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On Which Planet Was The Tea Party Griff Jenkins Attended?

Reported by Ellen - September 14, 2009 -

Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins has been caught twice gushing over the diversity of tea party protesters while standing amidst a sea of white faces. At the closing of Glenn Beck’s 9/12 special report Saturday (9/12/09), Jenkins effused about the peacefulness of the crowd while either missing or ignoring the undertones of violence and racism. With video.

At the end of the show, a hoarse Jenkins enthused to Beck that the protesters “are passionate and they believe in their country!”

As Beck grinned on a split screen, one of the protesters told Jenkins “I’m here to protest this tyrannical government… Meet a few million of our friends!”

In reality, the crowd was well under one million. Fox Nation estimated it as "tens of thousands." Neither Jenkins nor Beck gave a correction.

As the protester went on to purportedly quote from the Constitution, he added, “We’re bringing it down, Glenn. We’re gonna start all over again.” That sounds rather menacing to me. But Beck remained smiling on the split screen and Jenkins had no comment.

“Griff, let me ask you one question,” Beck said to Jenkins, before the segment and the show closed. “Because I know (Beck chuckled to himself) the bloggers are right now going, ‘They’re talking about taking the country over. They’ve got arms, they’ve got guns. They’re gonna take the country…’” Beck mocked, making typing gestures with his hands. “Explain to those who don’t understand these people and their anger that this is a – is it a peaceful ‘take the country back’ or… are they threatening?”

Jenkins answered, “Glenn, it is a peaceful crowd. I traveled over 4,000 miles from Sacramento… to this movement. I never saw violence. I saw protesters on the other side. They are simply standing up, most of them here, for the first time.” Then he turned to the crowd and asked, “Is anybody an angry mob?” I couldn’t tell if the crowd was cheering yes or no.

Jenkins may have been correct that there was no actual violence but there has been no shortage of ugliness and what can only be viewed as menacing words, as the man who said, “We’re bringing it down, Glenn. We’re gonna start all over again,” indicated.

Max Blumenthal, Senior Writer for The Daily Beast and Nation Institute Writing Fellow, wrote at Huffington Post, "Histrionics and manufactured paranoia were hard to avoid." Blumenthal noted that protesters thought the President planned to establish concentration camps for right-wing dissidents; that Obama was raising a private army in the guise of a civilian volunteer force and lamented not being able to kill Obama. You can view Blumenthal's video here.

But somehow "reporter" Jenkins managed to miss all that.

As Fox News’ own Alan Colmes, not exactly one to given to hostile hyperbole about the right wing, wrote in bold letters on his blog about the protest, “The radical fringe elements it is attracting should be of great concern to peace-loving and democracy-loving Americans.” Colmes went on to note that one of the protest's sponsors has produced a video warning of a coming civil war and "outright revolution." Funny how Colmes had access to that information but Jenkins didn't. Or did he just prefer to ignore it and not deem it newsworthy enough for the "we report, you decide" network's viewers?

In this video of the protest, by Mike Stark, a man holds a sign that says, "Hey liberal looters and moochers. You are not entitled to what I have earned." (5:18) and check out the anger in the first video below, also by Stark. One gets the distinct impression that one wrong move by Stark could have gotten him if not hit, at least threatened. Also, check out the racist sign the woman in the lengthy interview finally displays at about 9:13.

Think Progress also captured some rather racist, hostile signs in the second video below. One said, "Oppressive Bloodsucking Arrogant Muslim Alien" with the initials spelling "Obama." One man says the future of white America under Obama is oppression and possibly slavery, "if he could accomplish it." Another person sports a tee shirt that says, "The only difference between Obama & Osama is a little 'B.S.'"

Reader lulu pointed us to these photos, full of racist hostility such as here, here and here.

Think Progress also had links to more hostile, racist photos here, here and here.

That's an awful lot of hate and hostility that Jenkins managed to miss.