I can’t help it: Told ya so.
The scam, Mark I
No: not the LA Times column on the quakes in the Salton Sink region. Nor about Afghanistan. Nor the Washington Post story on .. oh forget it. The problem with being consistently ahead of the curve, and consistently right* is that going back to document it begins to expand exponentially with success. If you’re a regular reader, I don’t have to remind you.
[* As Walter Brennan used to say in "The Guns Of Will Sonnett": No brag; just fact.]
I’m talking about the Tea Parties and the fake, astroturf “Tea Party Express.” Mark Williams was “officially repudiated” by various Tea Partiers today and yesterday.
The scammer, Mark II
I’ve been pointing out that the whole Tea Party Express III was astroturf, based on my original outing of the selfsame group in 2005, first as an anti-Cindy Sheehan group, then repurposed as an anti-Obama group in 2008, and now as a cash-making publicity machine in a cross country bus, kicking off in Searchlight, Nevada. Listen to the “War Room of the Tea Party” today:
Tea Party Federation kicks out Williams over blog post
Written by James Ostrowski on July 18, 2010 – 2:16 pm -
That’s a headline from today.
I post it here simply to point out that I never heard of the Tea Party Federation and I really barely heard of Williams.
The movement is very decentralized and localized.
There is also an astroturf group based in DC and spending Koch money but they speak only for themselves and only the lazy MSM takes them as representing anyone but themselves and their big fat bank accounts.
I know this is complicated for liberals to grasp but the movement is both grassroots and astroturf with the turfers trying to control the grassroots just as the local GOP has tried to co-opt the local movement.
That was just the tip of the iceberg:
And the mainstream media STILL can’t get the story straight. It’s called “narrative” versus “reality.”
Well, other than the fact that Mr. Ostrowski viciously and stoooopidly pushes the meme that all media are “liberals” and therefore he’s some kind of nitwit Reichtie Martyr, he’s got it pretty right on. Like the “tea party convention” of 400 in Nashville, where reporters outnumbered attendees, it wasn’t grass roots tea party. No: it was a cynical show put on by political pros. Here, from my “Sockpuppets Confused About Astroturf” 25 Jan 2010:
Let’s alpha our omega (since I’ll get back to it): “astroturfing” is the creation of a fake group like, say, Sacramento GOP P.R. firm Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc.’s “Move America Forwards.”*
[* See "Swift Boat Moms in Winnebagos" (30 Aug 2005) for the step by step Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc. creation of a fake "grass roots" -- i.e. "astroturf"-- group to counterbalance the Cindy Sheehan anti-war protests, Move America Forward's "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" tour featuring Deborah Johns, who, perhaps using the SAME bus as her 2005 publicity stunt tour, is now with the Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc. -created astroturf group, the Tea Party Express.]
THAT is astroturf. Like Freedomworks.
Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity are the Koch groups he’s talking about, as I’ve covered at length. Including their bus tour:
- Required Reading List for Tomorrow’s Post 18 April 2010
The scam: Mark III
- April Fool’s Day Came Early This Year 28 March 2010 (A MUST READ)
- CNN gets Astroturfed in story on Astroturf 10 March 2010 (Mark Williams)
- MSNBC Gets Astroturfed Again 4 Nov. 2009 (pix of Mark Williams on MSNBC + CNN)
- KVOT Link 5 Feb. 2010 (Brief and to the point)
Hell, here’s an unpublished draft still sitting in my files:
15 APRIL 2010…8:28 AM
The Best Reporting that Money can Buy
“The People’s Right to Know” … keep that phrase in mind.
The smoking gun has been found.
The whole fake charade of the “Tea Party Express III” has been outed by Kenneth Vogel of Politico, who is not, like us scrofulous and disdained bloggers, just some nut like me without credibility to the Main Stream “liberally biased’ Media, but who comes from an “accepted” media outlet that gets its spokesmodels on TeeVee regularly, and, therefore is a “real” news outlet. Not like Crooks and Liars. Not like the Huffington Post, or any other ‘new media’ that have drawn the wrath of a compliant, complicit and comatose brand of old line journos.
Apocalyptic countdown to “Judgement” (sic) Day*
[* From Common Errors in English Usage:
In Great Britain and many of its former colonies, “judgement” is still the correct spelling; but ever since Noah Webster decreed the first E superfluous, Americans have omitted it. Many of Webster’s crotchets have faded away (each year fewer people use the spelling “theater,” for instance); but even the producers of Terminator 2: Judgment Day chose the traditional American spelling. If you write “judgement” you should also write “colour.”
Gee: You'd think these All-American "Patriots" could use the American version and not the British version, what with them always raving on about "founding fathers," and other such granfalloons.]
Here’s what Vogel unearthed, at the very end of his tour with TPE-III [emphasis added]:
By KENNETH P. VOGEL | 4/14/10 4:56 AM EDT
Just days after the first widespread tea party demonstrators hit the streets a year ago Thursday, Joe Wierzbicki, a Republican political consultant with the Sacramento firm Russo Marsh + Rogers, made a proposal to his colleagues that he said could “give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force as the 2010 elections come into focus.”
The proposal, obtained by POLITICO, was for a nationwide tea party bus tour, to be called the Tea Party Express, which over the past seven months has become among the most identifiable brands of the tea party movement. Buses emblazoned with the Tea Party Express logo have brought speakers and entertainers to rallies in dozens of small towns and big cities, including one in Boston on Wednesday that will feature former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Aided by campaign-style advance work and event planning, slick ads cut by Russo Marsh, impressive crowds and a savvy media operation, the political action committee run by Wierzbicki, Russo Marsh founder Sal Russo and a handful of other Republican operatives has also emerged as among the prolific fundraising vehicles under the tea party banner. Known as Our Country Deserves Better when it was founded during the 2008 election as a vehicle to oppose Barack Obama’s campaign for president, the PAC saw its fundraising more than quadruple after it took the Tea Party Express public in July, raising nearly $2.7 million in roughly the following six months, compared with less than $600,000 in the preceding six months, according to Federal Election Commission filings. [MORE]
Well, it goes back further than that — because, evidently, if you change your name, you become invisible to reporters, who think you’re someone else — but at least Vogel stopped brown-nosing the TPE-III. CNN, on the other hand, sent a SISTER bus to follow the Tea Party Bus, adding the cachet of legitimacy to the whole mess, and, when Vogel dropped his bombshell … NOTHING.
The national media rapidly osculated Sarah Palin’s ass, made pithy comments about what the true soul of the Tea Party member was actually feeling, bloviated, obfuscated and IGNORED the only piece of honest-to-gosh actual EVIDENCE associated with the nationwide bus tour they’d so breathlessly gasped and ooh’d and ahh’d over. IGNORED it.
(Now, note that the rightie bloggers claiming today to have “proved” that the “liberal media” created Obama’s election will never utter a peep about this tawdry media collusion to cover up the Palin/TPE-III political con/fundraiser. Guaranteed.)
The entire media reported the phony bullshit event and the other Paid Palin Speech in Boston (she’d kicked it off in Searchlight, Nevada, Harry Reid’s hometown) AS IF IT WERE UTTERLY LEGIT. So, when it was proven NOT to be?
The Scam: Mark IV
The Tea Partier above doesn’t even know who the phony astroturf hucksters were. (Or maybe she does.)
And who’s this Tea Partier hired by TPE-III to speak in Searchlight?
Joe the Non-plumber at the phony Searchlight Nevada rally
So, what does CNN come up with today? After having empowered the narrative (and followed their bus on a CNN map with regular, breathless reports of this FICTION, this LIE, this SCAM), this is what they come up with, even though the story’s been out there for a long time, fully sourced and not just by me. By LOTS of other bloggers, including Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars. Now that Mark Williams is front page news, they finally notice Kenneth Vogel’s April 14 posting, a mere three months and five daze (sic) later. Listen:
July 19, 2010
What’s the Tea Party Express?
Posted: July 19th, 2010 12:06 PM ET
The Tea Party Express has become a major player in Republican politics.
Washington (CNN) – The National Tea Party Federation, which seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled the Tea Party Express because of an inflammatory blog post its leader, Mark Williams, wrote last week responding to criticism from the NAACP.
Williams’ blog post satirized a fictional letter from what he called “Colored People” to President Abraham Lincoln.
Even before this current controversy, the group was criticized by some within the Tea Party movement for being run by Republican consultants and for trying to influence GOP primaries far from its base in Sacramento, California.
CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser sums up the Tea Party Express and its place in the larger Tea Party movement:
High profile: The Tea Party Express is one of the best-known groups in the movement because of its three high-profile bus caravans and rallies. Sarah Palin spoke at the beginning of its third caravan, which began in Searchlight, Nevada, and its next-to-the-last stop in Boston, Massachusetts, before it ended with a Tax Day rally in Washington.
Political impact: The Tea Party Express has become a major player in Republican politics, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads for Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown in Massachusetts who upset Democrat Martha Coakley to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat.
More recently, the organization helped little-known Sharron Angle win the Republican primary in Nevada to face Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, endorsing her and spending about a half-million dollars on ads for her. The organization says it plans to spend more to help her get elected.
The group also targeted incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah for his vote on the Troubled Assets Recovery Program and helped defeat his bid for a fourth term. It then backed underdog Mike Lee’s successful primary campaign and Lee now appears to be a shoo-in to win the general election in November and join
the Senate next year.
Political action: The group runs the “Our Country Deserves Better PAC-Tea Party Express.org” political action committee, which was formed in 2008 to help raise money to oppose presidential candidate Barack Obama. It was created by Republican political consultant Joe Wierzbicki, who appears to have come up with the original Tea Party Express cross-country caravan.
What’s next?: The Tea Party Express is targeting GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska and has endorsed her little-know primary challenger Joe Miller. It plans a Monday event to announce its support.
Filed under: Tea Party Express • Tea Party movement
Pretty much plagiarized from Kenneth Vogel’s “smoking gun” memo”? Yes.
Too bad they didn’t bother reporting it when it might have been important.
Still corrupt and Quisling collaborationist?
Criminal journalistic malpractice?
Told ya so.
CNN needs to change its service mark to the less-Orwellian “The Most Busted Name In News.”
“Trusted” is a word that has outlived its truthfulness. That’s my judgment. (Not “judgement”; I’m an American writer, not a British scribe.)
And shame on you MSNBC, POLITICO, CNN and legitimate news organizations for publishing flat out fiction and lies. Shame on you, CNN for lending your bus to the con-game out of Sacramento that the “Tea Party Express” was.
CNN sent their own “express” but were protested anyway
And shame on Mark Williams for being a racist asshole who will say anything to make himself famous. Alex Brandt-Zawadzki did some great writing on Williams earlier this year for the Huffington Post, but he’s working for a campaign and can’t blog at present. Kudos, Alex.
- Tea Party Hates Tea Party Leader 5 May 2010
Actually, he told you so, too.
UPDATE 5:59 PDT: At Politico, Kenneth Vogel fills in some more puzzle pieces about Russo Marsh + Rogers, Mark Williams and neatly smooths over the fundamentally astroturf nature of the endlessly repurposed political fundraising machine that currently calls itself the “Tea Party Express.”