Tea party activists were none too pleased with Chris Matthew's MSNBC documentary, Rise of the New Right (part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) which premiered on Wednesday. In advance of its release earlier this week, Matthews said on his MSNBC blog that the documentary would "stun you with what's happening to this country. You'll never again believe that this so-called Tea Party movement is just about taxes, deficits or Obamacare."
Needless to say, tea partiers weren't happy and began calling for a boycott of MSNBC along with contacting sponsors and asking that they quit advertising on Matthews' Hardball program.
MSNBC used footage of actual tea party rallies and featured interviews with conservatives and tea party figures to illustrate the reality of the movement. If they feel viewers were left with the impression their movement is angry, violent, and extreme, they have no one to blame but themselves.
Politico's Keach Hagey reports that the boycott efforts of tea partiers and their allies are "not really working."
Sources at MSNBC told POLITICO that, so far, no stations have reported losing advertising as a result of the National Tea Party Federation's call yesterday for its members to pressure "Hardball" advertisers to pull out of the show.
That's not to say the call fell on deaf ears, however. "Although I don't have any direct evidence that the advertisers have pulled out, I have gotten an amazing amount of feedback from citizens – some were tea party people, some were not – that support our statement," said Christina Botteri, a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that FreedomWorks doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with its calls for supporters to boycott Procter and Gamble, makers of Dawn, one of Hardball's advertisers. "One day after 'tea party' activists called for boycotting Proctor and Gamble for its sponsorship of MSNBC's 'Hardball' -- boycotts prompted by the MSNBC documentary 'Rise of the New Right' -- it's not clear whether the boycott is having any effect. Proctor and Gamble has not responded to the effort yet (I've asked)," writes David Weigel.