How to Talk to Reporters at Your Tea Party

As a brand-new fiscal conservative and Republican, I notice some of my new friends have little or no experience with political protests. They could use a few tips on how to talk to reporters and how to make the most of their tea party demonstration experience. I was a newspaper reporter for a couple of years in the 1980s, and because lesbians and women have had to fight for equality, I've participated in picketing, demonstrations, and marches since around 1974.

The most important thing you can bring to your tea party is your 30-second answer to the following question: "Why are you here?"

The tea parties will be covered by reporters and bloggers, who will be professionals or amateurs, for news outlets running the spectrum of conservative, libertarian, and liberal. (Among the amateurs may be people who will turn in their written and video interviews and digital photos to Pajamas Media. Pajamas Media is looking for citizen reporters -- to sign up, click here.)

You must be able to tell a reporter in 30 seconds or less why you are participating in a political protest.

The funny thing is, the more you know about the damage President Obama and the Democratic Congress are doing to the U.S. economy, the harder it may be to give a simple answer. But a simple answer is the one that will get quoted. It will help if you write down your thoughts and rewrite them until you have a short list or statement that you can deliver in 30 seconds or less.

For example:

I am at the (name of place) tea party because I believe in the power of individuals and the businesses they create to generate the products, services, and jobs that will bring our economy out of the recession. President Obama and the Democratic Congress have got it wrong -- the government can't create good jobs or grow the economy. Money and jobs come from the opportunities that thrive when government is limited and lets you keep enough of your own money to make your own dreams come true. (Time: 25 seconds.)

Another example:

The Democratic Congress passed stimulus legislation no one read before voting on it. President Obama signed it into law without reading it. The House just passed "cap and trade" legislation that no one read before voting on it. If "cap and trade" passes in the Senate, President Obama will sign it without reading it. "Cap and trade" is designed to make electricity prices skyrocket to force demand for unreliable alternative energy sources. We have got to put conservatives into Congress and the White House to restore responsibility to how we run this country. (Time: 28 seconds.)

If the reporter is scornful or disrespectful, just give your 30-second speech, thank them, and walk away. Do not argue. The game is rigged in favor of the reporter.