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Ed Rendell Pushes Back Against Fawning Media Coverage Of Tea Parties

Reported by Ellen - April 26, 2010 -

Ed Rendell appeared on Fox & Friends today and gave the couch crew a talking to about the overblown coverage that Fox News and other media outlets have given to Tea Party protests. “You guys deserve more credit for marshalling that (populist) anger than the tea partiers do,” Rendell said. He also sounded a call to action to Democrats who, he said, have been sitting on the sidelines, “cowering behind the shower curtains,” and thus letting the country hear only voice, that of the tea partiers. With video.

Rendell said that the media have given Tea parties “too much credit." “I think they’re really sort of following the anger rather than creating the movement,” he said. He later joked that their rallies of 1,000 or 1,500 would be dwarfed if he called for a demonstration for “stronger laws for puppies.”

Gretchen Carlson quickly interrupted with a snippy, “I heard that line yesterday, Governor,” though she acknowledged it was a good one. She cited elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia as supposed examples of tea party influence.

“The anger is palpable and it is real,” Rendell said. “…Does that anger get acted upon by people? Sure it does… But I don’t think it’s all directed at government spending or wasteful government. I think that’s part of it. But I think there’s a lot of anger just ‘cause we have a bad economy. If the economy continues to improve like it’s clearly doing… I think you’ll see a lot of that anger dissipate, even, possibly, before the November election.”

Steve Doocy tried to compare the Tea Party protests to the protests against Bush and the Iraq war. But Rendell quickly pointed out that there was a huge difference. “Hundreds of thousands of people” turned out then, Rendell noted. In fact, just last month, at least 2,500 people turned out in Washington, D.C. to protest the war.

Rendell continued, “The Tea Party movement deserves some real credit. Without much of an infrastructure. Without much of a following… they have captured the imagination of the media – because of their passion… and because of their anger… We’ve been sitting on the sidelines. I use the line, ‘We’ve been cowering behind the shower curtains.’ And we’ve let the nation hear only one voice, the voice of the tea partiers.”

Rendell drew stunned looks from the couch as he said, “You guys deserve more credit for marshalling that anger than the tea partiers do. I’m being serious. And I think it’s your right to do so.”

“Well, we’re just showing both sides of the story on this,” Carlson interjected.

Rendell gave them a pass on that one by agreeing and offering as “proof,” the fact that they “always let me come on.” But as we have previously noted, Fox News has relentlessly promoted the tea party movement and has even encouraged viewers to get involved with "tea party" protests.

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