Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement "both have far less
support in the country at large than a gullible Old Media seems to
understand or suggest," Time magazine senior political analyst Mark Halperin asserted on "The Page " while colleague Joe Klein, on Time's "Swampland" blog , showed fear of the supposedly impotent coalition as he denigrated her Saturday night convention speech as "anti-intellectual drivel," scolding as "anti-American" those dumb enough to like her:
Those who celebrate Sarah Palin's lack of knowledge as a form of "authenticity" superior to Barack Obama's gloriously American mongrel ethnicity and self-made intellectuality are representatives of a long-standing American theme - the celebration of sameness, and mediocrity, in a country that has succeeded brilliantly because of its diversity and restlessly eccentric genius. Happily, it has almost always been a losing theme. And, indeed, in the truest sense, it can be called anti-American.
Halperin, political director for ABC News until 2007, appeared on
the Sunday edition of ABC's World News where he insisted Palin and tea
partiers are "still not big enough or specific enough to do anything
but criticize Obama, criticize the government" and while "that creates
excitement," it's "not a national governing movement."
From the February 7 World News:
ANCHOR DAN HARRIS: Let me read to you something that you wrote on the Web. "Both the Tea Party and Sarah Palin," you wrote, "have far less support in the country at large than a gullible old media seems to understand or suggest." I assume that includes me. Elaborate on that.
MARK HALPERIN: Well, look. This is one of the biggest, most energized movements in America today, but that is not a lot of people. 600 people in a ballroom, even tens of millions, let's say she's got tens of millions of followers as does the Tea Party movement, that does not make a national winning coalition. She's got a lot of support. It creates a lot of energy. That's a huge strength for both her and the Tea Party movement, but it's still not big enough or specific enough to do anything but criticize Obama, criticize the government. That creates excitement, but again, it's not a national governing movement.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center