Kirsten Powers, a Democrat who served in Bill Clinton’s administration, said the mainstream media want to portray the Tea Party as bigots and racists and are not capable of understanding what the movement is about. She also said that the Republican establishment plays into these biases and deliberately pushes unfavorable memes about the Tea Party to gullible — and biased — reporters.
While discussing Dave Brat’s shocking upset over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Fox News’ Media Buzz this weekend with host Howard Kurtz, Powers said the elites in the media and the permanent political class “who can’t relate” to regular Americans are the ones demeaning the Tea Party.
“I don’t think the mainstream media is capable of understanding the Tea Party, based on what I have watched,” Powers said. “They want them to be a bunch of bigots who hate Barack Obama and are driven by their racist hatred of Barack Obama.”
Powers said she was told she was crazy for pushing back against the media narrative that proclaimed the Tea Party was all but done.
“I actually never bought it, and I was treated like I was crazy,” Powers said, acknowledging that it never made sense to her because the two potential GOP 2016 presidential candidates who are getting the most buzz are Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), who have been buoyed by the Tea Party movement.
Powers also said that Republican establishment figures “wanted the Tea Party to be dead and the establishment to be alive,” and that is why they pushed the unfavorable storyline to reporters who also wanted the same.
Mainstream media reporters the Republican establishment favors churned out stories gleefully proclaiming that the Tea Party was dead weeks before Brat’s victory exposed that false narrative for what it had always been and turned it on its head. Some of the same mainstream media reporters had to concede after Brat’s loss that they should have been reading outlets like Breitbart News, which has seriously covered the Tea Party not as caricatures and cartoon characters but as a serious uprising against the permanent political class in D.C.’s “Boomtown.”
Powers said she does not know what motivates journalists to demean the Tea Party, but the “end result” of how the mainstream press portray the Tea Party is that they are idiots, racists, and bigots.
Last week, even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews acknowledged that Brat’s and the Tea Party’s broader message against the permanent political class and crony capitalism is one that is resonating with Americans and should not be demeaned.
“This looking down our noses at tea party people has got to stop,” Matthews said. “They have a message, they’re as American as any liberal is, and they’re really angry about the failure of the system.”
As Breitbart News reported, that has been former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s primary message:
Palin, who has taken on crony capitalists in her party and fought against both party establishments since she first ran for office, said in a landmark speech in Indianola, Iowa in 2011 that there is a difference between free markets and crony capitalism where big business colludes with big government and stiffs working Americans. In fact, Palin introduced those themes into the national political bloodstream, as conservatives slowly started to rail against “crony capitalism” after Palin relentlessly hammered those themes:
Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars. They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.
So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.
It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen this kind of crony capitalism before. It’s is the same good old boy politics-as-usual that I fought and we defeated in my home state. I took on a corrupt and compromised political class and their backroom dealings with Big Oil. And I can tell you from experience that sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power-brokers. So, please you must vet a candidate’s record. You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they’re going to claim that they inherited.
Real reform never sits well with the entrenched special interests, and that’s why the true voices of reform are so quickly demonized. Look what they say about you. You are concerned civilized citizens and look what they say about you. And just look what happened during the debt-ceiling debate. We’d been given warning after warning that our credit rating would be downgraded if politicians didn’t get serious about tackling the debt and deficit problem. But instead of making the real cuts that are necessary, they used Enron-like accounting gimmicks, and they promised that if they were just allowed to spend trillions more today, they’d cut billions ten years from now. By some magical thinking, they figured they could run up trillion dollar deficits year after year, yet still somehow avoid the unforgiving mathematics that led to the downgrade. Well, they got a rude awakening from the rest of the world, and that’s that even America isn’t “too big to fail.”
When we finally did get slapped with that inevitable downgraded, the politicians and the pundits turned around and blamed us – independent commonsense conservatives. We got blamed! They called us un-American and terrorists and suicide bombers and…hobbits…couldn’t understand that one.
As Breitbart News has been reporting, “most Palin supporters fervently support her not because she is a ‘celebrity,’ but because of her ideas, her record of reform, and her fight against both political establishment. The mainstream press has missed this because they, like the woman in New York City who had never met a Richard Nixon voter, have rarely spoken to a Palin supporter” or a Tea Party voter.