Kerry: Media Should Deny Equal Time to Tea Party
posted at 3:16 pm on August 5, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
Massachusetts senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning to weigh in on the debt deal and the economy. During his appearance, Kerry shared his rather intriguing view that not all sides in the debate deserve to be heard.
This bizarre claim coming from a member of the political that professes to champion equality and tolerance is directed at the Democrats’ new Public Enemy Number 1, the Tea Party.
The reason the senator feels as he does is that the Tea Party’s ideas are simply too “absurd” for him or anyone else to take “seriously.” As he explains it:
And I have to tell you, I say this to you politely. The media in America has a bigger responsibility than it’s exercising today. The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion just because somebody asserts it or simply because somebody says something which everybody knows is not factual.
It doesn’t deserve the same credit as a legitimate idea about what you do. And the problem is everything is put into this tit-for-tat equal battle and America is losing any sense of what’s real, of who’s accountable, of who is not accountable, of who’s real, who isn’t, who’s serious, who isn’t?
I didn’t realize that Kerry has absolute control over the political conversation or was appointed arbiter of what is and isn’t serious enough to merit media coverage.
As to the senator’s characterization of the Tea Party, it might interest him to know that a pair of polls conducted in 2010
paint a revealing detailed portrait of Tea Party supporters in most ways as pretty average Americans…. Three national phone surveys of 1,000 registered voters found that 17% of all polled, or more than 500, called themselves “part of the Tea Party movement.”
That’s a hefty segment of the electorate that is not deserving of a public voice by Kerry’s lights. But there’s more:
The Tea Party adherents broke down 28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican….
A new Gallup Poll out this morning of 1,033 finds nothing fringe about self-proclaimed Tea Party adherents; they are slightly more likely to be employed, male and definitely more conservative. But otherwise Gallup’s Lydia Saad writes, ‘their age, educational background, employment status, and race—Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.’
Finally, is Sen. Kerry prepared to support every notion advanced by Democrats and/or liberals? It would seem that some of the more outrageous public statements by Rep. Dennis Kucinich alone would have Kerry thinking twice about who does and does get a media muzzle.
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