Accuracy in Media

Last week on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” (with guest host David Shuster) on Current TV, liberal comedian Janeane Garofalo discussed what she said was the double standard in favor of the Tea Party and how the media help them.

Shuster: Well how does it work, then, for Father of the Year Joe Walsh? I mean, he recently called the Occupy protesters un-American, among other things. Is the GOP that far into the pockets of the banks that protesting the banks is somehow protesting America, in Joe Walsh’s world?

Garofalo: Well, they have to pretend that’s the case. But, I mean, this is the party of freedom fries. Do you remember freedom fries and freedom toast? One of the—two of the more embarrassing things that have ever happened in this country when, in the commissary post-9/11 that you couldn’t say French toast and French fries, and I believe French toast is from Belgium. Or French fries are from Belgium and French toast, I think, is from Buffalo, New York originally. Be that as it may. And Michele Bachmann wanted that American Test, how American are you? It’s just—it’s so silly, it infantilizes us all. And unfortunately, the mainstream media is quite willing to help them do this, quite willing to let these things slide. But they do love a black man like Herman Cain and Michael Steele, and is it Ron Christie? Any of these pundits who pretend we’re in a post-racial society. They like that kind of black person.

Shuster: What kind of reaction would we get, or what would the right—how would they react if the pepper spraying at UC Davis had been on Tea Party rallyers?

Garofalo: Oh my—well, pepper spray would be banned, first and foremost. There would—and if you think about it, the Tea Party—many of them claim to be armed, right? They were very pridefully saying, “I have my gun at this healthcare townhall,” or “I’m not armed this time”—they had signs that would say that. So, how is linking arms on a college campus an act of aggression, but saying you have a gun and you’re willing to use it, and it’s time to secede and to revolution, and you don’t recognize this government as legitimate—how is that not seen as some type of aggressive thing? But it just defies—it’s one of those things, again, that is just so silly, and it makes you feel like you’re the crazy one when you—when you see these things. But the double standard that exists for the Tea Party—which is not, by the way, a grassroots movement that is concerned with deficits and government expansion. They are a astro-turfed, fully funded by the Koch brothers and FreedomWorks, and supported by Fox News, they are a group—they’re a subset of the Republican party, primarily motivated by racial intolerance.

Garofalo  managed to completely ignore the fact that the Tea Party protests have been peaceful affairs with organizers either paying for police protection and cleanup or handling some of those tasks themselves, which differs dramatically from the Occupy protests, which have been plagued by, among other things, violence, drugs, sexual assaults, public urination and trash strewn everywhere.

But that really doesn’t matter to Garofalo who clearly hates the Tea Party and the dramatic effect it has had on the political landscape. She probably wishes the Occupy movement could be half as effective.

She also hasn’t been paying very close attention if she thinks the Tea Party is a subset of the Republican Party. They are clearly more in agreement with the Republicans than the Democrats. But as was evidenced in 2010 and as we are seeing now, even if a candidate has an R by their name it doesn’t guarantee support by the Tea Party and in many cases is seen as an opportunity to challenge the establishment.

The real double standard that exists is when the mainstream media (not that Current-TV is mainstream) allow liberals like Garofalo to spout unchallenged inaccuracies while at the same time challenging factual statements made by conservatives.

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