Tea Party Protest in Manhattan Calls Upon ‘Liberal Media’ to ‘Tell the Truth’

By Michael W. Chapman | October 20, 2010 | 6:42 PM EDT

Tea Party activist carries "Tell The Truth!" campaign sign -- "Don't Believe the Liberal Media!" -- at a protest outside the New York Times in Manhattan, Oct. 17, 2010.

(CNSNews.com) – Tea Party activists gathered outside the offices of the New York Times and NBC in Manhattan to protest what they see as a liberal bias at those news outlets. The activists said they were inspired to hold the event because of the Media Research Center’s (MRC) nationwide “Tell The Truth!” campaign, and some MRC members, including President Brent Bozell, attended the rally and spoke about bias in the media.

In explaining the reason for the protest, TeaParty365 said in a press release, “For years, the New York Times and NBC News have been pushing a partisan political agenda and calling it news. Whether on the Trillion Dollar Stimulus, a government takeover of your health care, welfare benefits for illegal aliens or hundreds of other issues, these liberal media outlets have been pushing an agenda in direct opposition to the widely held beliefs of the American People. This can’t go unchallenged any longer.”

The group’s executive director, Paul Affenita, told CNSNews.com, “The New York Times portrays us, the Tea Party, in a false manner. They make it sound like were some kind of fringe group, when we’re the exact opposite. And they do not discuss what is really happening with this country. They make it look as if Obama is giving us programs that are working, when they’re not – they’re bankrupting the nation.”

“A great example is the ‘shovel-ready jobs,’” said Affenita.  “Obama was hitting the message really hard, ‘We have shovel-ready jobs, we have shovel-ready jobs.’ But then recently he announced there were no shovel-ready jobs.”

“So if the media, instead of just regurgitating the talking points of the Democratic Party and Obama, actually did their job, then people could get the truth,” he said. “And once they got the truth, we feel they could make the right decisions when voting.”

About 175 people attended the protest, which started outside the headquarters of the New York Times on Sunday at 2:00 P.M. and then moved to outside of the NBC headquarters at Rockefeller Plaza.

The MRC, the parent organization of CNSNews.com, was invited to participate in the protest by TeaParty365 and its founder, David Webb. At the event, activists carried MRC signs addressed to the New York Times and NBC that read, “Stop the Liberal Bias, Tell the Truth!” and “Don’t Believe the Liberal Media!”

Some protestors carried the American flag and there were homemade signs that read, “Honest Journalism Is Dead,” and “News Organizations Are Supposed To Be Watchdogs – Not Attack Dogs.”

MRC President Brent Bozell speaks with protesters outside the New York Times in Manhattan, Oct. 17, 2010.

The MRC is a conservative watchdog group that analyzes the major media for liberal bias. Its “Tell The Truth!” campaign was launched in September and will continue until the end of the year. The group is utilizing mobile billboard trucks, ads on talk radio and on Web sites, billboard advertising in 9 major cities, an online petition, bumper stickers, and three planned television ads to spread its message.

At the protest, MRC President Brent Bozell criticized the major media’s coverage of the Tea Party movement and of conservatives.  In an interview with a “new media” outlet, PSCTV Online, at the event, Bozell said that he was bringing “a simple message to the New York Times, to NBC, to ABC, to CNN, to CBS: Tell the truth! Stop distorting news! Stop misrepresenting things! Stop attacking the Tea Party! Stop slandering conservatives! Start telling the truth!”

Bozell also noted that while the major media and the news networks in particular still have massive audiences nationwide, they are suffering because of their liberal biases.

“Their audiences are leaving -- NBC, CBS, ABC – their audiences have been cut in half,” said Bozell.  “Their revenues have been cut in half. They’re all in desperate trouble. Our suggestion to them is, you could automatically double or triple your audience if conservatives came back to you. They [conservatives] left you because they don’t believe you. Start telling the truth, you’ll get your audience back.”

Paul Affenita echoed that sentiment, saying that the revenue for the New York Times and NBC, as well as the other networks is down largely because of the influence of the new media: the Internet, Web sites, bloggers, cable TV, and talk radio.

“This is allowing the Tea Party movement to grow,” said Affenita, “and I think this is why Obama is not succeeding like the way FDR did because FDR, in those days, they only had to control the radio networks and the newspapers, which were pretty much the controlling gate-keepers [for news].”

“But now, because there are so many avenues to get information, through the Internet, talk radio, cable news, things of that nature, people are able to get the truth,” said Affenita. “And the old guard, if you will, the media, can’t control the message anymore.”

Bozell said, “I don’t have a problem with a liberal being in the news media. I really don’t. Everybody has their opinions. What you have to do is learn to keep your opinions in check. If I were hired by the New York Times as a newsman, first thing I’d do is go to confession – but if I were hired, the first thing I’d do is recognize my own biases, and then set out to balance them by incorporating another world view alongside mine. What they do is because they think their own world view is moderate, they don’t care about anybody else’s -- they just go with their world view.”

"Tell the Truth!" campaign signs carried by protesters outside the New York Times in Manhattan, Oct. 17, 2010.

Bozell then noted that NYT columnist Paul Krugman, a Keynesian economist, recently wrote a piece attacking the Tea Party in which he described President Obama as a centrist and a moderate.

“Now, Barack Obama, without question, is the single most radical president in the history of the United States of America,” said Bozell. “Roosevelt and everybody else takes a back seat to this man. So for this man [Krugman] to say that, you have to ask yourself, ‘Is he just a boldfaced liar?’ The answer is, no, he’s not a boldfaced liar."

“He really believes it,” said Bozell. “Why? Because he thinks the same way and he thinks he’s a moderate.” 

“He thinks he’s a moderate because he hangs out, socially and professionally, with a class of people that all feel the same way, they all think the same way,” said Bozell. “None of them has gone to America. They need to go get on a plane and go to Des Moines, go to Dallas, go to Pittsburgh, go visit America and they’ll find that there’s a completely different world out there. That’s why when they see the Tea Party, they say, ‘My gosh, the peasants, they’re out there.’ That’s why they look down on this movement.”

“With respect to the Tea Party, we are focused on fiscal responsibility and constitutional government,” said Affenita, adding that with this rally, “people are aware and the media are aware that we do know what’s going on.”

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“And being in the Tea Party,” he said, “we like to be in these so-called progressive or leftist areas because we’re right in their face. We’re not going anywhere. We’re taking the battle to their homeland.”

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman