At the Future of Capitalism, Ira Stoll explores the Gray Lady’s take on the Tea Party:
The Tea Party movement is a bunch of racist gun nuts, the New York Times more or less concludes in a long article published today:
Rachel Dolezal, curator of the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, has also watched the Tea Party movement with trepidation. Though raised in a conservative family, Ms. Dolezal, who is multiracial, said she could not imagine showing her face at a Tea Party event. To her, what stands out are the all-white crowds, the crude depictions of Mr. Obama as an African witch doctor and the signs labeling him a terrorist. “It would make me nervous to be there unless I went with a big group,” she said.
As for the Tea Party types themselves, they are keeping busy, according to the Times:
Their task seemed endless, almost overwhelming, especially with only $517 in their Tea Party bank account. There were rallies against illegal immigration to attend. There was a coming lecture about the hoax of global warming. There were shooting classes to schedule, and tips to share about the right survival food.
The whole thing is sad; that the Times seems unable to give a reasonably sympathetic hearing to Americans mad at Wall Street, Washington, Republicans and Democrats but instead travels to Idaho to interview and emphasize what it depicts as a particularly strange group of them; that those Americans angry at both political parties would channel their anger toward immigrants; that minorities would feel intimidated by Americans mad at Wall Street, Washington, Republicans and Democrats. The Times doesn’t get into the question of how anti-immigrant and how heavily armed the average non-Tea Party-activist Idaho resident is. Nor does it get into the fact that a certain set of wild-eyed true believers who don’t appear normal to outsiders tends to exist on the fringes of just about every mass movement, from the AFL-CIO to the Obama campaign.
Whereas the journalists of a less enlightened age once sought out some blend of the truth and readers, the journalists (read polemicists) at the Times and MSNBC clearly have higher callings these days: placating Pinch and GE, respectively. John Nolte, the editor of Big Hollywood recently dubbed television satirists defending President Obama instead of speaking mirth to power “Palace Guard Comedians”; clearly there are plenty of Palace Guard Journalists as well.