The Christian Science Merrimac and the Christian Science Monitor

In the end, the Narrative held sway over all.  Edgar Allen Poenot:

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Narrative. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the talking heads in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the Gay. And the flames of the internets expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Narrative held illimitable dominion over all.

The Narrative?

Well, let the Christian Science Monitor decorate the stage of our fatal revels:

What is the ‘tea party’ and how is it shaking up American politics?

Here’s your guide to FAQs about the tea party: What is the tea party? How did the movement get started? Could it determine the balance of congressional power?


FreedomWorks, chaired by former US House majority leader Dick Armey, claims “hundreds of thousands of grassroots volunteers nationwide.” FreedomWorks goes back to 1984, but has become a major source of the tea party movement’s promotion and activities. It was an organizer of last Sunday’s Taxpayer March on Washington.


The Tea Party Express, based in Sacramento, Calif., was a major force behind the Republican primary victories of Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska, and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. It was also a major donor to Scott Brown’s successful campaign for US Senate in Massachusetts.


Meanwhile, a clearer picture of tea partyers is emerging.

In March, the Sam Adams Alliance, a Chicago-based nonprofit, issued a report based on a national survey of the tea party movement, its leaders, and their motivations.

Among the findings


More recently, the Sam Adams Alliance reports that significant numbers of newcomers to the tea party movement are dropping their affiliation with the GOP: Forty-seven percent changed their political affiliation to “Independent/unaffiliated,” 20 percent changed to “other,” 20 percent to “Tea Party,” and 13 percent to “Libertarian.”

Oh. Dear. Ghod.

Look: I’ve been covering this whole astroturf mess since at LEAST 2005. And I don’t expect that anyone will have heard me. BUT, the whole Koch-Freedomworks/Americans for Prosperity connection has been out there on Rachel Maddow, Olbermann, various other newspapers, etc. etc. etc. including Crooks and Liars:

and this:

Note: ALA, Sam Adams Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, American Majority (Am)

And the whole cynical, corrupt NATURE of the “Tea Party Express” out of an old GOP political shop in Sacramento, California was “smoking gunned”  by Kenneth Vogel of Politico, and completely IGNORED by the Narrative media talking heads.


And I’ve covered the “Sam Adams Alliance” since it was formed out of Americans for Limited Government board members and employees in Chicago in the days immediately preceding the 2006 election. November 14, 2006:

And add the Sam Adams Alliance, also formed at the end of the campaign, but evidently cooked up or finalized at the A[mericans for] L[imited] G[overnment’s] Action Conference (Today, it says: “ARRIVING ON THE WEB IN JANUARY 2007” On November 8, it stated “Arriving on the web in 68 Days”)

The Huffington Post‘s Alex Brandt-Zawadski extensively covered the genesis of the first “Tea Party” website registered on the same day as Rick Santelli’s infamous rant from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on CNBC.

[See here for his reporting. It’s a LONG list.]

Registered by the Sam Adams Alliance’s “new media” staffer*.

[* Who’s now got his OWN astroturf, deep-pockets organization, renting the old Über Libertarian domain

Checks Payable to Americans for New Leadership
P.O. Box 80252
Las Vegas, NV 89180 | Las Vegas, NV | 702-430-9660
Paid for by Americans for New Leadership

That’s the footer of Eric Odom‘s regular mailing list promo letters, of course. As 30 seconds on Google will turn up. Good lord.]

The point is that when the fundamental “facts” upon which this entire phony narrative about “Tea Party Victories” and the “Magic” of Sarah Palin turn out to be demonstrably FALSE, WHY do they keep repeating the false narrative? Why these endless crocodile tears expended on what are fundamentally three or four astroturf organizations with deep, anonymous pockets running a media circus to distract us from the REAL narrative:

This election is for sale, and the amounts of hidden money slushing around through anonymous donor organizations is already obscene. (And rapidly ascending to obscener?)

Our entire political system is on the (wholesale) auction block, and “We The People” have got very little cash for an off year election.

I mentioned — satirically, I thought — that while a friend was right that his research was out there for anyone who wanted to Google it, that didn’t mean that JOURNALISTS would take the 15 seconds it would need to see WHO Freedomworks, the Tea Party Express and the Sam Adams Alliance were. I didn’t expect to be proven right the selfsame day.

The Christian Science Monitor wrote what they call a “FAQ” about the Tea Party Movement that is demonstrably false. False in a well-known and well-covered manner. But the “Narrative” has evidently hypnotized them in that favorite GOP tactic: The first impression, EVEN THOUGH IT’S GARBAGE, is the only impression that is retained, even though it churns out a NARRATIVE THAT IS GARBAGE.  GIGO = GARBAGE IN: GARBAGE OUT.

A computer acronym going back to the age of punch cards and mainframes. If you feed in false and ridiculous data, that’s what comes back out.

The trope of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” was not chosen lightly: falsehoods and lies and masquerades are to the body politic precisely what the Red Death was to the physical body, a deadly plague. And while we dance our “Tea Party” narrative, those selfsame shady money men and their political money launderers are purchasing the last vestiges of our free election system.

Where the hell is THAT narrative?

The connection between the Merrimac and the Monitor was that both warships were sheathed in heavy metal armor. Their famous duel mainly consisted of each other’s shells bouncing off their targets. Ditto the brain-pan of the CS Merrimac and the CS Monitor, except that they seem armored to reject the heavy “projectiles” of fact bouncing off their crania to Preserve the Narrative. Good lord.

[Synchronicity Note: as I finish linking this, the callers to NPR’s On Point are asking about the astroturf, the Kochs, etc. but the Pundits are stubbornly — almost peevishly — sticking to the Narrative.]


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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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4 Responses to The Christian Science Merrimac and the Christian Science Monitor

  1. Hart

    I live on the Merrimack River in MA, and ironically there is quite a bit of Tea Party support around here.

  2. Hart Williams says:

    I think that they’re just old Ross Perotistas on Viagra®.

    The rest, as Hamlet said (almost) is hype.

  3. I hope that’s all they are. I am concerned about Congressman John Tierney’s opponent up here. He’s been very visible since Scott Brown trounced Coakley. I saw that coming and I hope I am not right in my concern now.

  4. Hart Williams says:

    The key in this election is going to be turnout. If the Democrats stay home, it will be a bloodbath. If not, the Tea Party effect may well be more dangerous to the GOP than to the Democratic candidates.

    Sadly, we have one of the most ill-educated, uninformed electorates of all time, and the “message” isn’t getting out. I don’t know what to do about that.

    As with the Tea Party, there’s a whole mass of voters who think that Obama and the Democrats were supposed to magically fix — overnight — 30 years of GOP depredations, of neglect and of bad laws (like the Patriot Act).

    I have seen virtually no one making the point that over 400 bills passed by the House are being sat on in the Senate by GOP obstructionism. There is the change we voted for. We ought to be able to affix the blame where it belongs, but we don’t.