This weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, there’s a national political convention going on. Of course, you wouldn’t know it if you watched the evening news, read the morning paper, or listened to the radio, but several hundred Coffee Party activists are gathered right now for their first-ever convention. And the media coverage is…basically non-existent, so far at least. In fact, I just did a Google search for “coffee party convention,” and basically got nothing from the “mainstream media,” other than a few local stations. I also got an article on the right-wing Big Government wsbsite, asking “Who Put the Prozac in the Coffee Party Convention?”, and another article from something called the California Independent Voter, “All (unintentionally) quiet on the Coffee Party front.”
That’s about it in the last few weeks. No NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NPR, PBS, USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, AP, or just about any other major media outlet. Basically, it’s a full-fledged media blackout of the Coffee Party convention. Oh, that liberal media!
In stark contrast, coverage of the first “Tea Party” convention, held last February in Nashville, Tennessee, was enormous, breathless, and pretty much wall-to-wall. Do a Google search on “Tea Party convention” and “Nashville” and watch as hundreds of thousands of results pop up on your screen. That included coverage by Fox News, CNN, and Reuters TV, among many many other media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and pretty much…well, everybody. All to cover about 600 “delegates,” far fewer than the 2,100 or so that participated in this year’s Netroots Nation gathering, for instance (although more than the approximately 350 attending the Coffee Party convention).
Of course, none of this is anything new for the so-called “liberal media.” For instance, check this out:
So it came as little surprise that the Tea Party Convention this February would get more coverage than the June U.S. Social Forum, five days of strategizing, organizing and activism inspired by the World Social Forum launched in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2001. What was a little shocking, though, was just how stark the difference was.
The Social Forum, in Detroit, drew an estimated 15,000-20,000 progressive activists from around the country, while the Tea Party Convention in Nashville hosted a meager 600 attendees. Two activist gatherings striving for political and social change, one at least 25 times larger than the other-but the smaller one got all the media coverage. Across 10 major national outlets in the two weeks surrounding each event, the Tea Party got 177 mentions to the Social Forum’s three. (Per participant, the Tea Party got 1,500 times as many mentions.)
Also, look at the coverage bestowed upon Glenn Beck’s 9/12 rally, which had attendance of 87,000 people, compared to the media’s coverage of the pro-immigration-reform “March for America” (200,000 attending), the pro-choice “March for Women’s Lives” (500,000-1.1 million), an anti-war demonstration on January 18, 2003 (100,000-200,000), the March on Washington for Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation (300,000), and many others not sponsored by Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck.
Meanwhile, the Coffee Party blackout continues, as the media continues to push its chosen narrative of conservatism ascendant, Democrats in disarray, the Tea Party triumphant, blah blah blah. It would be laughable if it weren’t so harmful. Thank you, “lamestream media,” for once again living up to your nickname!