Just a few moments ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find a rather even-handed AP article on the Tea Parties linked on Yahoo!’s home page.
While referencing some of the extremists on the fringes of the movement, AP writer David A. Lieb reports, “Some tea party organizers have taken steps to distance themselves from those espousing potentially controversial views“:
Sensitive that poor public perception could sink their movement, some rally planners have uninvited controversial speakers, beefed up security and urged participants to pack cameras to capture evidence of any disrupters. Organizers want to project a peaceful image of people upset by what they consider to be a growing and burdensome federal government.
“We don’t want to be misrepresented, whether it’s by someone who is not part of the group and has their own agenda, or whether it’s by some fringe extremist who may actually be a racist,” said Jim Hoft, a political blogger and tea party activist who is one of the speakers for a rally in suburban St. Louis.
Nice to see that the AP is quoting one of the leading conservative bloggers (and a nice guy to boot–I met Jim in 2007 when I was passing through St. Louis).
Lieb was at pains not just to quote swell folks like Jim, but also to reference other level-headed Tea Party protesters. And he reported, “Tea party leaders also are concerned that opponents may pose as tea party participants and cause a ruckus to damage the reputation of the movement.”
Job well done, Mr. Lieb. Thanks for reporting our rallies rathe than distorting them!