Monday, April 20, 2009

Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly: Pundits supporting Ron Paul and the Tax Day Tea Parties

In a previous post I alluded to the role the Ron Paul movement has played in the Tax Day Tea Parties. Whilst analysis of the Tea Parties has played up its spontaneous nature and how it represents a counterbalance to the social movement Obama mobilised to get him elected. What is rarely mentioned is the Texan Congressman Elephant in the room, Ron Paul.

Glenn Reynolds in his comprehensive article detailing the genesis of the Tax Day Tea Parties, mentions the road paved by Howard Dean and subsequently perfected by "community organiser" Obama. He even invokes Newt Gingrich but fails to acknowledge Ron Paul who mobilised an equally formidable and passionate online/offline base. Like these Tea Parties, that movement was largely marginalised and under reported during the 08' Presidential race serving the interests of Establishment politicians.

Conservative pundits have opportunistically jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon to undermine the Democratic administration, some were the same personalities who gleefully ridiculed Ron Paul and undermined his priorities. Dismissing the candidate's platform of smaller government, a fair/simpler tax code and rebuke of the two main parties. Glenn Beck is one of the few vocal Tea Party supporters who insists on admonishing the Democrats and GOP equally. Beck has been is seen as a target and a liability because of his empathy for Ron Paul.
Below I will outline where some of the major conservative pundits stood on Ron Paul.

VIDEO: Glenn Beck/Ron Paul Preview
GLENN BECK: His views -- I mean if you watch my show or you know anything about me, you might not agree with all my policies. I'm pretty libertarian in many ways, his views need more than 30 second soundbites to answer
VIDEO: Ron Paul on Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly
RON PAUL: He [Glenn beck] hass on occasion been a demagogue (audible laughter). I will come on his show but he has been pretty discourteous... my guess in the next several weeks I will probably go on his show. But it's sorta -- how often should I go on Bill O'Reily's show? (audible laughter). I don't care what the questions are, what the challenges are. (audible clapping) Just let me give an answer... Last time I was on O'Reilly show I was mentioning something about history, "We don't wanna hear about any history"
Ron Paul debated with Sean Hannity multiple times on TV after the GOP debates and on his radio show. They strongly diverged in matters of foreign Policy and US adventurism. This was the pressing issue during the Bush years and in the early stages of the Presidential election.

They found points of agreement economically but this has emerged as the #1 issue only in recent months providing the catalyst for the Tea Party protests. Listen to Sean Hannity incredulous at the traction Ron Paul is getting, someone Sean clearly sees as a "fringe" candidate and a possible spoiler.

VIDEO: Ron Paul is driving Sean Hannity crazy
SEAN HANNITY: (upon hearing Paul is leading post-debate polling) Oh here we go again, it's driving me crazy. Wait, Wait, whoa, whoa -- You know what, they're redialing by the second. The same ten people. He's having all those 3% of people call in, he got 33%. Oh well it happens.
Rush Limbaugh on Ron Paul (May 2007)
Ron Paul Doesn't Have a Snowball's Chance
RUSH: And Ron Paul didn't do that. Here's what's happening out there, folks. Ron Paul has a lot of supporters. He's got supporters, and they are spamming polls on the Internet. They are spamming radio talk shows to try to defend Ron Paul against what happened. He's got a lot of energetic and passionate supporters. I've been getting them on e-mail. I got a threatening e-mail from a Ron Paul supporter, and it was very cleverly done, by the way...

I'm going to be honest with you out there, Cory. It's not my job to support these guys and give them a boost. Their job is to go out and get the support. Their job is to go out -- and they're the ones hunting for votes. I'm just going to be honest with you. I don't think Congressman Paul has a snowball's chance.
VIDEO: Ann Coulter endorses Ron Paul for 2012
GREG GUTFELD (host): Who's the leading candidate for the Republicans for 2012?
ANN COULTER: I think Ron Paul. (host laughs) The war will be over. And basically I agreed with Ron Paul on everything. There will be so much to clean up...

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