Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tea Party People: What's the Big Deal?

Corporate Media Hype Tea Partiers Way Beyond Their Actual Significance
By Juan Cole / February 17, 2010

Percentage of Americans who favor socialism: 20

Percentage of Americans involved in Tea Party Movement: 11

Number of mentions of "Tea Party" past month in Lexis radio and tv transcript search: 1042*

Number of mentions of "socialism" past month in Lexis radio and tv transcript search: 69+

Percentage of Americans who say it is unacceptable to take the Public Option out of the health care bill: 44

Number of mentions of the "public option" past month in Lexis radio and tv transcript search: 235

Only 9 percent of Tea Partiers are urban, whereas a majority of Americans are.

Tea partiers are half as big as proponents of socialism in the US body politic, but corporate media gives them 15 times more mention, and overwhelmingly more positive mention.

Although nearly one of every two Americans is committed to a public option in the health care bill, the public option received only 1/4 as many mentions in US mass media in the past month as Tea Partiers, who are supported by 1 in 9 Americans.


* Often corporate media transcripts show the tiny 'Tea Party' movement taken seriously, praised.

+ Most mentions of socialism, the political-economy preference of a fifth of Americans, in US corporate media are pejorative, occurring in stories about North Korea or China, or as insults directed at President Barack Obama. (In a recent Rasmussen poll, 52% of Americans supported capitalism and 20% supported socialism. Some 27% did not know which they supported.)

Source / Informed Comment

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