It should be no surprise that some journalists and media outlets will use the recent suicide plane attack into an IRS building as a way to discredit the tea party movement. And within just a few hours, that’s exactly what happened.
When suicide pilot Andrew Stack flew his plane Thursday into a Texas building that houses the IRS, killing himself and injuring at least two others, a number of media outlets immediately connected the words of his online suicide letter to those of the Tea Party movement â€” despite any evidence that Stack has ever been involved in the movement.
Thatâ€™s something Levi Russell, spokesman for Tea Party Express, called â€œabsurd.â€
The Washington Postâ€™s Jonathan Capehart wrote that he was â€œstruck by how [Stack’s] alienation is similar to that weâ€™re hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement.â€ New York Magazine wrote, â€œa lot of his rhetoric could have been taken directly from a handwritten sign at a Tea Party rally.â€
It plays right into the Tea Party narrative that the traditional media sources are out to get them.
Ryan Hecker, a Houston Tea Party activist at the Conservative Action Political Conference in Washington, D.C., said such treatment is just another example of how the mainstream media is trying to â€œmarginalizeâ€ the movement.
Russell said the media â€œwill seize upon any examples to say youâ€™re irrelevant, or racist, or crazy.â€
â€œStill to this day, no major media outlet has ever engaged the Tea Party movement on the issues,â€ he said. â€œIt has always been about rhetoric and personal attacks.â€
It should be clear that the beast will do whatever it takes to keep the two-party system from being challenged – and this is how they do it.
Take anything that could potentially be labeled crazy, and link it to the tea party movement. The IRS plane attack is just one example. Even Glenn Beck attempted to discredit Texas third-party candidate Deborah Medina, using the same technique, which was to bring up the 9/11 truther issue, and associate her views as sympathetic – almost instantly marginalizing her.
So, the point here is to reiterate Homeland Security’s position that right wing extremists are a threat to the country. And on one level, this may very well be true. There are certainly people living within the United States – Americans – that would do harm to others based on political views. But is this any different than the threat posed by left wing extremists?
When William Ayers, the man who helped President Obama start his political career, bombed government buildings in the 1960’s, did the media make the entire progressive movement out to be a bunch of terrorist looking to overthrow the government? Of course not.
Trying to bunch millions of tea party members together with the IRS bomber or militant extremists is nothing more than a ploy to maintain the status quo and create a threat where there is none.