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Fox' Dave Briggs on Coffee Party Movement: "I Think Coffee Might Make People a Little More Fired Up and Less Civil"

Reported by Julie - March 15, 2010 -

Oh-oh, Fox News has noticed the Coffee Party Movement. And, considering that the Tea Party Movement has been promoted by -- some might say even sponsored by -- Fox News (you can read a couple of my many posts on the Tea Party Movement here and here), the fledgling Coffee Party Movement has attracted the attention of Fox, and here they come, jealously protecting their turf. If Fox & Friends Weekend's Dave Briggs' interview with Tea Party guy Michael Patrick Leahy is any indication, I don't anticipate any Fox hosts offering to sponsor any Coffee Party events. With video.

Since the Coffee Party Movement representatives declined to appear on Fox and discuss the movement, Briggs decided the next best thing was to bring on a tea partier to weigh in, snipe a little at the Coffee Party Movement, and simultaneously promote his own tea party movement. We wouldn't expect "fair and balanced," of course, but the blatant attempt -- left unchallenged by Briggs -- of Leahy to paint the Coffee Party Movement as a George Soros-funded organization (while being allowed to promote the astroturf Tea Party Movement as "grassroots"), the use of the chyrons (see below), the fact that Briggs promoted the Tea Party Movement under the guise of discussing the Coffee Party Movement, and the snide comment at the conclusion of the interview, all leads us to believe that, at least in Fox' heart, the Tea Party Movement is still the fav and the progressive Coffee Party Movement's coverage on Fox will be, well, typical of Fox when it comes to progressives.

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Briggs announced that the Coffee Party Movement is officially kicking off today (3/13/10), and said, with obvious skepticism, "The group claims it'll bring civility back to the public discussion, so what did tea partiers think about that?" Enter stage left, Michael Patrick Leahy, the co-founder of the National Tea Party Coalition. Touting the Tea Party Movement (without challenge from Briggs) as an "authentically grassroots" group, he went on to list the three "core values" of the movement as (1) limited government as authorized by the Constitution, (2) free markets and (3) fiscal responsibility. That sounds good . . . well, except for the fact that many of the signs I've seen at the tea party events I've attended have nothing to do with any of the three. I'd like to hear Leahy explain how Obama as The Joker, or signs saying "Obama's Plan: White Slavery" and "Obama What You Talkin About Willis" figure into their "core values." You can view some of the signs I took pictures of at a Chicago tea party event here.

Leahy said that the Coffee Party Movement "just sprang up" with "vague objectives." He claimed that the website was put together by an organization that is "at least partially funded" by George Soros' Open Society (the Coffee Party Movement specifically denies this -- not that Briggs would care to have any facts at hand -- and clearly describes its affiliations on its website). Leahy also claimed that the Tea Party Movement has been reported by the liberal press in not always the "nicest of terms," but that the liberal media has supported the Coffee Party Movement, which he said has a mission of "big government." Briggs didn't ask, and Leahy didn't volunteer, but the "grassroots" Tea Party Movement is itself sponsored by big money, specifically FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, to name a couple.

In declining Fox' invitation, the CPM stated, in part, ". . . We've decided not to accept interviews focused on fostering ongoing political divisions in the country or provoking fights with the Tea Party."

"Is the implication there that you are not a 'civil' movement?" Briggs asked Leahy.

"We're very polite," Leahy insisted, "We make our points." Yeah, except when they're depicting President Obama as "The New Face of Hitler."

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Wrapping it up, Briggs tossed off, "I think coffee might make people a little more fired up and less civil, but that's for another discussion."

A discussion, I'm sure, we'll be hearing about more and more on Fox -- you know, Fox, the "fair and balanced" network.

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