The Republican Tea Parties have had some mixed results today attendance wise, but CNN reporter Susan Roesgen tried to interview the crowd in Chicago, and things got a little ugly, but what did she expect from a Fox News promoted event?
Here is the video:
Notice how as she is doing her interview with a man who goes on a rambling tirade about Lincoln, the crowd starts to close in on her. She was wise to send it back to the studio, and get the heck out of there. Someone in the crowd shouted, “You’re not a reporter.”
Roesgen said, “I think you get the general tenor of this. It’s anti-government, anti-CNN since this is highly promoted by the right-wing conservative network Fox.” She also said that she was throwing it back to the studio because this was not really family viewing. Check out the guy in the background, waving to the camera.
If you consider the amount of hype and money that has been put into this, attendance has been small. In Philadelphia 200 people showed up for the protest. In Washington, D.C., 500 people showed up, and the group did not get to do their big symbolic million tea bag gesture, because they didn’t have a permit. In Cincinnati, attendance was estimated to be 3,000. The cities where Fox News will be broadcasting from today are expected to have big crowds. Sean Hannity will be in Atlanta, which is expecting a crowd of over 10,000.
Fox News has been saying all day on the air that “ten of thousands” of people are protesting. If that is the case, then this protest will be a disappointment. This event was a test run for the Republican Party’s grass roots network, and if they can’t draw hundreds of thousands of people, especially with the endless promotion given to it by FNC, then they still have a lot of work ahead of them. The event was also a test run for the tax issue in 2010 and 2012, and so far it is looking like most people don’t care.
The protests could draw well as people get off work, but so far it has played out as expected. Attendance will be best in Republican strongholds. The logic of protesting a popular president, and an issue most people don’t care about, is dubious at best. This whole tea party movement feels contrived forced. Much like the Republican Party, the tea parties are out of step with the mood of the country.