Mother Jones investigates Mark Meckler and Tea Party

Mother Jones has an article investigating county resident Mark Meckler and the Tea Party Patriots, titled “Is the Tea Party movement like a pyramid scheme?”

“One of the movement’s leaders, Mark Meckler, was once a top operator in a company accused of conning consumers. Is he applying the same tactics to the tea party?” the Mother Jones article states. The investigation is here.

It adds, “Meckler’s professional experience in the world of multilevel marketing seems to have translated quite well into the tea party movement.”

The reporting links to a post from this blog — Meckler seeking an appeal to local tea partiers asking for money. The original report was here.

The online article also linked to this post (and the resulting comments) from George Rebane’s blog, stating:

“The solicitation apparently raised some cash for the Mecklers, even while raising some eyebrows among local activists who, even without knowing about his MLM background, have begun raising red flags about what they see as Meckler’s keen interest in the tea party movement’s one real asset: its contact database.”

I found the Mother Jones article, because it was referring traffic to my blog this morning.

The Mother Jones report is from Stephanie Mencimer of the publication’s Washington bureau.

Why isn’t The Union digging deeper on Mark Meckler and the Tea Party? All I read are largely glowing reports, as I have reported in the past. They should at least be exploring the issue.

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 Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

23 thoughts on “Mother Jones investigates Mark Meckler and Tea Party”

  1. Recent articles and coverage in The Union, which became known to many as the Tea Party Gazette due to “glowing reports” for this group and its leaders in Nevada County, give me reason to think there may have been some modification in the editorial policies which have been in place there for some time. I would see a basis for this in the split in the Republican Party here, which can be traced back to the failure of the Bush/Cheny hard Right faction of the party (which morphed into the supposedly “grass roots, ” LOL , Tea Party movement) and the rise of moderate Republicans, a split which is very much to be seen in national politics as well as Nevada County’s. Perhaps decision makers at Swift have become aware of how political winds are blowing in Nevada County, and that is not to the far right, and being concerned about their bottom line, have sent out the word. Perhaps the recent resounding rejection of Tea Party candidate Pruett at the polls said something about the standing of Meckler and the Tea Party Patriots in the community here. Whatever, a change for The Union can only be for the good of Nevada County.

  2. “Why isn’t The Union digging deeper on Mark Meckler and the Tea Party?”

    That’s a rhetorical question, right?

  3. By the way, re the $10k grant that the NevCo TPP group announced they’d received, I called leader Stan Meckler & asked if the NCTPP had given up their mailing/contact list in exchange for the grant.
    He said
    a) no they hadn’t and
    b) he had no intention of telling me anything that’d make the TPP look bad.

  4. Jeff,

    I think you are missing the forest for the trees, and it may be just because you have a local angle.

    I honestly think that Mark’s claim to fame is he ability to speak in sound bites which has gotten him some good press coverage. He has NOT operationalized anything to impact the elections this year, has alienated a bunch of conservatives and even divided some in the Tea Party movement.

    Sal Russo and the Koch brothers have been much more involved and effective and that is where the national press has been focused as you have pointed out in other places.


  5. The Mother Jones article is an obvious hit piece that is intended to cast bad light on Mark Meckler and the Tea Party organizations, and is long on insinuation and completely devoid of verifiable evidence of wrong-doing on anybody’s part. I believe that bona fide journalists would be ashamed to consider this article an “investigation” and that presenting it as such strongly demonstrates the biases and ethics of the presenter.

  6. Jeff, Bard’s line concerning excessive protest crosses my mind every time you claim to be a moderate.

    I agree that the Mother Jones article is local news because Meckler resides in Nevada County but that does not change my assessment of calling it an investigation.

    You are absolutely correct that it is up to me to believe, like, or agree with the Mother Jones article, and I thank you for the opportunity you have provided for me to state my opinion concerning it.

    I was already aware of the article on Rebane’s Ruminations to which you provided reference but I thank you for it none the less.

  7. How convenient it was for you to not reveal who your have here improperly quoted. It was Mark Williams, who was invited to no longer be a Tea Party Patriots participant after having posted a racist opinion piece.

    To join Jeff Pelline in making a gender inappropriate reference to The Bard’s writing, it does seem that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

  8. Editor’s note: I found Mark Williams’ comment inappropriate, so I deleted it. This discussion is not about him. I’ve reported his Facebook page criticizing Meckler previously.

    On George Rebane’s blog, Barry Pruett points out that the story reads: “There’s no evidence that TPP is selling its contact lists.”

    On the other hand, he also should have added what the story says next: “But the Tea Party Patriots’ own privacy policy indicates that it has the option.”

    In short, we should let each reader look at the story and draw their own conclusions. It’s the American way.

    BTW, “The lady doth protest too much” is routinely applied to men and women. It is a famous phrase. To suggest otherwise is poppycock!

    1. Jeff,

      I will let you in on a little trade secret, especially with direct mail but very similar with the Internet:

      When you have a major operation there is a major list and that list is handled by someone “in the business.”

      So technically, the group or candidate does NOT sell or rent your list… It is the professional who “co-owns” the list that does so.

      This is true of the left and the right, and would be for those in the middle if they ever figure out how to produce a big list! 🙂


    2. Jeff,

      The “gender inappropriate” remark was intended only to ward off those who might accuse me of calling Williams a woman.

      I do wish that I had seen the Williams comment that you deleted as I suspect that it may have been in reply to my comment. I suspect the answer will be, “No,” but I’ll ask anyway. Will you please send me a copy of the deleted comment in email?

      1. Michael,
        LOL. No, it was not in reply to your comment. It was “cut and pasted” from George Rebane’s blog, where you can still find it.

  9. John,
    You are splitting hairs to try to win an argument. The smiley face is not persuasive either.
    And as you know, most of us are in the middle, which is why Meg is opposed to Prop. 23, just like Jerry.
    I don’t think California will drink much tea come Nov. 2.

    1. Jeff,

      I think it is splitting hairs which is why I made the point.

      My advise for anyone who does not want to be on lots of lists, don’t respond to mail or E-mail, even when it is just to say don’t send anything because then they know you are alive!

      Can you give me an example of a big political list that is in the middle?


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