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Tea Baggers demand transparency from Dems but ban media from convention

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On Jan. 11, FreedomWorks — the corporate-funded, Washington-based community organizers behind the astroturfing of the Tea Bagger movement — put up a petition demanding that Democrats allow the media to cover health-care reform negotiation.

On that same day, organizers of next month’s Tea Party convention announced that, except for a small group of hand-picked propagandists, the media will not be allowed to cover their meeting at a luxury hotel in Nashville:

Word from Nashville on Monday was that the First National Tea Party Convention next month will be closed to the press, other than for a limited number of “selected” journalists. No word on who or how many.

This from the people who brought us last summer’s media-saturated Town Hall meetings…

Convention spokesman Judson Phillips informs us that most of the sessions are closed “at the request” of the presenters. “Given the media interest, I don’t want the sessions disrupted and overrun with the media,” he said…

If the secrecy sounds a little, well, un-American, Phillips has this explanation: It’s not a political convention, but a “working convention.”

It appears that sometimes the right of the people to peaceably assemble is best conducted out of view.

It is par for the course that there is a media blackout of the keynote speech by Sarah Palin on Saturday night, Feb. 6. But this event is sounding less like a grass-rootsy political affair by the minute. In addition to succumbing to the right wing’s irresistible impulse for secrecy and jackboot control of the media, tickets for the event in its fancy venue are priced for the elite at nearly $600 per person. (As this is being written, the convention website says tickets for the full meeting are sold out, but tickets for the Palin speech Saturday night are still available at $349.) – From Pensito Review.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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