This piece of animation seems to have stirred up some serious outrage amongst members of the tea-bagger movement:
NPR's "Political Junkie" Ken Rudin shed some light on how this was amped-up by a man who is no stranger to having his stories linked with death-threats: Bill O'Reilly.
Bill O'Reilly, host of the fair and balanced O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, was, as he often is, exercised by something to do with NPR. In this particular case -- which aired yesterday -- he was displeased with a cartoon on the NPR Web site by independent syndicated columnist Mark Fiore entitled "Learn to Speak Tea Bag." (Fiore's cartoons have appeared on our Web site in the past.) I hadn't previously seen the Tea Bag cartoon, or any of his stuff, but I've watched it now. (For the record, it appeared back in November.) In my view, this particular cartoon was not especially funny, clever or subtle -- certainly not subtle. But it is, after all, labeled "opinion," and there's no mistaking that's what it is. The NPR Web site, for anyone who has looked at it, includes opinion from the left and right, and shades in between. That's why it's a must-see every day.
The death threats leveled against Mark Fiore remind me quite a bit of death threats against the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. The only difference between that story and this one is that conservatives rallied to defend Westergaard.
The loudest voice was that of Michelle Malkin.
How about kicking off the New Year with a stark reminder that jihadists don’t just hate us because of Iraq and Afghanistan? The Religion of Perpetual Outrage hates all infidels. The targeting of the Danish Mohammed cartoonists is a lingering pretext to demonstrate that centuries-old, Koran-inspired hatred. If it isn’t cartoons, it’s always something else. From fresco rage to book rage to film rage to beauty pageant rage to Koran-dropping rage to cartoon rage to Pope rage, to ceramic Mohammed bobbleheads, it never ends.
Keep all that in mind as you read the latest on the attack against Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard
I wonder what she has to say about the "tea-bagger" piece from Fiore? As of right now, there's nothing on her site about this, but considering that those that refer to Malkin as "The Boss" have already tackled this from the "your tax dollars hard at work" angle, I'm pretty sure they are going to say away from the death-threat issue right now until they can find a sufficient way to spin it.
Fiore seems to be taking this all in stride as he responds to the complaints and threats on his site:
“Learn to Speak Tea Bag” ran on my usual client sites, including NPR, which really set off the guys over here, here (note Condi giving child flowers down by "donate" button), here, here and here. Before you could say, “due to a pre-existing condition, your health coverage has been denied,” there was a full-fledged viral campaign by right-wing media outlets and blogs to jump, scream and shout about this animation. Which, to me, is just great!
I say that not because I get some thrill out of receiving emails that are in all capital letters or have more exclamation points than letters in the alphabet, I say that because one of the most important functions of a political cartoon, or political animation, is to foster a discussion. With thousands of comments posted, loads of emails and tweets, discussion was definitely fostered, and then some. It’s the “then some” that worries me.
This cartoon, as reported by greendem over at DailyKos, has drawn the ire and outrage of the good people over at Brietbart's "BigGovernemnt". Considering Andrew's continual spots on Fox"News" after the ACORN affair, I'm sure that we'll be hearing more about this cartoon on America's "fair and balanced" network.
The tea party movement seems to perpetually be in the cross hairs of the Left’s most insidious propaganda artists. A post on taxpayer subsidized NPR’s blog that’s getting some attention this week features a video by Mark Fiore entitled “Learn to Speak Tea Bag.” The cartoon gives mock step-by-step instructions on what Fiore believes is the modus operandi of tea party activists. Fiore unintentionally serves up a nearly all-inclusive package on all that is dishonest and malicious about the Left’s continued campaign to discredit this wildly popular grassroots force.
Fiore’s isn’t the first and likely won’t be the last tea party hit job. Everyone from the President to “mainstream” media commentators have joined in since the movement’s inception in February 2009. This multifaceted attack on the tea party movement has revealed an interesting trend that mirrors the evolving tactics of a maladjusted, intellectual deficient schoolboy bully.
I'm still trying to figure out why conservatives are thinking this was a piece contracted by NPR. Fiore explains on his site that this was used by multiple sources. After all, Fox"News" has Mara Liason and Juan Williams on their payroll as well, so there's quite the double-standard happening here.
The thin-skinned nature of conservatives shows that they have little ability to respond to situations without resorting to extremes. People like Ann Coulter talk about the eternal "victimhood" status of Liberals/Progressives, but that seems to be more projection than anything else. Is the rage emanating from the modern conservative movement indicative of their lack of creativity, sense of humor, or is it something much more substantive - that they know they'll never be able to win an argument considering their perspective is so skewed and not framed within the reality of our times?