Green Room

AP trying to mainstream “teabagger”

posted at 12:28 pm on January 23, 2010 by

The Associated Press is proud of its reputation. When you go to the AP website, this sentence starts the second paragraph in the “About us” page:

AP’s mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed.

And yet, in today’s news analysis about the Democrats bad week, Charles Babington wrote, and his editor let stand, this insult to the Tea Party movement that has swept America:

Also, it’s not clear that Republicans can tame and harness the volatile “tea bagger” activists. The fiercely independent conservatives helped Brown win in Massachusetts, but they triggered a damaging right-wing split in a special House race in New York last year.

The fact that they put the epithet in quotes indicates that they know full well that “teabagger” is a vulgar term. I never knew it existed before the so-called objective media types (we mean you, Anderson Cooper) were calling Tea Party activists “teabaggers.” It is a deliberate insult. It is not the way an objective news organization should describe the millions of Americans from all walks of life who attended rallies and town halls to protest the expansion of government by this administration and congress.

The AP owes the Tea Party movement a retraction and an apology. And I really think that the people who don’t like the Tea Partiers (see, that wasn’t too hard to call them, was it?) should stop mainstreaming “teabagger.” It’s childish and reflects more poorly on those that use the word rather than on those they are insulting.

Act like an objective news organization, AP. Don’t mainstream “teabagger.”

Cross-posted.

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I noticed Olbermann this week tried to explain this on air. His contention was that a Fox News reporter, Griff Jenkins, first used the the term “teabagger” when describing those who mailed teabags to Congressmen. I believe this is just a convenient excuse since Anderson Cooper was the first that I recall.

d1carter on January 23, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Yea, ’cause otherwise, we’ll start calling the AP “Jews with Views” instead of Associated Press.

Punditpawn on January 23, 2010 at 2:21 PM

d1carter on January 23, 2010 at 12:35 PM

FWIW, I heard something completely different about how this ball got rolling . . . neither from Cooper, Olbermann et als. nor from Fox News, but from some guy at a Tea Party protest that held up a sign saying “TEA BAG THE LIBERAL DEMS BEFORE THEY TEA BAG YOU.”

The D-bags decided to run with it . . . over, and over, and over, knowing full well what it meant.

Cooper, for his part, is definitely biased and a “journalist” that doesn’t know the first thing about doing research on a subject before running his mouth, but he DID apologize for its usage after the fact.

To me, that puts him at least one notch above Kayo and Rachel Man-Now.

Ryan Anthony on January 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

FWIW, I heard something completely different about how this ball got rolling . . . neither from Cooper, Olbermann et als. nor from Fox News, but from some guy at a Tea Party protest that held up a sign saying “TEA BAG THE LIBERAL DEMS BEFORE THEY TEA BAG YOU.”

Ryan Anthony on January 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

There were a few posters like that at the rallies — presumably from urban conservatives who thought it was a funny way to insult the Democrats. But probably only a handful of tea partiers got the joke, and you obviously can’t identify an entire movement by the signs a handful of people made.

joe_doufu on January 23, 2010 at 3:09 PM

‘Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It.’ – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals.

Little more difficult to use this when you can’t pin down the race, age, ethnic background, economic backround, etc, etc. I love it.

tessa on January 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

I say we start calling Liberal activists:

“Cincinnati Hot Dogs”

Don’t look it up if you have a weak stomach or have just eaten a meal.

[For the record: I saw the term, asked about it, was told to look it up, and I regretted having done it until this suggestion.]

Daggett on January 23, 2010 at 3:45 PM

AP =
An** pirates

macncheez on January 23, 2010 at 6:01 PM

I wouldn’t worry about it. My personal pursuit is to mainstream several terms:

* ‘D-Bagger’ == any of the Democrat statists *
* ‘Strap-On’ == Keith Olbermann

* Hat tip Texas Rainmaker

directorblue on January 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

@Punditpawn: Um, what? I’m missing the joke, I think.

Meryl Yourish on January 23, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Tied for the worst thing about that quote is this ridiculous assertion:

Also, it’s not clear that Republicans can tame and harness the volatile “tea bagger” activists. The fiercely independent conservatives helped Brown win in Massachusetts, but they triggered a damaging right-wing split in a special House race in New York last year.

Already-activated conservatives who rejected libe(R)al Dede Scozzafava when the New York GOP selected the RINO (and the clueless RNC sent her half a mil) were ready to rock when the word was sent out that Mass was in play and Brown was underfunded by the party!

NY Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman – the grassroots’ choice – nearly won, but was hampered when Dede quit and threw her rapidly-eroding support to Dem Bill Owens. Owens’ win turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory; the Congressional seat thought to be the key to blocking ObamaCare was lost, but the Senate seat that will kill it was won!

“A damaging right-wing split?” Giving Chuckles Babington the benefit of the doubt that he isn’t knowingly giving us a line of carpola: If he knew what he was talking about he would know the reason Brown won is because of the New York race! It gave confidence to rank-and-file conservatives that they could succeed where the GOP failed!

L.N. Smithee on January 24, 2010 at 1:40 AM

Two can play at this game: The low-life reprobates from the far-left national socialist wing of the Donks should be labeled “Fisters”

Chip on January 25, 2010 at 2:14 PM