‘Scammy’ Tea Party Convention Plans Media Blackout
January 12, 2010
(ChattahBox)—The teabaggers are a paranoid bunch. Tea Party Nation, the group planning an upcoming tea party national convention, recently sent out an email blast warning members to beware of “liberal trolls” invading its site to disrupt their “dialogue against liberalism. The email claimed that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tried to join the group, but she was immediately banned. “You can and will be banned for being a liberal,” said the email. Well, Rachel Maddow didn’t try to join the tea party’s listserv, believing the accusation to be a publicity stunt. Tea Party Nation then sent out another email warning about disruptive liberal spies, claiming that liberals have joined their group “en masse” and have uploaded porn.
In light of all of this recent paranoia, it’s not surprising to learn that the Tea Party’s first national convention will be closed to the press, with only a limited number of “selected” journalists to be given access.
According to The Washington Independent, the speeches of Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will be completely blocked from all press coverage. And for the few right-wing reporters awarded access, even lame-sounding break out sessions are banning media coverage.
Convention spokesman Judson Phillips told Minnesota’s Star Tribune that most of the sessions are closed “at the request” of the presenters. “Given the media interest, I don’t want the sessions disrupted and overrun with the media,” he said. Michele Bachmann’s hometown paper was denied access.
The secretive teabagger convention will be held in Nashville next month at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Tickets are a whopping $500.00 per person, not including the additional costs of travel and a hotel. In an unusual move for a national convention of a political party, besides banning the press, the for-profit group organizing the convention, Tea Party Nation, plans to make money off of the event.
And even some conservatives are starting to question the motives of the profit driven and press-banning convention organizers. RedState founder Erick Erickson wrote, “I think this national tea party convention smells scammy.” And Erickson didn’t end his criticisms there:
“Let me be blunt: charging people $500.00 plus the costs of travel and lodging to go to a “National Tea Party Convention” run by a for profit group no one has ever heard of sounds as credible as an email from Nigeria promising me a million bucks if I fork over my bank account number.”
Steve Benen of the Political Animal wondered what the teabaggers are hiding:
“But for the most part, this will likely be the first ever national political convention held in secret. Given all of last week’s bitter complaining about health care policy negotiators working out their differences in private, I suppose the obvious question is, “What do the Teabaggers have to hide?”