Alex Constantine - June 30, 2010
David Wiegel | Washington Post | June 17, 2010
Tea party groups are reacting strongly and negatively to MSNBC's documentary "The Rise of the New Right," hosted by Chris Matthews. Yesterday, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey expressed personal disgust with Matthews for lending his name to the project, which has enraged tea partyers by repeating charges that they "taunted" black members of Congress during the March 2010 health care vote, and that the militia movement is part of the broader tea party wave.
"He's a better person than that," Armey said. "What's he doing? He's given himself over to something. I like him, personally, but it was sort of like -- I had the feeling like my favorite nephew was doing something out of character. Chris, you're better than this."
Today, FreedomWorks is circulating a letter calling for a boycott of Dawn and Proctor and Gamble, asking tea partyers to "call, fax, or email" the company until it drops advertising during Hardball.
"These attacks are wrong, misleading and disingenuous," says Anna Puig of Kitchen Table Patriots in the statement. "The propaganda piece only serves a left-wing agenda, and I will do everything I can to convince Dawn to stop funding MSNBC’s lies. I'm asking Tea Party groups around the country to help us in this effort. Individual Tea Party members will be boycotting Dawn products until the company takes appropriate action regarding the decision to advertise during the Hardball hit piece, and ceases funding MSNBC.”
The National Tea Party federation is also pushing for a boycott of the show's advertisers. Both statements are below the fold.
(Bucks County, Penn.) -- Today a broad coalition of Tea Party groups fought back against a left-wing propaganda hit piece that aired on MSNBC on June 16th. The program “Rise of the New Right” was low-ball journalism at its worst. The program demonized and misrepresented the Tea Party movement. Chris Matthews and his Hardball program slandered the Tea Party movement, and misled the American people by distorting facts about the Tea Party movement, its motivations and it history. His editors selectively portrayed groups and individuals in the program in a bad light.
But Tea Party leaders from coast to coast are fighting back against the smears. Leaders of Kitchen Table Patriots, FreedomWorks, the National Tea Party Federation, and the American Grassroots Coalition are responding to this outrageous attack by a national cable television network by boycotting one of its sponsors, Dawn dish soap, and asking them to cut off their funding to MSNBC. Leaders and members of the Tea Party movement are showing unity in the face of these attacks by writing, calling and faxing the offices of Dawn (and its parent company Procter and Gamble) to ask them to stop subsidizing these vicious attacks by MSNBC and Chris Matthews.
Kitchen Table Patriots leader Ana Puig, who appeared in the piece, said, "These attacks are wrong, misleading and disingenuous. The propaganda piece only serves a left-wing agenda, and I will do everything I can to convince Dawn to stop funding MSNBC’s lies. I'm asking Tea Party groups around the country to help us in this effort. Individual Tea Party members will be boycotting Dawn products until the company takes appropriate action regarding the decision to advertise during the Hardball hit piece, and ceases funding MSNBC.”
FreedomWorks Grassroots Director Brendan Steinhauser added, "The Tea Party movement I know looks nothing like the one portrayed on MSNBC‘s Hardball. The movement is made up of good, hardworking, honest, smart people that love their country. It is a movement that reflects the best in America, and I will remind Dawn of this fact when I write my letter and make my phone calls."
Luke Livingston, Executive Producer of “Tea Party: The Documentary Film” responded,
“If Chris Matthews really wants to know what moves conservatives to action, all he needs to do is watch Tea Party: The Documentary Film. Our documentary goes beyond the hype and into the heart of this mainstream movement.”
Anastasia Przybylski, who also appeared in the hit piece, added, "Chris Matthews tried to connect the tea party movement with extremists from the past, and with the crazy 9-11 truthers of today. He failed. The show was disjointed and a ridiculous attempt to make the tea party movement look extremist. If MSNBC‘s ratings could go down any further, they would after this show."
The Tea Party coalition is asking local groups to call, fax or e-mail Dawn, and its parent company Proctor and Gamble. The coalition promises not to back down, but to keep the pressure on until Dawn cancels its funding for Hardball.