As if the up-for-sale newspaper's coverage of the Tea party movement wasn't enough of a love letter, the Washington Times is offering up web space for a new blog devoted entirely to the movement under the title "Tea Party Report."
Tellingly, the new endeavor is described thusly:
Real news, opinion and true-life tales from everyday Americans on the frontlines of the Tea Party Movement. This is your story.
That should give you all that you need to know about the blog's objectivity. So, what should readers of the "Tea Party Report"expect?
Mediaite.com's Tommy Christopher reports on one of the new blog's contributors:
According to a press release, self-described "Tea Party Founder" Dale Robertson has joined the Washington Times' "Tea Party Report" blog. Robertson, you may recall, was thrust back into the limelight in March, when he was quoted by the paper as never having seen any racial slurs at Tea Parties, despite having been photographed holding a sign that featured the N-word. He told us the photo was a fake, which our expert then disputed, before a sea of journalists came forward to point out that Robertson had already admitted to holding the sign. Update: The Times has pulled the column, but Robertson has also popped up on The Hill.
Christopher then posted an updates to his initial piece:
Earlier today, we reported that Dale Robertson, the self-styled "Tea Party Founder" who's infamous for being photographed holding a sign featuring the n-word, is touting himself as a columnist for The Washington Times' Tea Party Report blog. Now, following publicity from this blog and several others, it appears the Times has pulled Robertson's column.
DISCLAIMER: The Tea Party Reports is edited by Bill Kelly and Laura Grock and features numerous independent voices in today's Tea Party movement. Tea Party guest submitters are in no way affiliated with The Washington Times and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person other than the contributor (- 5/21/2010).
Update 2: A spokesperson for the Tea Party Report tells me that they have no official relationship with Dale Robertson, and have asked his PR flack to stop "misrepresenting" this. The Tea Party Report staff, she informs me, are also not employees of the Washington Times. The paper simply provides them space to publish their blog.
In summary: A right-wing newspaper owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon who likes to think of himself as the returned son of god is offering up space on its website for what amounts to be little more than a Tea party fanzine where people like Dale Robertson are considered appropriate contributors.
Ladies and gentlemen, behold "conservative journalism."