The Union gushes on Tea Party, while a supporter calls for “hanging” Democratic senator

For the second day running, The Union has a front-page story on Mark Meckler and the Tea Party Patriots, splashed with big photos.

Meckler fans are pleased: “That article about you in The Union was AWESOME!!! Good job!!!” wrote one of Mark’s Facebook fans.

Sunday’s news story was a “softball” question-and-answer format (or Q&A), written by The Union’s publisher, who has supported the Tea Party in his columns over on the editorial page. In journalism circles, the Q&A format often is criticized, because it doesn’t allow for “follow up” questions or more in-depth questioning.

“He’s handsome, charismatic and intelligent,” Saturday’s story in The Union gushed about Meckler. “PATRIOT,” the Sunday story read in bold letters, adding: “Local attorney seeks return to founding principles in government.”

“I’m sick and tired of politicans who use race, economic status, social issues, and political parties to divide us,” Meckler tells The Union.

Many people are sick and tired of partisanship, too. Trouble is, they see the Tea Party as being one of the biggest culprits when it comes to partisanship, even making hateful statements.

One example: Last week a TV news station in Eastern Washington state filmed a Tea Party rally where the speaker said she wanted to “hang” Democratic U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington.

“How many of you have watched the movie Lonesome Dove?,” the woman said. “What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? (repeated) He got hung. And that’s what I want to do with Patty Murray.”

This is not an isolated incident. Tea Party activist Dale Robertson stirred up a controversy earlier this year when a photo of him surfaced carrying a sign with the “N-word” at a rally. The word was misspelled.

Meckler should have been asked about this kind of hatred, as well as his own email – first reported here – seeking money for his family via monthly PayPay installments.

“So much for the financial responsibility they preach,” resident Doug Keachie (who also is an avid reader of The Union) wrote on my blog. “Nothing like a panhandling patriot, to warm the cockles of your heart. What’s next, a cardboard sign next to a freeway onramp?”

In short, an interview with Meckler needs to cover all the bases.

The video is here:

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

9 thoughts on “The Union gushes on Tea Party, while a supporter calls for “hanging” Democratic senator”

  1. Puffy: Mark, you say you’re hurting financially. How much of your money do you think landed in Sarah Palin’s purse?

    Meckler: Um …

    Puff: You said, ‘I’m sick and tired of politicians who use race, economic status, social issues and political parties to divide us.’ Isn’t that a little ironic?

    Meckler: How do you mean?

    Puff: You say Rick Santelli’s tantrum sparked you. Really? The trillion-dollar, unnecessary Iraq War didn’t do it for you, eh? Or the wartime tax cut? It was really some frenzied guy on cable TV who got ticked off cuz people who were financially hurting (like you are now) might get a break while the CEOs would keep getting bonuses?

    Puff: Hey, I’ll be moderating your “forum” soon. What should I bring for snacks?

    Mark: Um …

  2. The more Ackerman pushes his right wing politics and his Tea Party cronies the more fed up I am with all of them.If the effort is aimed at converting the opposition, it is a major failure.They do not reflect the thinking of people in this county and they are simply preaching to the choir, which is the old extremist Republican establishment. They have little or no influence outside of Nevada County, as seen in the race where Horne was defeated by Dan Logue, who is perhaps just a bit more Republican than the bunch here,who are out on the edge, and little influence here anymore as they could not beat Obama and Charlie Brown, even with some pervert leaving a bleeding sheep’s head in the doorway of Democratic headquarters. And this wasn’t the first time such tactics were used. Latest is the lawsuit filed by the Tea Party candidate against the county and Greg Diaz, whose job he is trying to get.This is what is meant when Nevada Countians speak of the “old boy” network. Times have changed, but they are so out of touch they do no realize it.

    1. Pat,
      You are correct in your thinking about “out with the old and in with the new”. We can no longer afford the “good old boys” their antics. The world is screaming, thirsty, starved for something more. We hear it cry every day now. I believe that “something more” is a new consciousness, a new way of creating and manifesting a future that matters to us; Matters to us on a personal level, not just a political level, but rather, on a level of unification for all mankind. It is my belief that if we can harness the human potential that now exists we can completely transform personally and culturally in such a way that will leave every other revolution, since the beginning of time, in the dust. Our time is NOW!

  3. I think it is so sad that so many of you who preach tolerance then turn around and cast a broad brush at the Tea Party movement. You are being hypocrites. That New York Times piece was a hatchet job, but unfortunately the NY Times is not what it once was. We can easily find fringe elements in the Democrat and Republican parties as well and you know that. Yes, there have been some very inappropriate things said and one by some fringe elements of the “tea party” movement, but you can’t paint everyone that way.

    Is there something wrong with wanting —

    — a balanced budget
    — personal freedom
    — living within our means
    — a more limited government
    — living by the principles of our Constitution.

    Many of us are very upset by Bush’s leadership; but we also see Obama making it even worse.

    1. Once more time: where were the baggers 4,5,6,7 years ago when Bush threw these sacred items in the crapper?

      – a balanced budget
      – personal freedom
      – living within our means
      – a more limited government
      – living by the principles of our Constitution.

      Hmmm.

  4. I am all for a balanced budget–how are you going to balance it? What services are you going to cut? How will you make the trade offs?

    I believe in personal freedom–when will you be repealing the Patriot Act, enforcing the constitutional guarantee to trial by jury and honoring our commitment to the Geneva Conventions?

    I believe in living within our means–when will we be reducing our $950 billion defense budget that supports a Navy that is larger than the next 13 navies in the world combined (and 11 of the 13 are our allies)

    I believe in a more limited government–when will we be limiting corporate subsidies?

    and I believe in our constitution–all of our constitution–when will you be weighing the right to the general welfare against the second amendment and the right to privacy against the 10th amendment of states to invade privacy?

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