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NYT Smears Tea Party and Sarah Palin, Linking Them to Terrorism and McVeigh-Era Militia Groups; UPDATED

February 28th, 2010 by AHFF Geoff

NYT Columnist Frank Rich Smears the Tea Party and Sarah Palin Today, Linking Them to Terrorism and McVeigh-Era Militia Groups

The New York Times’ Frank Rich takes a stab at smearing the tea party movement this morning, claiming tea party groups have “common cause” with McVeigh-era militia groups, and concluding that Joseph Andrew Stack, the anti-capitalist/pro-communism suicide pilot, somehow demonstrates his point. These outlandish claims emanate from the Times despite recent mainstream media recognition, even by the left-leaning Associated Press, that the tea party movement is a non-violent, “antiestablishment, grass-roots network motivated by anger over the growth of government, budget-busting spending and Obama’s policies.” Here is Rich’s ridiculous smearing of the tea party movement as the latter-day successors to the militias of the McVeigh era:

It is not glib or inaccurate to invoke Oklahoma City in this context, because the acrid stench of 1995 is back in the air. Two days before Stack’s suicide mission, The Times published David Barstow’s chilling, months-long investigation of the Tea Party movement. Anyone who was cognizant during the McVeigh firestorm would recognize the old warning signs re-emerging from the mists of history. The Patriot movement. “The New World Order,” with its shadowy conspiracies hatched by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Sandpoint, Idaho. White supremacists. Militias.

Barstow confirmed what the Southern Poverty Law Center had found in its report last year: the unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right that was thought to have vaporized after its Oklahoma apotheosis is making a comeback. And now it is finding common cause with some elements of the diverse, far-flung and still inchoate Tea Party movement. All it takes is a few self-styled “patriots” to sow havoc.

Rich’s NYT editorial then continues on with unsupportable fear mongering that the tea party’s “ideology is far more troubling than the boilerplate corporate conservatism and knee-jerk obstructionism of the anti-Obama G.O.P. Congressional minority.” Basically Rich is saying here that the GOP has no control over the tea party, and they are so crazy that their very existence is “far more troubling” than the national Republican party. While this runs counter to Pelosi’s claim of GOP control of the tea party movement in her interview on ABC’s This Week today, the hysteria in his commentary is particularly odious as the “ideology” Rich is so troubled by is simply a limited government, low spending, low tax, strong national defense point of view – hardly revolutionary ideas. It seems the real problem for Rich is that he considers the national GOP “domesticated” to some extent regarding big government policies, and therefore preferable to the explicitly anti-big government stance of the tea party movement.

It seems clear that Rich’s NYT column today comparing the tea party to terrorists and McVeigh-era militia groups and Robert Wright’s NYT column last week entitled “The First Tea Party Terrorist” are part of a coordinated push on the American left to demonize the the party as terrorist-linked extremists in the runup to the November 2010 elections. Indeed, last week reports surfaced that James Carville, a senior Clinton-era Democratic strategist (who coincidentally used the McVeigh bombing to successfully demonize Newt Gingrich while working for Clinton) is apparently pushing the strategy. One huge problem with Carville and the Democrats’ attempt to recycle the demonization strategy that was so successful for former President Clinton in 1995 is that the tea party movement is not violent nor a militia. No serious violent incidents by tea party protesters were reported despite hundreds, if not thousands, of such tea party protests occurring across America in the past year.

Accordingly, desperate for some facts to hang the Carville smear strategy on, the left has turned to suicide pilot Joseph Andrew Stack, who flew his plane into a federal building earlier this month in Austin, Texas, killing one IRS employee and wounding many others. Rich and Wright both claim that Stack was a tea partier because of his anti-IRS views, but those views seem to be created by the decades of disputes Stack had with the IRS personally, not an outside ideology of anti-government as a whole. Further, Stack’s suicide note manifesto concludes with the following two sentences in praise of Communism:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

By all accounts, the tea party movement draws its ranks from the centrists, independents and above all, conservatives – folks who are not exactly supportive of Communism. Regardless, by omitting these comments in his column today, and following the lead of the NYT’s Robin Wright, CNN, the Washington Post and Time, Rich misrepresents Stack’s actual views as expressed by Stack in order to utilize the tragedy of Stack’s horrific suicide attack to push Carville’s political messaging. Such conduct by Rich and Wright, pushing a smear campaign against the tea party movement with very questionable facts in support, as sanctioned by the NYT editorial page, represents the worst of the establishment media.

Finally, Rich gets in a shot at Sarah Palin by concluding that her association with the tea party movement is “enough to make you wonder who is palling around with terrorists now.” Here Rich is referencing Sarah Palin’s campaign 2008 comment that Obama is “palling around with terrorists” based on Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn. Ayers and Dorn admitted engaging in terrorist acts in the 1960′s and 1970′s, while there are no tea party terrorists, despite what the NYT and James Carville would have you believe. The smear of Palin as palling around with terrorists because of her speech at the tea party convention is truly over the top, and should have never made it past the NYT’s editors. Here’s Rich’s conclusion in full:

In his Times article on the Tea Party right, Barstow profiled Pam Stout, a once apolitical Idaho retiree who cast her lot with a Tea Party group allied with Beck’s 9/12 Project, the Birch Society and the Oath Keepers, a rising militia group of veterans and former law enforcement officers who champion disregarding laws they oppose. She frets that “another civil war” may be in the offing. “I don’t see us being the ones to start it,” she told Barstow, “but I would give up my life for my country.”

Whether consciously or coincidentally, Stout was echoing Palin’s memorable final declaration during her appearance at the National Tea Party Convention earlier this month: “I will live, I will die for the people of America, whatever I can do to help.” It’s enough to make you wonder who is palling around with terrorists now.

It appears from Pelosi’s “astroturf” smear today, and the two NYT editorial pieces that explicitly label tea party members as terrorists, the Carville demonization strategy is in full gear, using the tragedy of Stack’s horrific suicide attack as the “evidence” to back the terrorist smear. Considering the recent even-handed reporting by other mainstream media sources about the tea party, it will be interesting to see if the “tea partiers are terrorists” smear gains life beyond the pages of the NYT editorial page and left wing new media sites.

UPDATE: Welcome to the readers of theAtlantic.com who came over from the “Defining the Tea Party” post, thanks for the link John Hudson.  Please take a look around, leave a comment or two and let’s have a debate.  Thanks.

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19 Responses to “NYT Smears Tea Party and Sarah Palin, Linking Them to Terrorism and McVeigh-Era Militia Groups; UPDATED”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by RightKlik: Rich smears Tea Party: http://is.gd/9oEtk #tcot #sgp…

  2. Dodo says:

    Frank keep (edited, rhymes with plucking) that pultry ya poultry abuser

  3. Stan says:

    That’s why you see so many arrests made at these violent tea party gatherings.

    Whatever they can distort to make it fit the narrative, is apparently fit to print.

  4. AHFF Geoff says:

    Stan – that’s right. Check this out, i posted this article over at Daily Kos to see the reaction – 83% of Kos readers voted that the tea party are terrorists. Amazing.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/2/28/841615/-NYT-Smears-Tea-Party-and-Palin,-Linking-Them-to-Terrorism-and-McVeigh-Era-Militia-Groups

    evidence of the left’s radical nature.

  5. Burmashave says:

    Spot on. Rich’s article was even further over the top than is the usual fare at NYT.

    Don’t underestimate the ability of the powers that be to demonize the Tea Party movement. Clinton was quite successful at demonizing the militia movement. Obama now holds the power of investigation and national guard action. Napolitano set the stage last year when she equated the danger of attack from Islamicist terrorists versus home grown rightists. The writing is on the wall.

    By the way, I arrived here via Hotair.

  6. AHFF Geoff says:

    Cool, thanks for coming by.

    I’ve been having some fun over at Daily Kos trying to explain why middle class folk at tea parties arent terrorists. its an uphill battle so far. :)

    i know that dhs report was waaaaaaaaaaay over the top

  7. Burmashave says:

    Thinking about this further, your polling fun makes lots of sense. I don’t believe in vast conspiracies, but I do believe that liberals are collectively mounting attacks on the Tea Party. The fact is, these folks actually believe that the Tea Party is a clear and present danger. Thus, no conspiracy is needed for them to conduct a top to bottom assault (perhaps literally) on the Tea Party movement.

  8. AHFF Geoff says:

    Well, there is now evidence for all to see on the NEt that the Daily Kos left is completely unhinged, with 80% actually saying yes to the question “Do you think the tea party movement is terorrist?”

  9. Tom Wright says:

    Southern Poverty Law Center finds plenty of data to support keeping close tabs on the crazies—
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/02/report-an-astonishing-ris_n_482409.html
    You do remember Palin’s husband pallin’ around with the secessionist movement in Alaska, don’t you? The leader of that group died while attempting to purchase dynamite, as I heard it.

  10. idesign says:

    Sarah rising, Obama failing.

    Life is good.

  11. AHFF Geoff says:

    That’s a pretty big stretch, Mr. Wright. By that measure, Obama is similarly linked to Palestinian terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), Extreme leftist terrorists (Ayers and Doryn), and Black nationalists (Shabazz and Farrakan).

  12. [...] President Barack Obama. Apparently, the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist, extremist terrorists has failed spectacularly, as noted by the tea party’s lead over President Obama reported [...]

  13. She is a mouthpiece for nothing but hatred and dissension. Sarah Palin’s rhetoric and violence-inciting imagery IS a form of terrorism and a prime example. She held Jared Lee Loughner’s hand while he murdered people with his misguided sensibilities. I was compelled to draw a visual commentary showing her handing him the gun on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/01/sarah-palin-made-me-do-it.html She’ll go to any lengths and keep spewing her insanity for that attention (and the money of course.)

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