While reporting on the Tea Party rally in Boston today for FNC’s America Live, Fox News reporter Molly Line tried to spin away the fact that Sen. Scott Brown decided to not to show up at the rally and associate with the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. Line said, “Tea Partiers gave him some credit actually for not coming here today.” Only at a rally led by Palin and Fox would Brown get credit for not showing up.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
On the topic of Brown, Molly Line said, “Tea Partiers, you know gave him some credit for not coming here today. You would think a lot of them would be offended, but there were folks here saying that because he is a newly minted, newly elected official, a Republican in Massachusetts, a predominantly Blue state, that he kind of has to stand his ground, stay away, and they mentioned on stage today as well, some of the activists saying, hey, at least he is in Washington doing his job. The job that he was elected to do. Although some people do contribute or credit the Tea Party with helping Scott Brown get elected. He wasn’t here today, but some of them said that he was here in spirit at least.”
I would suggest that Scott Brown is doing a little bit more than distancing. His only statement on the rally came from his spokesman Felix Browne who said that the senator, applauds the “energy and enthusiasm” that Palin and the Tea Party bring to the GOP. Instead of offering some ringing statement of endorsement for the Tea Party, Brown put out a generic statement that could apply to any Republican organization. I don’t think Brown is distancing from the Tea Party. He is throwing his arms up in the air and running in the other direction.
The Tea Party members have been hanging on to the myth that Scott Brown is in the Senate to undo Ted Kennedy’s legacy, but except for opposing the health care reform bill, what has he done that undoes the Kennedy legacy? Brown voted for the jobs bill. He was one of four Republican senators who broke the GOP filibuster on the most recent unemployment benefits extension. Fox News and the Tea Party are kidding themselves if they think that this man is going to do anything that could jeopardize his senate seat.
Scott Brown appears to have used the Tea Party movement as an outside source of funds for the campaign, and now that he is in, he wants nothing to do with them. However it is clear from the rhetoric on Fox that Brown is with them in spirit that the Tea Party is not going to let him walk away. They are going to keep claiming ownership of him until he burns every single bridge behind him. Fox News confirmed that the Tea Party is political poison, as soon as they offered up the excuse that it is best for Brown if he is not seen with us. This statement was an admission that the Tea Party is nothing more than the far right fringe. While it excuses Brown’s absence, it also damns the whole movement.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association