03.31.2010 0

Liberal Media’s Racial Obsession Obfuscates Tea Party’s Libertarian Appeal

  • On: 04/20/2010 09:19:09
  • In: Conservative Movement

    Liberal Media’s Racial Obsession Obfuscates Tea Party’s Libertarian Appeal

    By Kevin Mooney

    If you are to believe a front page report in The New York Times that explores recent poll results, the dominant force in Tea Party rallies in opposition to government run health care and other spending schemes are racially insensitive white males according to poll results.

    But upon close examination, the polls do not entirely square with the incendiary image the Gray Lady and other liberal media organs are trying to sell at the expense of small government activists. Average Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party activists tend to be well-educated, financially independent and gainfully employed, the results show.

    Although the report attached to the New York Times/CBS poll fixates on demographics, the most detailed and insightful comments came in response to public policy questions that elicited an unmistakable libertarian viewpoint.

    For example, the poll shows that eight of 10 activists are primarily concerned with economic issues; a statistic that is more or less in sync with the sentiments of the public at large. Even as the Tea Party movement prides itself on decentralization and spontaneity, the poll demonstrates that activists are united around the idea of downsizing government.

    The “angry” image The Times continues to advance in its reporting does not square with answers that are suggestive of a selfless, long-term concern for financial policies that could bedevil future generations.

    Consider the following responses:

    “If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services?”

    92 percent of Tea Party activists answered “smaller government/fewer services”.

    “Should the government spend money to create jobs, even if it increases the budget deficit, or should it focus instead on reducing the budget deficit?”

    76 percent of Tea Party activists said that reducing the budget deficit should be a bigger priority.
    Over half of respondents also said the income tax they had to pay this year was fair; not the kind of answer one would expect from an angry, unruly mob.

    The snide inferences that are pulled out of the demographic survey subtract away from what could be a very effective and informative report.

    “A broad cross-section of Americans from a variety of backgrounds and age groups have a real stake in the Tea Party movement and the principles of limited government that have found expression among activists,” Howard Rich, chairman of Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has observed. “I understand The Times has a big government agenda on its editorial pages, but this does not give editors and reporters a license to misrepresent activists who seek policy changes that would help secure the financial future of younger Americans.”

    The big government bias is evident in the following paragraphs:

    “The Tea Party movement burst onto the scene a year ago in protest of the economic stimulus package, and its supporters have vowed to purge the Republican Party of officials they consider not sufficiently conservative and to block the Democratic agenda on the economy, the environment and health care. But the demographics and attitudes of those in the movement have been known largely anecdotally.”

    That is to say, The Times helped circulate myths that are not rooted in reality and now finds that it has to reconcile itself with poll results that do not fit with the disquieting profile that has been circulated throughout the liberal media.

    Although they are sharply critical of President Obama and the Democratic Congress, it is apparent that Tea Party activists are independent thinkers who are not overly enamored with the Republican Party. In fact, over 40 percent said they had an unfavorable view of the GOP.

    While it may be helpful to readers to learn about the overall demographics of Tea Party members, the obsession with race in news coverage obscures the larger ideological concerns that have sparked a renewed interest in the founding period.

    The criticism should be turned back against federal officials who are violating constitutional restraints in order to force through extravagant spending bills and regulatory schemes that will ultimately erode the economic freedoms that have set America apart.

    Kevin Mooney is the Executive Editor of TimesCheck.com and a contributing editor to ALG News Bureau.

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