When in doubt, blame the Tea Party!
History often repeats itself. When it comes to senseless acts of violence, our nation is often subjected to horrific, senseless acts of main stream media reporting.
On Friday's Good Morning America Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulis suggested that the man responsible for the shocking Aurora, Colorado theater shootings which left at least 14 dead and scores wounded, might be a Tea Party member. Ross and Stephanopoulis were just plain wrong.
Sound familiar? On Saturday January 8, 2011 at 3:22 PM, just three short hours after the first reports came in about a mass shooting in Tucson, The New York Time's Paul Krugman posted online a short piece in his "Conscience of a Liberal" blog a quote by Rep. Gifford's grieving, distressed father that "'the whole Tea Party' was her enemy," and therefore to blame.
Glaringly absent was any mention of concern for those killed and wounded. Why so quick to jump the gun in the absence of any solid investigative work? Why the laser-like focus on laying the groundwork for a narrative of blame? This is another example of pure political opportunism exercised by journalists with clear ideological biases.
In May, 2010, there was an attempted car bombing in Times Square. In a famous interview with Katie Couric shortly after the failed attempt, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg posited that the attacker was no doubt, "a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health-care bill or something," implying that a Tea Partier was at fault.
During it's three year history, there have been no reports of violence at any Tea Party event. There were, however, violent acts perpetrated against those protesting Obamacare by those who favor it. For instance, at a town-hall health care meeting in St. Louis on Aug. 6, 2009, Kenneth Gladney , a black man selling American and "Don't Tread on Me" flags, was assaulted by men wearing SEIU (Service Employees International Union) shirts.
On Sept. 3, 2009, Bill Rice, a 65-year-old man protesting Obamacare at a rally in Thousand Oaks, Calif., had his finger bitten off by a young Obamacare supporter. It seems Tea Party types have been the victims, not the perpetrators, of violence.
Also, despite the presence of multitudes of cameras and microphones at the moment of claimed racial slurs on Capitol Hill on the weekend of the health care reform vote (March 2010), no audio or video evidence has been discovered. No corroboration has been offered by anyone present, including the members of Congress who were the purported victims of racial invective. The dearth of proof continues despite the fact that Andrew Brietbart immediately offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who steps forward with verifiable evidence. Now, over two years later, still no evidence. The fact is, media outlets ran with reported anecdotal evidence in reporting this story but did little fact-checking. Its clear, the evidence doesn't exist. The story was a fabrication, inflicting serious damage to the Tea Party's reputation.
The Tea Party has consistently been a singular voice of fiscal sanity in political discourse over the last three years in the midst of our nation's economic and social uncertainty. The movement stands solely for the common sense principles of "fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets."
Tea partiers across the nation have always responded to these types of attempts to vilify in a very dignified, gracious manner. But now it is getting to the point where these sorts of accusations no longer merit the dignity of a response from Tea Party groups.
How many more times must the whole nation endure the embarrassment of witnessing the on-air and in-print premature speculation of folks like Ross, Stephanopoulis, and Krugman? Who is going to clean up the mess that reckless, irresponsible words leave hanging in the air and on the internet?