Another party appetizer for the HA faithful, since I know a lot of you love this guy. Consider this a microcosm of how the parties have evolved: “Thomas Paine” began last summer as a grassroots phenomenon, with almost three million views on YouTube, and now he’s been gobbled up by FNC, enticed here into plugging Hannity’s appearance at the Atlanta party on Fox’s website. Over in the Greenroom, CK MacLeod says he’s got a bad feeling about this:

[W]hen FNC turns itself into the Tea Party Network tomorrow, having built up to it with a series of completely one-sided promos, it doesn’t just make “fair and balanced” into a joke, but threatens to undermine if not overwhelm a nascent movement of citizens and make it look like what the Obamanauts will dismiss it as being – a manufactured tool of the already committed Right…

I know the “other side” has virtually the entire mainstream media working for it, but will Fox’s approach help shame the MSM, whose reach is by definition much wider than any cable network’s, into covering the Tea Parties and what they represent, or will it instead make reporters, producers, and, most important, viewers feel more comfortable in dismissing them?…

Obama’s personal popularity far exceeds the popularity of his program, which means that polarizing the opposition to it, pouring it into pre-fabricated “right” and “left” partisan positions, is disadvantageous to the movement.

The tea parties may be good for Fox, in other words, but that doesn’t mean Fox is good for the tea parties. It’s a provocative point; I’m curious to see what readers think of it. Vote it out below the clip.