When candidate Barak Obama traveled to Germany in July of 2008 to give a speech under the shadow of the Victory Column at Tiergaten Park, the news media from all around the globe were in awe of the crowd that gathered to hear him. They also surmised that Obama represented the best hope of increasing America’s standing in the world.
Throughout the 2008 campaign, the news media was obsessed with the crowds that came to Obama’s campaign rallies. We all remember the awesome photographs of his crowds in St. Louis, Missouri, Portland, Oregon, and Berlin, Germany. Even if one wasn’t paying attention to the campaign, it was nearly impossible to escape the media’s coverage of Obama’s rallies.
Of course, our friends in the news media also went out of their way to educate the American public on what these large crowds meant. For the most part, the news media was correct in covering Obama’s huge crowds. He did soundly defeat Sen. John McCain in November, but let’s not forget, he only received 53 percent of the vote.
While justified to an extent, the news media also made a significant impact on the 2008 presidential campaign that wasn’t necessary. They helped propel a mere candidate running for president into some sort of cultural icon that rivaled some of the most recognizable brands in the world. Obama’s “O” logo is as well know as the Nike swoosh, or the Pepsi or Coke logos.
For reasons unknown, the news media seems to be unwilling to cover the huge crowds generated by the Tea Party activists in the same way they covered the Obama crowds of 2008. The turnout at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C. was simply amazing. While it’s impossible to know exactly how many people attended, we do know that it was similar to the size of crowds Obama was able to generate just two years ago.
NBC News estimated the size of the crowd to be 300,000 people, which is pretty impressive. Just like Obama’s huge crowds foreshadowing his victory in 2008, the Tea Party rallies are foreshadowing big things in 2010.
Unlike their coverage of Obama, most of the traditional news media outlets spend their time trying to either attack or understand what the Tea Party movement really is. It seems like every few months, someone in the national media ponders the question about whether or not the Tea Party movement is a positive thing for the Republican Party.
In many cases, these stories usually follow negative stories that claim racial epithets were being shouted at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, for which there is no proof whatsoever. More negative publicity occurred when the NACCP adopted a resolution condemning the “racist elements” of the Tea Party. Very rarely does the news media write articles that comptemplate how the Tea Party movement may help the GOP in this fall’s elections.
It’s ironic that, after hundreds of thousands of people turned out to attend the Restoring Honor rally on Saturday, some members of the national media are still finding ways to make it a negative story for the GOP. There are even some sportswriters are worried about what Albert Pujols’ attendance at the rally will do to his popularity. Unbelievable.
So what drives the negative obsession with some in the news media? Fear.
As we all know by now, most members of the traditional media in this county endorse the Obama administration’s leftward lurch. They celebrate the government’s takeover of the healthcare industry, the student loan industry, and numerous businesses that looked to the federal government to survive. They see no problem with the ever-increasing size and scope of our government.
The news media also doesn’t understand that the Tea Party’s strength and numbers are not spurred by the presence of one political figure. There is no doubt that Glenn Beck has done a lot to get the Tea Party off the ground. His media presence lets him promote events like the rally this past Saturday. While Beck is a popular media personality, he’s not out there promising the things that every presidential candidate does.
Instead, Beck and millions of Tea Party members across the county only want to take their country back to the basics on which it was founded. While the media will cover these large events, they underestimate the importance of the Tea Party groups that are meeting in our own communities, some meet as often as once a week. It is this type of activity that separates the Tea Party from previous political movement. It’s real because it’s local.
The answer to the question about whether or not the Tea Party will help the GOP this fall is simple. Without any doubt, the Tea Party will absolutely help the GOP. While the movement isn’t a Republican movement, it sure isn’t going to be helpful to the Democratic Party, which holds the strings of power of all three branches of government, nationally and in Iowa.
The most encouraging part of the Tea Party movement is not that they will help Republicans win elections this fall, it’s that they have shown no signs of being satisfied with the results of any election. It is likely that the Tea Party movement will continue to influence the GOP and politics in general. If that is the case, this country will be better off for it.
Beck’s Restoring Honor rally is the latest sign that the Tea Party movement is alive and well in America. Obviously many in the media don’t quite understand it, but they will probably figure it out on November 3rd.
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