Dumping on the Tea Parties

Jacob Laksin is a senior writer for Front Page Magazine. He is co-author, with David Horowitz, of The New Leviathan (Crown Forum, 2012), and One-Party Classroom (Crown Forum, 2009). Email him at jlaksin@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @jlaksin.


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The midterm elections are still months away, but the New York Times is in full campaign mode.

One of the outstanding questions of the 2010 political season is whether Tea Party candidates can translate their grassroots appeal into Election Day success. But that’s not the kind of question that seems to inform the Times’ slanted coverage of Tea Party candidates, whom the paper is prepared to write off as a lost cause.

A particularly glaring example of the Times’ penchant for dumping on Tea Party candidates was its “reporting” – the term must be used loosely – this week on Sharron Angle, the Tea Party favorite seeking to oust Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada. Polls actually show Angle in a statistical dead heat with the embattled Reid – some surveys even show Angle up by a few percentage points – but one would scarcely guess it from the Timescoverage, where the Angle campaign is cast as a scrambling wreck-in-progress and Angle herself is dismissed as a gaff-prone political novice who has ruined her chances to win with a series of ill-judged and extreme comments.

To be sure, Angle, who went from relative unknown to winning the Republican nomination in the span of just three months, is a newcomer on the big political stage, with all the attendant turbulence of her rapid ascent. But the image of Angle as an incompetent who risks throwing away a close race is singularly misleading. To make that case, the Times had to rely solely on sources with an anti-Angle ax to grind. Among those quoted in the Times’ story were Danny Tarkanian, a Republican who lost to Angle in the primary; Jon Ralston, a political columnist for the Las Vegas Sun who has called Angle’s campaign “nothing short of a disaster”; and Harry Reid himself. Not one of these sources, it goes nearly without saying, could be considered an objective observer of Angle’s campaign.

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  • Philosopherking

    I think it is going to be tough for tparty people to win. I would suggest watering down the other side's enthusiasm by pointing out the rightward shift Reid and others have made. Their base will lose support for them.

  • therealend

    Let Harry Reid do all the worrying.

  • guest

    Look at:

    puffiewarning.wordpress.com

    Be sure to look at the Archives

    Is this what some of the Reid supporters are
    planning? Are some of his supporters
    putting in a powder they call "Jock Strap"?

    Is their budget about $25,000 to allow sending
    20,000 Puffies to you, your offices, and the
    homes of your supporters?

  • JBBooks

    All the news that's fit to spin.

  • Lary9

    ~quoted~ "Polls actually show Angle in a statistical dead heat with the embattled Reid – some surveys even show Angle up by a few percentage points – but one would scarcely guess it from the Times’ coverage…"
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A statistical dead heat in a closing race is sometimes as much as a couple of %pts. After having checked my polls survey [about 75 major polls], I find that Angle is ahead in The Rasmussen Poll and I believe one more but trailing in ALL the others—true some are only a couple of %pts. With an error of plus/minus 4%, I guess that's a statistical dead heat. Amazingly, I'm defending the NYT. An unfamiliar role. The NYTimes' editorial cant is shifting. They're gettin' old….can't trust the liberal home team anymore….they're going rogue!

  • nojihad

    Sharon's got MY vote! She's FAR better looking than Babe Reid. Éamonn, Dublin, Ireland.

  • nojihad

    They say it's de rodent! Éamonn, Dublin, Ireland.

  • 080

    In calling the NY Times a "shameless shill" you misspelled shill.

  • Reason_For_Life

    This is a very good article about the Times' inability to be objective about anything.

    However, Angle will lose to Reid no matter what the Times says or does.

    Nevada is suffering a world of hurt and despite the fact that Democrats and Reid are primarily responsible for it Nevadans know that a rookie Senator in a Senate dominated by liberals and progressives will absolutely impotent. Angle doesn't even get respect from her own party. That's not a knock on Angle, that's a knock on Republicans who are the only invertebrates capable of speech.

    Nevadans will ultimately support Reid because they will be told, in no uncertain terms, that if Reid is not elected Nevada will be starved to death by those doling out Federal largess.

    Maybe Nevada will have the courage to dump that pathetic excuse for a majority leader and risk a very painful two years in the hope that Obama and company will be sent packing in 2012, but don't bet on it.

  • ivanvivian

    I placed New York Times sheets at the bootom of my cockatiel's cage. The next day she was dead, with a note on her chest, "Did you have to place this propganda poison in my cage? Now look what you've done!"

  • jacob

    Regardless of what this cesspool of a NY TIMES which many N.Yorkers hold more sacred than the Bible, DEMOCRAPS have shown to be good for nothing and people, NEVADANS INCLUDED, must be sick and tired already of their President's "CHANGE" nothing more than a jump off the frying pan and into the fire…

    The damage done to this country by liberal politics such as that even whoever didn't have a pot to piss in and a window to throw it from was entitled to have his own house is what brought about this economic debacle and what this present administration is doing
    will saddle this country with a debt to the 7th generation Americans…

    We have to bring back the MADE IN USA tag as it was before and the hell with free trade
    Reduce the imports from CHINA and, if the competence is disloyal, jack up the import tariffs.
    It is ridiculous that even our babies do not come any longere from Paris as we were lead
    to belive as children but now from BEIJING….

  • kafirman

    Unlike the sophomoric and shill rag NYT, this is an article by an adult and for adults. Good job Mr. Laksin.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    NYT lost me as a reader years ago, leftist politics at the NYT
    doomed them as a viable magazine and discredited its
    writers and management beyond repair. What's left for
    them to do but spin for Democrats, degrade good
    candidates and be the useless rag they are………..William

  • Jim Johnson

    The biggest party in Nevada is not the tea party. It is the "Anybody But Harry" party.

    He has been throwing up cut and past out of context sound bites. She has been showing the economic record of Nevada since Harry was leader of the senate.

    She needs more such ads but with in the kitchen table setting. She needs the kind of ads Dick Morris excels at.

    She could also show that all the phony shovel ready jobs are nothing but red traffic cones put up for show but with no one working.