John King allows Dick Armey to pretend like the Republicans have not already co-opted the Tea Party movement and says they are "grassroots" because they don't have anyone in charge. Of course as Karoli pointed out the other day, we already know that's not true.
The Tea Party Express is not -- I repeat -- NOT a grass roots movement. It's a professionally coordinated corporate PR effort funded and founded by professional PR hacks, principally from the firm of Russo Marsh & Rogers (also known as King Media Group) in Sacramento, CA.
New FEC disclosures have just been filed, so let's have a look at the money trail.
The TeaParty Express is primarily a Howard Kaloogian project. Howard Kaloogian was featured in an earlier Crooks and Liars report on paid agitator Deborah Johns and in this report about bus tour co-sponsor, the BusBank, who was found negligent and responsible for the deaths of 23 passengers.
Or maybe you recall Kaloogian as one of the architects of the Gray Davis recall/Arnold Schwarzenegger coup of 2003.
According to the most recent Tea Party Express FEC disclosures (PDF), employees of the Tea Party Express include Mormon mom Tiffiny Reugner, Amy Kremer, former Tea Party Patriot, Marine Mom Deborah Johns, and Joe Weirzbicki. These are the paid hacks comprising the face of the "Tea Party Express" campaign. Read on...
And of course let's not forget Rachel Maddow's reporting on the topic. Rachel Maddow Recaps Her Coverage of the Astroturf Movement to Kill the Health Care Bill. These groups are not grassroots and John King knows it. Unfortunately CNN is getting about as bad as Fox with promoting them as Karoli noted in her post.