Fox’s tea party affiliate expelled from National Tea Party Federation
Fox News has relentlessly promoted the Tea Party Express, a tea party organization founded by a Republican consulting firm, and has denied the existence of racist elements among tea party supporters. On July 18, the National Tea Party Federation announced that the Tea Party Express had been expelled from the federation in the wake of racially incendiary comments by its spokesperson.
National federation expels Express following spokesman’s “clearly offensive” remarks
In fake letter from NAACP, Tea Party Express’ Williams calls Lincoln “greatest racist ever” for depriving African Americans of “great gig” of slavery. In a since-deleted July 14 post to his blog, Tea Party Express spokesperson Mark Williams authored a “newly discovered letter” from NAACP president “Precious Ben Jealous” to President Abraham Lincoln. The letter came in response to an NAACP resolution repudiating “racist elements” within the Tea Party movement. In the letter, “Jealous” writes to Lincoln:
We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!
Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.
Williams’ letter was only the latest in a appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation, National Tea Party Federation spokesman David Webb said, “We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote.” Webb said that Williams “may have considered” the letter “satire,” but it was “clearly offensive.” According to its website, the federation consists of “85 member and affiliate organizations representing over 1,000,000 individuals and activists.”
Fox News relentlessly promoted the first Tea Party Express bus tour
Fox Nation: “Will you join the Tea Party Express?” On July 28, 2009, Fox Nation posted a promotional ad for the Tea Party Express using the headline, “Will You Join the Tea Party Express?” From The Fox Nation:
Fox & Friends tells viewers “how you can join” Tea Party Express. The August 19, 2009, edition of Fox & Friends hosted Williams to explain, in co-host Brian Kilmeade’s words, “how you can join” their then-upcoming first national bus tour. During the segment, Fox News aired graphics noting the dates and locations of 22 tour stops.
Fox News anchor Bream: “We want to let folks know” Tea Party schedule so “they can be a part” of events. The August 23, 2009, edition of Fox News’ America’s News HQ hosted Williams to promote the tour. During the segment, host Shannon Bream said of the tour’s schedule:
BREAM: You do have a bit of a cohesive, at least organized schedule — we want to let folks know you’re going to be making –
BREAM: — 34, 35 stops, I believe it is, all across the country, so if they want to come out and take part, they certainly can be a part of what you’re doing, and, you know, this has definitely struck a chord with people.
” ‘Hannity’ Hops the Tea Party Express!” In an August 27, 2009, post on Sean Hannity’s FoxNews.com blog, a producer wrote that Hannity “will be along for the ride!” adding: “Click here for more on the tour and to find the tea party nearest you.” From the post, titled, ” ‘Hannity’ Hops the Tea Party Express!”:
Starting tomorrow, the Tea Party Express will begin its 16-day, 35-city tour across the nation, rallying Americans to stand up against out-of-control government spending… and ‘Hannity’ will be along for the ride!
With video camera in hand, our own Griff Jenkins will be catching all the action on the road and filing reports for The Great American Blog as the Express makes its way from Sacramento, CA to the Taxpayer March on Washington, D.C. Sept. 12!
Click here for more on the tour and to find the tea party nearest you.
And make sure to check back starting tomorrow to follow Griff on the road!
Hannity’s post was edition of Fox Business’ Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto promoted the tour and interviewed Williams. During the segment, Fox Business ran a graphic map of the tour’s path through the country and posted the tour’s website address.
Fox News reports live from first Tea Party Express kickoff
On August 28, 2009, Fox News homepage:
Fox & Friends Sunday hosted Williams to promote the “Bigger & Better” Tea Party Express II. On the October 25 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends Sunday, co-host Dave Briggs described the Tea Party Express by saying that “the bus tour that took the country by storm is back by popular demand.” The show hosted Williams and the composer of the Tea Party’s anthem Lloyd Marcus to promote the second Tea Party Express tour. The on-screen text during the segment highlighted the new tour as “Bigger & Better.”
Doocy highlights “major grassroots support” of the Tea Party Express II tour. On the November 12 edition of Fox & Friends, Mark Williams appeared on the show to discuss the conclusion of the Tea Party Express II tour. Co-host Gretchen Carlson noted that the tour “focused on small town U.S.A.,” while Steve Doocy lauded the tour for its “major grassroots support.”
Fox News asks if Tea Party Express III is “Conservative Woodstock,” provides keynote speaker
“The Tea Party Express Returns March 27.” A February 18 Fox Nation opened the noon ET hour of America’s News HQ by stating of the Tea Party Express’ March 27 rally, “Organizers are hoping it will be a conservative Woodstock as thousands of tea party activists converge on Harry Reid’s small town of Searchlight, Nevada.” Bream also aired the following graphic:
Fox promotes, lauds “rock star” Fox employee Palin’s keynote address. Sarah Palin — a Fox News contributor — was the event’s keynote speaker. After Fox’s anchors repeatedly promoted her speech, Fox News aired it live in its entirety. Stegall subsequently lauded the address, calling Palin “the rock star here” and saying that Palin was “no doubt very, very big, she was the big draw of this event.”
Fox & Friends‘ Kilmeade: Tea Party Express “having a major effect” on midterm elections.” On the April 14 10/16/08]. page, OCDB states that “we must stand up to Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress.” In addition to the Tea Party Express, OCBD is running accessed and reviewed the section. [TeaPartyExpress.org, accessed 7/28/09]
Consultant proposed the Express saying it would “give a boost to our PAC,” highlighted possible friendly coverage from “Fox commentators.” In the original memo proposing the creation of Tea Party Express, a consultant with Russo Marsh, Joe Wierzbicki, wrote that it could “give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force as the 2010 elections come into focus.” Wierzbicki also wrote that the effort could get “some mentions and possibly even promotion from conservative/pro-tea party bloggers, talk radio hosts, Fox News commentators, etc…”
Fox News has frequently denied elements of racism in Tea Party
Crowley: “I have not seen a shred of evidence” of Tea Party racism. On the July 16 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, while discussing accusations of racism within the Tea Party movement, guest-host Monica Crowley to her guest Ellis Henican that she had “not seen a shred of evidence” of racism at Tea Party rallies. From the show:
HENICAN: Well, you know, there is nothing inappropriate, I don’t think, about a civil rights movement saying hey, there is this other thing growing up out there. And we’re not accusing the whole group of being racist or everybody. But under that umbrella of Tea Party, you know there’ve been some pretty ugly stuff said.
CROWLEY: Where? Where, Ellis?
HENICAN: At rallies. We have–
CROWLEY: I’ve been to Tea Parties. Wait a minute. I’ve been to Tea Parties.
HENICAN: No. As have I.
CROWLEY: I’ve not seen a shred of evidence.
HENICAN: Well, how about–
CROWLEY: And there hasn’t been any evidence that the NAACP or anybody else could provide to show that.
Hannity: “We can’t find” any examples of racist signs at Tea Party rallies. On the July 15 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity asked his guest, Stephen Smith “Has any Tea Party member said anything racist, held any racist signs? Because we can’t find it.” He went on to claim that there are no examples of racist signs at Tea Party events. From the show:
HANNITY: All right. So now here’s this case. The NAACP, they have a resolution explicitly racist behavior. Do you have any specific examples? Because I think the worst thing you can call somebody — one of the worst things is a racist.
SMITH: Well –
HANNITY: Is there any example? Has any Tea Party member said anything racist, held any racist signs? Because we can’t find it.
SMITH: They were saying that folks held racist signs.
HANNITY: When? Where?
SMITH: You know, in various cities. I don’t know. I mean — I have not seen the examples. I have not seen the example.
HANNITY: There are none.
FoxNews.com reported that tea party members said “no visual evidence has been produced depicting a racist attack” against African-American Democratic lawmakers. In a July 14 article, FoxNews.com reported that tea party members have said “no visual evidence has been produced depicting a racist attack”:
But Tea Party members have challenged claims that their activists accosted black lawmakers in March and no visual evidence has been produced depicting a racist attack. Dallas Tea Party founder Phillip Dennis said “there was no proof” of racist behavior at the event and that the movement welcomes minority members.
Fox & Friends hosted Rep. Bachmann to rebut claims of Tea Party racism. Rep. Michelle Bachmann appeared on the July 16 edition of Fox & Friends and was asked by co-host Steve Doocy whether she had “ever seen anything that constituted racism or was even close to it.” Bachmann responded that she had not, and further claimed that “there’s no record” to back up “the assertions that were made by” members of the Congressional Black Caucus in which they stated that Tea Party members had hurled racial epithets at them.
Fox & Friends: “Tea Party Mischaracterized.” On the July 13 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, while Steve Doocy reported on the NAACP’s then-upcoming vote on a resolution condemning racist factions within the tea party movement, the following on-screen graphic aired: