What will it take for the media to acknowledge that the Tea Party is not a racist movement, and that liberals have smeared it as such in a naked politicization of race relations? How about a lefty activist admitting just that.
Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.
Dick Armey could not have said it better.
The strategy is, of course, reprehensible, but members of the Tea Party movement have long suspected that accusations of racism were nothing more than elements of a political ploy motivated by a fear that the movement's influence could spell disaster for Democrats in November and beyond.
Rather than discuss the issues, these smear artists allege racism since it immediately puts political opponents on the defensive, preventing them from pushing lines of argument to which most Americans are sympathetic.
That Berry specifically mentioned joblessness as an issue that can be dodged by crying racism demonstrates just how desperate liberals are to avoid discussing the still-sagging economy. It's a losing issue for Democrats, and their supporters know it. By dubbing the critics of Democratic economic policy racists, they can avoid discussion of the failures of their own policies.
Coverage of this outrageous statement from the mainstream media: practically zero. Hannity has mentioned it a couple times, and Politico, of course, has acknowledged it.
But almost every other major news outlet - ABC, NBC, MSNBC, HLN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, USA Today, NPR, PBS, Newsweek, Time - has completely ignored the statement, according to a Nexis search. The Wall Street Journal's John Fund mentioned it on CBS's Face the Nation and on CNN Newsroom, but neither outlet covered the topic on its own, or followed up on Fund's statements. Mary Matalin mentioned it on the Situation Room, but once again, it took a conservative guest for the statement to even be acknowledged, and no one followed up.
And of course, the same media outlets ignoring this story have frequently trumpeted accusations of racism directed at the Tea Party as fact. The most notorious example - the alleged racial slurs shouted at Members of Congress before the health care vote - has even recently been treated as fact, despite the complete absence of evidence supporting the accusation.
Maybe Berry's statement will help convince these journalists that they are aiding and abetting not only political character assassination against an organic, Jeffersonian movement, but that they are in fact aiding the degradation of American race relations, as R. Dozier Gray, spokesman for the black conservative group Project 21 notes:
This willful and purposeful use of the race card for nothing more than political gain is toxic to race relations, and Mary Frances Berry must know that. But she evidently does not care. Based on her comment, political posturing takes primacy over whatever real issues regarding race that she might pretend are her calling cards. I have seen this all before. I find it shameful.