Stunning. It appears from Rachel Maddow's reporting that there's a larger story behind the Michelle Bachmann "Tea Party movement official response" to Obama's state of the union address. Turns out, "Tea Party" doesn't mean what you think it means; and neither does "movement."
According to Maddow, CNN has been working with Sal Russo, of the for-profit Republican consulting firm Russo Marsh & Rogers — Rachel used the words "merging" and "partnering" — in several Tea Party–related joint enterprises.
- One was the placement of "embedded" reporters on Russo's phony Tea Party Express bus tour (giving credibility to the bus tour and Fox-like publicity to CNN).
- One will be an upcoming jointly-hosted "first-of-its-kind Tea Party presidential primary debate" (giving same to same; note the Fox-ification of CNN in this).
- And one was the Michelle Bachmann–delivered "Tea Party movement official response" to Obama. Why was it "official"? Because CNN, who appear to have helped create it, said it was.
Go read the rest but as they pointed out, it will be interesting to see if there's any fallout or not from Rachel's reporting. Here's CNN's contact page if you want to express your displeasure to them. Whether they respond now that someone on another network has called them out for their behavior, who knows. Anyone think Kurtz will pick this up for his Sunday show? Or that Anderson Cooper will mention it in one of his "Keeping Them Honest" segments? We've been covering this at C&L for some time now and it hasn't stopped them from promoting the "tea party" yet.