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O'Reilly Presses Her, But Palin Won't Admit There's Extremism in the Tea Party Movement

Reported by Julie - February 18, 2010 -

UPDATED - On Tuesday night (2/16/10) on The Factor, Bill O'Reilly confronted the newest Fox News contributor (and a very discomfitted) Sarah Palin -- wearing a pasted-on smile -- on the "extremism" in the Tea Party Movement.

"And [Bill]," Fox News contributor and all-around bullshit artist Palin responded, "I may not answer the questions that either the [viewers] or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also."

Oh, wait, sorry - that quote was actually from the Biden-Palin debate . . . it's just that I get confused, 'cause shit, she may as well have said that to Bill -- after all, she failed to answer the straight questions put to her with a response that wasn't a muddle of talking points and, yeah, bullshit. Bill -- you know, he did well, considering he had very little to work with, and knew it. With video.

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Q: "So Governor, you gave the keynote a couple weeks ago in Nashville for the Tea Party convention . . . did you see extremism, do you think it's a danger to the Tea Party?"

A: "It was an honor being able to deliver that keynote and really connect with Tea Partiers who have a simple message . . . we being taxed enough . . . and, um, just kind of get the government back on the side of the people, was an honor to connect with those people . . . didn't see the extremism that of course some of those in the mainstream media (at least she didn't say "lame stream" -- for Pete's sake, grow up!) and some self-proclaimed elites would like the rest of America to believe is encompassing the Tea Party Movement, didn't see that." Danger, what danger? I didn't see or hear any of the racist stuff on the campaign trail either, that makes it nice for me . . . I'm their friggin' leader and I'm a rock star. Jeez . . . .

Q: "Okay, but I heard Tom Tancredo, former Congressman from Colorado, you know, leveled some pretty tough charges on illegal immigration . . . I didn't think it was racist, but I thought it went right up to the line. We sent producer Jesse Watters down, he did see signs that were extremist, there's no doubt about that, and the article in the NYT today they quote people who are getting their guns ready . . . so you do know that this strain exists under that umbrella."

A: "Obviously, though, you gotta consider the source, this reporter is gonna go out and find that extreme fringe within a movement like this . . . That is what I believe a lot of folks in the mainstream media want Americans to believe is that this is . . . a fringe element of our society . . . If these reporters . . . don't know the people that are a part of the Tea Party Movement . . . they need to get a life . . . ." Ya know, Bill, the fact that they were actually able to FIND it within the Tea Party Movement means absolutely nothing . . . what was your question again?

O'Reilly argued that the Times went to Sand Point, Idaho, and discovered "all the Nazi stuff," and "all the militia stuff." O'Reilly took a mild swipe at the "liberal" media, saying that there's no doubt that the New York Times wants to brand the Tea Party as a bunch of loons (in my opinion, they brand themselves, but that's just me), but he went on to say: "But there is danger -- do you agree with me -- that there is danger if some tea party people play into that . . . Obama's this and Obama's that and he isn't born here; I mean there was a birther thing going on at the convention . . . you don't believe in the birther thing, do you . . . ?"

Saying she doesn't believe in the "wild conspiracy theories about our own government" (not, of course, mentioning the "wild conspiracy theories" about our President which Palin herself fomented during the campaign), Palin said, "What the debate needs to be about is the good ideas, the foundational principles that built this country . . . safest place too . . . ." There ya go again, Bill, looking backwards . . . can I call ya Bill?

Q: "But I'm unclear . . . do you think that the birther people should have a place at the Tea Party table . . . ?"

A: "There is always going to be an element of those . . . who have their own ideas of where the country should go . . . You don't take away their First Amendment rights . . . that's part of democracy at work . . . ." Bill, I'm getting pretty gosh-darned irritated that you keep asking me the same questions over and over when I've already answered them to the very best of my ability, and that's all I have written on my hand!

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Q: "But do you see the danger that if that becomes the headline then the mainstream American who isn't really following it that closely . . . ."

A: "I see the danger of more of the same of the mainstream media wanting to paint tea partiers as radical, whacko conspiracy theorists, and if we allow that to happen . . . then no, this grass roots movement of the people wanting their voice to be heard because there's such a disconnect between what's going on in Washington and the people that Washington is supposed to be serving." Now, Bill, I think it's doggone unfriendly to keep talking about these crazies at our conventions -- I mean, sure they're there, but if you keep TALKING about it people might start seeing right through this whole grass-roots movement thing . . . whose side are you on, anyway?

O'Reilly wondered how the tea party goes about expanding its power base to allow different types to exist from state to state.

Q: "If there isn't any central theme, if there isn't any authority . . . How . . . does it get beyond just a curiousity?. . . The tea party people really want change . . . but you're never gonna get that unless you get political clout and power . . . ."

A: "There doesn't have to be an authority . . . this isn't a well-oiled machine, Heaven forbid it become like a Republican or a 'Democrat' political machine . . . ." We're fine just being a bunch of crazies, thank you very much -- now will you friggin' get off the organizational structure of our goofy movement? I mean, I'm the leader, what more do you want?

Palin begged to differ that there's not a common theme, offering up a new, creative approach (oh, yeah, I'm just kidding) to her world view: ". . . It's smaller, smarter government . . . so we can grow and thrive and create more jobs . . . strong national defense." The only thing she left out was "ramping up job creation" and "shoring up the economy."

Palin seemed to indicate that the Tea Party Movement was planning to find candidates who will cast votes for . . . well, the Tea Party Movement, I guess. Left unsaid by O'Reilly was the fact that those who approve of the TPM comprise a very small percentage of the population and national candidates kind of need a bigger base.

O'Reilly asked Palin whether the tea party people will merge with the Republican Party.

"Most tea partiers," Palin responded, ". . . Are independent . . . but they are more aligned . . . with the ideals . . . of the Republican Party . . . The Republican Party would be very wise to be listening to what they're saying . . . Washington is disconnected from the people who are to be served . . . ." Oh, yes, forgotten in the above talking point was the mention of the "Washington disconnect," whatever the hell that means.

I have a few observations: First, I believe we will see more of O'Reilly distancing himself from this junior teabagger in the future. He gave her a chance to discredit the whackos of the teabagger movement, and she didn't, or couldn't, or didn't want to 'diss her soulmates. Second, the teabagging stuff is keeping her so busy she hasn't had time to think up new talking points -- I'm still waiting for her to explain that "Washington disconnect" theory she keeps trotting out. And third, O'Reilly tried -- and even he failed -- to get her to admit that she's wrong, or anyone she's ever known, knows now or will know in the future is wrong. He failed to get her to admit that anything she could possibly do is misguided. And when any PR goes wrong for Palin, well, just blame it on the mainstream media.

O'Reilly may be tumbling to the fact that she's beyond redemption . . . she should thank her lucky stars there's still Hannity.

UPDATE:
(And, with respect to that extremism in the tea party movement -- all kidding aside -- maybe Palin, next time, might want to address the tea party speaker who said that a Democratic Senator should be hanged.