Jymn makes a good point when he wonders why the progressive-driven “One Nation” rally in Washington DC yesterday got such ho-hum media attention, while Glenn Beck’s rally back in August that drew similar numbers of teabaggers was covered wall-to-wall, minute-by-minute. A fair question: over the past year, the media standard seems to be “If it teas, it leads”.
Conservatives have always complained about being unfairly treated by the “liberal media” — have liberals now become the media underdogs?
When searching for an answer to this burning question, it doesn’t hurt to remember that there’s an entire TV news network that caters to the right in general and the tea party in particular. Everyone else joins the conga line of wall to wall coverage, then follows it up with days of brow-furrowed ponderance and pontification, deep thought, debate and discussion about “What it all means for (fill in the blank: “the midterms”, “the Democrats”, “the nation”, “the price of coffee”, “my cousin in North Tonawanda”, etc.). Going back a few years, even the massive worldwide anti-Iraq War march in 2003, which drew millions, got nowhere near the kind of media coverage the teabaggers now routinely command.
But it’s not just liberals who get the cold media shoulder. Every year around State of the Union day, fetus fetishists gather at the Mall to shriek and whine and faint and scream in numbers larger than both of Beck’s rallies and the One Nation march combined and get little or no coverage outside the religious media. But they’re not that interesting, because everyone knows what they want: to overturn Roe v. Wade and give every fertilized egg a driver’s license. This is not news, no matter how many sideshows Randall Terry puts on.
No, the media doesn’t hate libs — it’s just not that into them anymore. Let’s take a short trip down Memory Lane: I (vaguely) recall the media in the late 60s feverishly covering hippie culture and everything that went with it just as obsessively as they now cover the baggers. What did hippies want? What was their plan? Would they overthrow the government? It was non-stop, and hippies didn’t even have their own news channel (although we did have the hippy-dippy weatherman).
The teapartiers get disproportionate media coverage because they’re the new kid in town and, beyond “Kick The Bums Out!” and “The Constitution something something”, they don’t seem to have any clear goals or plans. Like 60s hippies, their ideas are vague and hazy at best; unlike the hippies, they can’t blame it on drugs. In any case, they’re still an evolving (heh) phenomenon, which may be what makes them more newsworthy than progressives in the media’s eyes.