(That's hapless Tea Reporter Don Gonyea)
It's no secret that like Fox News, NPR is Tea Party friendly turf - even fairly unbalanced Tea Partiers like Lori Medina of Dallas find NPR fair - well, duh. Given that a recent poll shows the Tea Party suck factor growing (almost as high as for Democrats and Republicans-see the poll here), and given that a recent Tea Party rally in Washington, DC drew a minuscule 100-200 participants (Politico and Slate have a couple of photos - you decide) - no wonder NPR felt obliged to provide amplified and robust coverage to this far right army of Dick. So what does a dinky little DC rally of hardcore rightwingers get on NPR?
- A Thursday ATC story featuring highlights of your speakers and a description of the Sen. Rand "Civil Rights" Paul and the unhinged Michele Bachmann as bringing "some star power."
- More Thursday amplification of Tea Party talking points from NPR's Frank James on the "It's All Politics" blog.
- An April Fool's Morning Edition feature with Tea Party fool, Audie Cornish, who explains that "It wasn't a big group less than 250 people. But they had a big voice."
- A Weekend Edition Sunday feature where some of those several hundred attendees get to weigh in on US foreign policy in Libya - "...when it boils down to it, we are the country that's done the great things in the world; we are the leaders, and that's a role we still have to have."
So what gives? Even if one concedes that the Tea Party represents a force in American politics, one can easily argue that a group like MoveOn represents an equally powerful force in electoral politics. So take a look at how on-air Tea Party coverage compares to on-air MoveOn coverage on NPR. That's 789 for the Tea Party compared to 106 for MoveOn - very fair, very balanced.