Friday 30 August 2019

New York Times Changes 'Tea Party' Story To Add Charge of Racism After Liberal Complaints

The New York Times bowed to pressure for a second time in less than a month for the sake of pushing the liberal narrative that conservatives and Republicans are racists.
As you’ll recall, in early August The Times changed its headline from “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism” to “Assailing Hate but Not Guns.” The new wording came following complaints from Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.
They apparently did not like the original headline because it did not further the “Trump’s a racist” narrative.
The Gray Lady fell into liberal crosshairs for its failure to promote the narrative once again on Wednesday for a story it published titled “The Tea Party Didn’t Get What It Wanted, but It Did Unleash the Politics of Anger.”
It’s a well-written retrospective (certainly from a liberal viewpoint) by veteran reporter Jeremy Peters that details the rise of the tea party movement following the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008. 
The Democrats secured the full reins of the federal government in 2009 with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to add to their control of the House of Representatives, taken during the 2006 midterms.
Peters ably recounts that tea party anger was fueled by record $1.5 trillion deficits the Democrats racked up to pay for programs like the $787 billion stimulus bill passed in 2009, with those “shovel-ready” projects (which Obama had to later concede weren’t so shovel-ready) and other winners like the multi-billion dollar “Cash for Clunkers” program.
Perhaps the granddaddy of all tea party frustration was Obama’s Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare, which passed in 2010 and greatly expanded the federal government’s role in health care, but with the promise from Obama himself that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
Politifact awarded that line the “Lie of the Year” in 2013, after the Obama administration began implementing the Affordable Care Act. 
Peters writes, “ten years since that summer of rage, the ideas that animated the Tea Party movement have been largely abandoned by Republicans under President Trump.”
He notes the movement has faded though the nation has returned to an approximately $1 trillion deficit this year and Obamacare remains in place (albeit without financial penalty for those who do not purchase government approved health care insurance).
The Congressional Budget Office had been predicting a return to trillion dollar deficits years before Obama left office, due primarily to the rising cost of entitlements.
In his original lengthy piece about the tea party, deficits and Obamacare, Peters made no mention of racism.
However, the story was updated at 1:20 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday. 
“And as Mr. Obama’s allies saw the movement, its outrage over the debt and deficit had another purpose: giving cover and a voice to those who wanted to attack the first black president — people who in some cases showed up at rallies waving signs with racist caricatures and references,” a new sentence in the article read.
Ah, now the article dovetailed better with The Times’ reported official “Trump’s a racist” narrative.
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple wrote that the addition was apparently motivated by responses to Peters’ story from people like Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith.
“This @jwpetersNYT retrospective on the Tea Party’s ‘summer of rage’ ten years ago makes not a single, solitary reference to race or racism. Nor does it acknowledge the reality that a good deal of it involved opposing President Obama because he was black,” Smith tweeted.
This @jwpetersNYT retrospective on the Tea Party’s “summer of rage” ten years ago makes not a single, solitary reference to race or racism. Nor does it acknowledge the reality that a good deal of it involved opposing President Obama because he was black. 
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The Times corrected the “omission” soon thereafter, tweeting, “we have updated this story assessing the policy failures of the Tea Party movement 10 years after its rise to include context about attacks on President Barack Obama and racist displays at some Tea Party rallies.”
Times political editor Patrick Healy further explained to Wemple that Peters’ story was primarily to be about the deficit growing faster than expected “because of President Trump’s spending and tax cut policies” and how Republicans no longer care. (I addressed the “tax cuts driving the deficits” false narrative earlier this month: revenues are up.)
“After publishing, we heard from readers who made the point that in a story about the Tea Party and history, race and racism within the Tea Party movement needed to be addressed,” Healy added.
The old Ronald Reagan debate line comes to mind: “there you go again.”
I attended many tea party meetings, in multiple states from the East Coast to the Midwest to the Last Frontier of Alaska in my capacity as a political campaign staffer. I never picked up a racist vibe nor saw a racist sign at any of the events.
I also wrote and helped produce a political documentary in 2009 and ’10, which, in part, addressed the tea party movement and its concerns: again nada on the racist front.
I worked for “tea party” candidate Joe Miller in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race in 2010 against Sen. Lisa Murkowski and reached out to him to comment about The Times’ allegation of racism in the tea party movement.
“To suggest that the Tea Party was racist is just more of the fake news media’s scheme to draw attention away from the broken federal government that spawned the movement,” Miller said in a statement to The Western Journal.
“The main stream media is continuing this false narrative to undercut Trump, arguing that those who support his nationalistic policies are mostly white supremacists,” he added. “Lacking any real facts to fight the liberty movement, the Establishment’s propaganda agents have turned to fabrication and demonization.”
The tea party was not racist. Shame on The Times for surrendering its journalistic integrity once again for the sake of promoting false liberal narratives.

The Western Journal reached out to Jeremy Peters for comment and will update the story if and when he does respond.

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