea Party.

FreedomWorks Boycotts MSNBC Over New Right Doc

Tea BaggerYesterday Chris Matthews hosted a documentary look at the Tea Party, right-wing militias, Republican extremists, and other components of what he calls “The Rise of the New Right.” It was a generally adequate compilation of the genesis and evolution of the year-old “movement” to take our country back – to the Dark Ages.

While Matthews touched on many of the most troubling aspects of the New Crusaders, there was a noticeable absence of fervor when discussing the very real threats posed by a small but zealous group of reactionaries bent on terminating their ideological rivals. The documentary efficiently checked off the major flash points, but did so in a rather detached manner that diminishes the dangers posed by giving serious consideration to a phony party that was created by corporatists, fed by media, and dependent on the willful ignorance that is the byproduct of greed and fear.

Nevertheless, the subjects of this program have gotten their panties in a bunch by what they regard as slander and a “left-wing propaganda hit piece”. In response, FreedomWorks has joined with Tea Partiers to boycott an MSNBC advertiser. For some reason they singled out Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. From the FreedomWorks web site:

“Tea Party leaders from coast to coast are fighting back against the smears by boycotting one of the network’s sponsors, Dawn dish soap, until they cut off funding to MSNBC. FreedomWorks believes it is important to join this effort, and show unity with other Tea Party groups in the face of these attacks by writing, calling and faxing the offices of Dawn (and parent company, Procter and Gamble) to ask them to stop subsidizing these vicious attacks by MSNBC and Chris Matthews.”

There is a certain measure of irony in this boycott initiative. FreedomWorks just became a sponsor of Glenn Beck’s radio program. Beck told his listeners that accepting FreedomWorks as a sponsor was a “hard decision” because he did not “want to send the message to you that the way to restore our republic is through the political process only.” Despite his reluctance, Beck gave a full-throated endorsement to FreedomWorks and urged his audience to “link arms” with them and to “get on every bandwagon” they can.

First of all, Beck’s pretension that he has some sort of aversion to politics is perhaps one of the best examples yet of his severance from reality. He rants about politics and Washington every single day. But more to the point, he has been the target of a surprisingly successful boycott that has cost him more than a hundred advertisers. Beck has taken to the air to denounce these activists as commies and thugs who are out to deprive him of his Constitutional rights. But now he is embracing a new sponsor (one of the few not ashamed to be associated with him) that is engaging in the same tactics that he fiercely condemns.

I have no problem with any group engaging in a boycott. It’s a time-honored part of democracy. If FreedomWorks wants dirty dishes they are free to boycott Dawn or Ivory or Joy or any dishwashing liquid they like. I am curious though as to why they singled out Dawn. Perhaps it has something to do with this:

“For 32 years, the International Bird Rescue Research Center has had a surprise weapon in the battle against the oil: Dawn dishwashing detergent.

After a 1971 oil spill, the California-based nonprofit group began experimenting with products including paint thinner and nail polish remover to find the least traumatizing method for cleaning oiled animals. In 1978, the researchers settled on the blue liquid soap.”

Dawn’s website claims they have rescued thousands of animals over 35 years. They have donated 7,000 bottles of detergent to the current oil spill crisis in the Gulf. Maybe a crony corporate enterprise like FreedomWorks doesn’t like the fact that Dawn eliminates oil or that they help wildlife (for the record, Dawn is an oil-based detergent and may not be the best overall choice for the environment). Maybe an organization so wrapped in hypocrisy should be boycotting Palmolive, because when it comes to hypocrisy, “they’re soaking in it” (h/t Madge).

It’s unlikely that the FreedomWorks boycott will amount to much. Targeting a single product wouldn’t cause much of a dent even if they were successful in getting P&G to stop running ads for Dawn. And FreedomWorks isn’t even focusing their effort on Chris Matthews’ show but at the MSNBC network. Their announcement of the boycott leads off with this bit of bravado:

“If MSNBC‘s ratings could go down any further, they would after this show.”

FreedomWorks may be disheartened to learn that the Matthews documentary posted the second highest rating for the network during primetime as well as being the #2 program in its time period. The documentary performed more than 60% better than Matthews’ average rating for May 2010.

If Tea Baggers don’t like seeing themselves portrayed as militant nutcases, then they should stop acting like them and associating with them. They should stop embracing leaders like Beck, Sarah Palin, and Newt Gingrich, who frequently use hostile rhetoric. Gingrich even called the Tea Party the “militant wing of the GOP.”

Lashing out at relatively mild documentaries and boycotting their advertisers isn’t going to gain them much respect. To the contrary, it will reveal just how small and impotent a minority they really are. And as for losing viewers, it’s not like FreedomWorks members were ever in MSNBC’s audience in the first place.

This Just In: As usual, Stephen Colbert has uncovered the REAL conspiracy…

Newt Gingrich Calls The Tea Party The Militant Wing Of The GOP

It’s always encouraging when leaders of the Republican Losers Society inadvertently let fragments of truth escape from their highly secure and disciplined message machine. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it always revealing.

The New York Dispatch covered Newt Gingrich’s appearance today before the Manufacturers’ Association of South Central Pennsylvania. While signing books Gingrich addressed his fans and had this to say about the Tea Party:

“[It’s a] natural expression of frustration with Republicans and anger at Democrats [which is] more likely to end up as the militant wing of the Republican Party.”

With the media embroiled in debate about the impact and influence of the Tea Party, this is a remark from an authoritative source on the subject. And it comports with much of what we already know about the Tea Baggers. These are the same people who show up at rallies carrying signs that say “We came unarmed – this time.” In fact, even that soft-peddles the issue because in many instance they are already carrying arms.

Many Tea Baggers talk openly of sedition and firing on government officials, This talk is not just from wild-eyed nut cases, but includes Erick Erickson, CNN’s new political commentator. Glenn Beck has “joked” about poisoning Nancy Pelosi and choking Michael Moore. He has described progressives as a cancer in America that cannot be tolerated but must be cut out. This is the same Glenn Beck who ridicules others who talk about the right’s “eliminationist” tactics. What will Beck have to say about Gingrich’s heresy?

Gingrich’s comments come on the day that Politico publishes an article titled, “The tea party’s exaggerated importance.” This long overdue analysis from a right-leaning news source finally acknowledges what so many conscious observers have been saying for the past year: The Tea Party is a partisan, exclusionary assembly of white Republican conservatives angry at having lost the last election. The article goes on to recognize that the TeaPublicans have enjoyed press coverage that far exceeds what they deserve.

Of course, it was already well known by many that the Baggers were merely a niche group of fringe activists whose wealthy benefactors in the GOP and Fox News have inflated their public image beyond reality. Does anyone really believe that if the millionaires at FreedomWorks (who paid for the buses and the rallies) and Fox News (who handled the PR and advertising) had not promoted the Tea Party that anyone would be talking about them today? As it is, most polls show that anywhere from 40% to 69% of Americans have still never heard of the Tea Party or have no opinion of it.

This puts Gingrich’s comments in an odd perspective. It paints a picture of a small group of disgruntled outsiders who are being exploited by a political machine that regards them as their muscle. And since the Tea Baggers are known to have an affinity for firearms and a determination not to be tread upon, this could be like placing a gunpowder factory next to a fireworks testing ground.

We can only hope that Gingrich is wrong. The good news is that he wrong quite often. But that doesn’t excuse his characterization of the Tea Party or the frightening consequences of his assertion.

The Fox Nation Of Fanatics Fails Again: Health Care Edition

As if it weren’t bad enough that Fox Nation populates its web site with right-wing hysteria and links to uber-conservative purveyors of propaganda, they have now demonstrated that their editors are (at least) as stupid as their readers are gullible.

Today I observed a graphic at Fox Nation linking to a column in the Washington “Moonie” Times written by Amanda Carpenter, an O’Reilly Factor frequent fluffer. The article itself was chock full of nuttiness that I’ll get to momentarily. First I need to point out that Fox Nation is so desperate to disparage its enemies that they will project whatever demon suits them into their coverage whether it’s there or not. Here is the graphic showing the groups they say are allegedly mobilizing against town hall protesters:

The National Endowment for the Arts??? Are they really mobilizing against town hall protesters? Were those artists who were crashing community centers and public halls where Tea Baggers were fighting to keep the insurance companies between you and your doctor?

The problem with this picture is that Carpenter’s article says nothing about the National Endowment for the Arts whose logo is prominently displayed in the upper-right corner. There is a passage that mentions the NEA, but she is referring to the National Education Association. Rather than ascertain the facts, Fox Nation saw an acronym that could just as well have belonged to a favorite foe of theirs, so they giddily inserted the wrong logo into their graphic. And they consider themselves to be a “news” organization. I suppose it’s easier to demonize artists than teachers. The only thing Fox Nation cares about is assembling the usual targets of their wrath – community organizers (ACORN), unions (SEIU), minorities (NCLR), and, of course, those subversive artists – for a public whipping.

As an artist myself, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Endowment get more actively involved in countering the thugs who are brazenly trying to shut down democratic discourse. I have long believed that the role artists have traditionally played in social movements has been diminished in this age of corporate controlled marketing and the cultural aversion to artists who speak their minds (i.e. shut up and sing). But for Fox Nation to falsely charge that the NEA is mobilizing against protesters (an absurd charge in any context) is slanderous. And it is especially egregious when the slander is the result of an idiotic editor who can’t figure out which organiztion he’s supposed to be hating.

The article itself is rich with ridiculous reportage. It’s premise is that there is something terribly wrong with the way that Democrats plan to respond to the right-wing mobs that are disrupting town hall meetings between congressional representatives and their constituents.

It has been well documented that the right is coordinating their protests through political and industry front groups like Conservatives for Patients Rights, Americans for Prosperity, and FreedomWorks. These organized creators of chaos have distributed instructions on how to cause a commotion. Participating in a productive and civil discussion is the farthest thing from their minds.

What makes this article exceptionally ludicrous is that Carpenter’s examples of what she characterizes as untoward behavior from leftie activists pales in comparison to what the Tea Bagging bullies have put forth. Let’s take a look:

Left-Wing Mob Right-Wing Mob
Ask the Member’s staff what would be most helpful and talk through a strategy for making sure the right messages don’t get drowned out by chaotic protesters. Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up.
Address the [Member of Congress] directly with a positive message: Remember, these Members need cover and they are getting beaten up by right wing zealots in these meetings. Be Disruptive Early And Often: You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep’s presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep’s statements early.
Don’t get into a shouting match with them. Instead, prep people on our side to keep raising the questions that we want answered. Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate: The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda.

So while the left wants to be helpful, positive, and avoid shouting matches, the right wants to lie, disrupt and rattle the targets of their tantrums. Which side really sounds like a mob to you?

The fact that Carpenter and the Washington Times thought that it served their purpose to illustrate these differences just defies comprehension. And to complete the circle of the Murdoch-driven disinformation campaign, Carpenter appeared on Fox News this morning to make the same scandalous assertion that health care advocates are conspiring to be “helpful.” OMG!