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: