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The Santelli Tea Party Mob Grows

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted April 15, 2009




Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews may not be impressed with them, but the truth is it’s hard to keep a good grass roots movement down.

So whether the folks over at MSNBC approve of them or not, the tea party phenomena is growing today as taxpayers across the country vent their frustrations with bailouts, broken government, and deficit spending for as far as the eye can see.

Today, in more than 300 locations covering all 50 states tea parties have become the protest of choice for a growing legion of angry taxpayers. The “mad as hell” have decided to do more than just stew in private.

And while some in the media may believe that these folks are nothing more than your run of the mill crackpots, it is good to see that free speech is still alive and well in the land that has spent a good deal of blood and treasure defending it.

Of course, in some ways it all began with our friend Rick Santelli….

From the Business and Media Institute by Jeff Poor entitled: CNBC Asks Santelli to React to Tea Parties: ‘I’m Pretty Proud of This’

“While Fox News has celebrated the Taxpayer Tea Party rallies and MSNBC has denigrated them, the impetus of the movement – CNBC and specifically Rick Santelli, its inspiration – had been conspicuously quiet about it. 

But on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” April 15, co-host Joe Kernen asked Santelli what he thought of being a “cultural phenomenon.” That was the same show Santelli famously called out President Barack Obama for the unfairness of his housing bailout proposal on Feb. 19.

“A lot of articles about these tea parties,” Kernen said. “They all have your name in them, like you caused it. Are you actually attending any or are you just sort of got the idea going initially? What do you think? I mean, you’re like a cultural phenomenon at this point.” 

“I don’t know about cultural phenomenon, but I’ll tell you what,” Santelli said. “I think that this tea party phenomenon is steeped in American culture and steeped in American notion to get involved with what’s going on with our government. I haven’t organized. I’m going to have to work to pay my taxes, so I’m not going to be able to get away today. But, I have to tell you – I’m pretty proud of this.

He also said despite the claims from others in the media, including people at CNBC’s sister network MSNBC, calling the movement “Astroturf,” Santelli declared it a grassroots movement.

“I think from a grassroots standpoint, I’m sure some of the media out there is not going to peg it that way, but isn’t it about as American as it gets – for people to roll their strollers and make their signs and go voice their opinion about the direction of the country?” Santelli said. “Good, bad or indifferent – that’s a great thing. There’s not a lot of countries, of course, that afford their people that, that type of right. It’s a great thing.”

Here’s the rant that started it all…..


 It’s tax day. Do you know how deeply your government has buried you?


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