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Tea Party Express II Orphaned By Fox?

Reported by Guest Blogger - October 27, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Notveryhow

Dear Gretchen Carlson read a report Monday on the Tea Party Express II, the latest cross-country anti-Obama bus tour. The banner read “Tea Party Bus Success” and Carlson stated, “First day on the road for the Tea Party Express bus proved to be a major success, thousands came out yesterday for the send-off in San Diego.” I was all ready to critique the “thousands” in attendance, when per the Union Tribune “Harbor police estimated about 1,000 people attended the rally.” And I thought I would contrast this report with the paucity of coverage of a Pennsylvania pro-health care reform rally with about the same number of attendees. But a funny thing happened on the way to my foregone conclusion. With video.

The next words out of Carlson’s mouth were “ You’re looking at footage from when the bus rolled through Las Vegas last month.” What? They did not have any footage of the “thousands” at the kickoff rally? After the absolutely shameless promotion of the first Tea Party Express,
http://mediamatters.org/research/200908280029
including embedding Griff Jenkins on the bus and live coverage of its numerous stops as it rolled inexorably towards Washington D.C. and culminating with a Fox producer whipping up the crowd for the live shots, Fox did not use live footage of the kickoff of Tea Party II. Even the local Fox affiliate does not have live footage on their web site. A quick perusal of the front page of Fox News website revealed no mention of the bus, though Fox Nation had a mention.

Fortunately FreeRepublic has provided an array of photos, showing the tenor of the event. We see the usual “Obamanation," “Read the Bill," and Obama with Lenin and Hitler signs. Then, not surprisingly, “Glenn Beck 2012," and this little gem, “Where’s the Fourth Estate??" Only Fox News Channel is brave enough to ask questions.” So these are your children, Fox. What are they going to do without a reliable stream of encouragement and promotion? And who else will inflate their numbers, and their impact?

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. I found a Google link for a (now removed) Craigslist post, “Need flag sellers for the Tea Party Express II Kick Off, October 25 in San Diego. We sold flags at every stop during the first Tea Party Express and sales.” So someone likely had a good day. But what of the Tea Partiers? Do they miss their patron?

And what is the reason for going from such heavy promotion of the Tea Parties to such light coverage? Is Fox embarrassed at the antics of the crowds, with the Obama as Hitler and the “We came unarmed, this time” signs? Or did the slap from the Obama administration cause them to rethink their overt role in creating the news instead of just reporting it? We may never know. Julie's recent post about the weekend Fox & Friends notwithstanding, it seems obvious to this observer that, at least in relation to the Tea Party bus, there has been a sea change in the way that Fox is covering this story.