Today’s Manufactured Outrage

Courtesy of Jake Tapper, who usually is better than this:

Three days after he decried the lack of civility in American politics, President Obama is quoted in a new book about his presidency referring to the Tea Party movement using a derogatory term with sexual connotations.

In Jonathan Alter’s “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” President Obama is quoted in an interview saying that the unanimous vote of House Republicans vote against the stimulus bills “set the tenor for the whole year … That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.”

Tea Party activists loath the term “tea baggers,” which has emerged in liberal media outlets and elsewhere as a method of mocking the activists and their concerns.

Can we please knock this off? Teabaggers named themselves:

It was only AFTER they figured out that teabagging had derogatory connotation that they accused the LIEBERAL MEDIA of defaming them. And lately, they’ve even decided they can’t even fake the outrage anymore and are embracing the moniker once again in a video called “I’m Proud to be a Teabagger.”

Even more offensive is that lost in the attempt to manufacture a gotcha moment (I’m sure this accusation of Obama’s incivility will fly up memeorandum and generate lots of traffic, so “Mission Accomplished!” with that), it is lost that what Obama said is absolutely correct and the GOP is the source of a lot of the actual poisonous rhetoric in our current political climate. It WAS the Republican behavior that set the tenor for everything this year. You’d think that observation would be important.

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73 replies
  1. 1

    You need that photo of the little old white lady holding up the “I’m teabagging for Jesus” sign too John. You are right, they named themselves until they realized what the term meant then they deemed the term “offensive”.

  2. 2
    Elisabeth says:

    I guess Jake’s mad ABC News didn’t get a “shout out” from the president during the Correspondents’ Dinner.

  3. 3
    Rosalita says:

    and the usual sewage in the comments is a real treat…

  4. 4
    SGEW says:

    Tho’ I do have to wonder about the context of that quote. Was Obama giggling when he said “teabaggers”? Lord knows I do.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    This has to be close to a nadir for Tapper, even with his abysmal record. Is the President supposed to use nicer words to describe the teabaggers than the word they use to describe themselves?

    Sorry, Jake (or can we just call him douchebag?) but no one outside your beltway cocktail party set is obligated to call these self-styled teabaggers the Glitter Dusted Angels of Freedom or whatever brown-nosing name you want to call them.

    This calls for Jon Stewart’s GFY choir.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    You’d think that observation would be important.

    You would, but that’s because you’re a sane person, and not someone afflicted with a terminal case of cranorectal insertion like so many members of the political media establishment.

    dms

  7. 7
    fucen tarmal says:

    the only people who care about civility are the people in the imaginary middle. people who want to claim to be moderates.
    i simply don’t understand how you can’t find something to be legitimately pissed off about.

    self-styled moderates who equivocate everything are the scariest motherfuckers going.

    of course i thought “this is a big fucking deal” wasn’t so much of a biden gaffe as a well orchestrated and intentional use of reputation to send a message. people who want to tsk-tsk are put in the position of calling attention to the statement, and the sentiment.

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Courtesy of Jake Tapper, who usually is better than this:

    Meh. Can’t really take him seriously since he whined about FoxNews (“Barack’s Babymama”, “terrorist fist-jab?”, etc) being his “sister network”.

  9. 9
    jrg says:

    Not only is the teabag movement being astroturfed by the GOP, they are also getting played by the GOP.

    It’s not an accident that the teabaggers have no real leadership and are so disorganized. The Republicans designed the teabagger movement in such a way that a viable third party won’t form.

    It’s astonishing how easy it is to trick low-information voters.

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    Three days after he decried the lack of civility in American politics, President Obama is quoted in a new book

    look carefully at Tapper’s construction.

    1. Obama said something.
    2. a book comes out.

    the time span between 1 and 2 is three days. and that reflects badly on Obama. because, you know, Obama was responsible for the timing of the book’s release.

    Tapper’s a fucking hack.

  11. 11
    sparky says:

    why should anyone stop outrage? feels good, confirms what you already know, increases ratings and doesn’t have any calories. the perfect media break!

    a tad more seriously–being a scold is going to work about as well as scolding teens to not have sex. (and is this generation’s version of harumph-Broderism.) this stuff will stop being printed when it stops working on anyone but the true believers. in other words, when people stop paying attention to it. ahem.

  12. 12
    Scott says:

    Courtesy of Jake Tapper, who usually is better than this:

    Tapper has consistently been one of the more shallow, egocentric, and easily gamed of any of the big media bloggers. The only time I’m surprised by him is when he does something non-stupid.

  13. 13
    david mizner says:

    How bout “a few hours after he decried the last of civility in American politics, he joked about killing civilians with a drone:

    “Jonas brothers are here, they’re out there somewhere. Sasha annd Malia are huge fans, but boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I’m joking?”

    But then, this isn’t so much uncivil as grotesque. Whereas incivility is frowned upon by our betters, grotesqueness is fully accepted and encouraged, which is why the White House press corps surely laughed at their President’s “joke.”

  14. 14
    Poopyman says:

    Courtesy of Jake Tapper, who usually is better than this:

    Most people are “usually better than this”, so that’s a pretty low bar. And for Tapper, you need a pretty low bar, IMO. I’ve never been impressed with him and am still wondering how he’s managing to rise through the ranks to land his own gig.

    ETA: I see after reading all the comments that I’m not the first to make this observation. Sorry for the repetition.

  15. 15
    Scott says:

    this stuff will stop being printed when it stops working on anyone but the true believers. in other words, when people stop paying attention to it. ahem.

    Nah, the true believers are Tapper and the rest of the gotcha-gal giggle-gang. If we’re waiting for them to figure out on their own that everyone thinks they’re full of shit, it’d never happen. If you don’t pay attention to them and call them out when they engage in stupid fucksniffery, you cede the whole media mindscape to them…

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    Is Jake Tapper going to come here again and try to defend himself?

    The teabaggers did name themselves, but despite that it still doesn’t seem like the smartest choice for the President to use a term that has derogatory sexual connotations when he could choose another one. If the teabaggers had accidentally named themselves with an acronym spelling FUCKWADISTS, would the President also say that? Is that the best word choice? Dunno…

  17. 17
    r€nato says:

    I’ve also heard teabaggers both insist ferociously that they organized while Bush was president (near the end of his term, of course, in fall 2008), while others have equally ferociously insisted that the teabagger movement started in February 2009 in response to Obama’s stimulus package, of course that was just a coincidence and had entirely nothing to do with BLACK PRESIDENT.

  18. 18
    wridge says:

    Jake Tapper, as in

    “I Dated Monica Lewinsky “?

    Washington CityPaper
    By Jake Tapper on January 30, 1998

  19. 19
    DanLarkin says:

    Anybody who’s actually offended by that Jonas Brothers joke needs to go fuck get over himself. Liberal poutrage is just as fucking stupid as conservative poutrage. Dads joke about killing boys who want to get with their daughters. It’s how we roll.

  20. 20
    sparky says:

    @Scott: i used to think that way but changed my opinion. you can point out that someone got their facts wrong, but generally speaking arguing against juxtaposition tricks is a waste of time. all responding to manufactured outrage does is prove that it works, reinforcing the impulse to generate more.

    @wridge: win for show not tell.

  21. 21
    The Moar You Know says:

    @r€nato: I think the late 2008 timeframe is right. As I recall, the big idea was to send teabags to Congress as a symbolic reenactment of the Boston Tea Party as a protest against the bailout.

    This didn’t work; since the anthrax attacks you can’t send anything to Congress.

    So then the rocket scientists instead decided to fax pictures of tea bags to Congresscritters. A movement was born.

    These people are so stupid that I would find it sad, if only I could ever stop laughing at them.

    EDIT: Even back then, everyone pretty much knew that Obama had the election in the bag. So your overall point of OMG NEGRO PRESIDENTE is still valid, and how anyone could think that it’s not the root cause of all this is beyond me.

  22. 22
    slag says:

    Courtesy of Jake Tapper, who usually is better than this

    “Usually”? Like some others, I’m going to go with “sometimes”.

  23. 23
    eric says:

    @DanLarkin: I think it is a little tricker than that. I think it is a funny joke in a vaccuum. But, we know that predators cause real damage to real innocent families. It is not a “searching for WMDs” joke, but it could be seen as callous given that he is the one promoting and order drones as part of the WoT.

    I laughed as a dad, but reflection leads me to wish he did not make the joke.

    eric

  24. 24
    r€nato says:

    @The Moar You Know: that may be true, but I just heard some teabagger recently on NPR, I think he was Somebody Big in the movement, and he insisted heatedly that they started in February 2009.

    I guess one of the nice things about being a teabagger is that facts are malleable.

  25. 25
    AhabTRuler says:

    Tapper is a shit; I said as much when he slimed over here to insist that DougJ didn’t understand him. Fuck him and his delicate fee-fees.

    The kiss & tell shit about Lewinsky should disqualify him forever from being a being taken seriously.

  26. 26
    david mizner says:

    @DanLarkin:

    Oh, you like those jokes? Then you’ll like this one from Bush:

    “Jonas brothers are here, they’re out there somewhere. Jenna annd Barbara are huge fans, but boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: water boarding. You think I’m joking?”

    Hilarious, yes?

  27. 27
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Poopyman:

    Most people are “usually better than this”, so that’s a pretty low bar. And for Tapper, you need a pretty low bar, IMO. I’ve never been impressed with him and am still wondering how he’s managing to rise through the ranks to land his own gig.

    It’s called failing upward. Which is how the privileged succeed in America.

  28. 28
    sparky says:

    @DanLarkin: the joke is off because Obama does dispatch those weapons to kill people now. to see the complaint, imagine Obama (or some other dad) standing there with an automatic pistol, saying it to a group of teens and then shooting one of them, because that’s really what it was.
    would you laugh if the joke was: “it’s like 9/11–you never see it coming”?

    it’s not the end of the world, but it was a stupid thoughtless thing to say and it illustrates how insulated Americans are from the reality that every single day Americans seek out and kill other humans all over this planet.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    @r€nato: Maybe that’s when they started getting their checks from FreedomWorks.

  30. 30
    Osprey says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: If she goes teabagging without her dentures, she could make a lot of money.

  31. 31
    Morbo says:

    @fucen tarmal: I don’t find this to be true at all regarding civility from the center. Maybe it’s true in the village, but in my experience not really. Much more frequently it seems to come from people taking extremist positions who then fake shock at your tone when you ask them “What the fuck are you talking about?”

  32. 32
    Mike in NC says:

    No amount of manufactured outrage will ever beat that which came out after Obama — in a private meeting, no less — spoke about bitter people ‘clinging to guns and religion’, etc. The PUMAs and Palinites were all over that.

    Except that it’s so fucking true: you can drive through hundreds of towns in this country where the shops and factories are all boarded up and people can’t even find shitty minimum wage jobs, because they were shipped to the Third World. But keep on tossing red meat to the yahoos and get them all riled up about those elitists who are taking away their freedoms.

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @david mizner: That’s not a bad joke. Would have been funny had Bush told it.

    You have a fine ear for satire. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a spot on send up of a manic progressive.

  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Except that it’s so fucking true:

    “I’ll keep my guns, my money and my freedom. You can keep the CHANGE!”

    I think a good thirty per cent of Tea Baggery and like minded low-info wingerry comes from paranoid NRA members. I don’t know how many variations of that bumper sticker I’ve seen on old pick ups and SUVs, driven by people who sure look like they’re Medicare age, and probably don’t make $250K/yr from their retirment accounts. But a lot of people in this country cling to the notion that their hunting rifle or that handgun on the shelf in the bedroom closet is the only think keeping them safe from rampaging hordes of brown people and gummint revenuers.

  35. 35
    Ash Can says:

    So is Tapper going to fact-check his latest piece of shit?

  36. 36
    DanLarkin says:

    Obama’s the commander-in-chief, he’s always going to be repsonsible for dispatching weapons that can kill people.

    I suppose I can see why people might be sensitive about this, but it’s a sad day if the President can’t joke about killing the Jonas Brothers.

  37. 37
    MMonides says:

    They named it “Teabagging” as part of the run-up to the first Teabagging in Lafayette Park, DC, that was held during CPAC 2009 and promoted by luminaries like the Washington Examiner’s JP Freire. I should know, I was there and JP was pissed at me for making fun of them for “not knowing about some urban slang.”

  38. 38
    fucen tarmal says:

    @Morbo:

    i’m thinking more of people who believe that the town hall protestors were only doing the same thing as the democratic leader who called the meeting because the congress person was only presenting their side.

    they would justify people who choose to keep their kids home from school because obama is speaking by satellite, because the message doesn’t allow for a republican response.

    they see the tea party and all of the anti-obama rhetoric as the payback for how george bush came to be viewed on the left.

    essentially, they are the conservatives who claim to be moderates or independents, who think the left is the screaming irrational side, so when the right does it, its simply payback. though they don’t think those views reveal a bias.

  39. 39
    kc says:

    Jake Tapper, who usually is better than this

    Really?

  40. 40
    frankdawg says:

    “Jake Tapper, who usually is better than this:”

    Really? There must be 2 Jake Tappers, the one I know about is very capable and willing to pull this shit regularly and a different one you are familiar with.

  41. 41
    frankdawg says:

    @kc:

    JINX!

  42. 42
    feebog says:

    As I understand it, the Teabaggers really wanted to call themselves Asswipes, but the name was already taken by the House Republican Caucus.

  43. 43
    fucen tarmal says:

    @DanLarkin:

    Obama’s the commander-in-chief, he’s always going to be repsonsible for dispatching weapons that can kill people.
    I suppose I can see why people might be sensitive about this, but it’s a sad day if the President can’t joke about killing

    this.

    i mean its about the heinousness of the jonas brothers outside their target demographic.

  44. 44
    sukabi says:

    right…. so apparently in Jake’s world all time IS relative…. Obama calling teabaggers, Teabaggers a year ago is a grave sin because referring to a group by their self proclaimed name is just outrageous and disrespectful.

    Jake needs to step away from the substance he’s sniffing and give his brain a chance to recover.

  45. 45
    Joe Bauers says:

    I can’t tell you how much I look forward to meeting a teabagger who takes offense at being called a teabagger, and calling him a teabagger right to his teabagging face.

    These are the same people who throw words around like “the DemocRAT party”, “traitor”, “objectively pro-terrorist”, “goat-fucking child molester”, etc. They love the name calling, but aren’t so hot on being called names. So to hell with the hypocritical teabagging teabaggers. Teabaggers, one and all, now and forever.

  46. 46
    Bob L says:

    @jrg:

    It’s not an accident that the teabaggers have no real leadership and are so disorganized. The Republicans designed the teabagger movement in such a way that a viable third party wont form.

    ’I thought that was pretty obvious when they came out called “tea party” and began tossing tea bags around. Figure the GOP new their base was pissed, they need to keep them from bolting, so the solution; forum a fake third party with such a stupid name no one but an extremist would be willing to join it. Now all those TeaBaggers have no choice but to stick with the GOP or admit they are a bunch of clueless fools.

  47. 47
    taylormattd says:

    Actually, Jake Tapper has a fairly long history of this kind of stupidity.

  48. 48
    Hob says:

    @sparky: Agreed. It just means Obama is a typical American dude in this respect, and that’s mostly a sad comment on us.

  49. 49
    flukebucket says:

    @Violet:

    The teabaggers did name themselves, but despite that it still doesn’t seem like the smartest choice for the President to use a term that has derogatory sexual connotations when he could choose another one.

    I had no idea what a Dirty Sanchez or a Teabagger was until I read it on Balloon-Juice.

    Maybe the President needs to follow Jake Tapper over here. I learn something new every day….but still.

  50. 50
    shortstop says:

    In a rush and haven’t been through the whole thread, so sorry if I’m repeating, but here’s Mr. Jay Nordlinger of the National Review conceding that these fools named themselves.

  51. 51
    shortstop says:

    Is Jake Tapper going to come here again and try to defend himself?

    Oh, no, he didn’t! Seriously?

    I am reminded of the recent study in which it was noted that really incompetent people lack the ability to recognize how incompetent they are, and thus continue to walk around humiliating themselves in a happy oblivion.

  52. 52
    frankdawg says:

    @flukebucket

    Ah, your welcome, I guess.

    Please don’t google goatse.

  53. 53
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    If by usually better than this you mean “Understands the bullshit he is peddling is bullshit but also knows the bullshit won’t peddle itself” then sure, he’s better.

  54. 54
    debbie says:

    Jake needs to spend a little more time on his craft, When used as a verb it’s “loathe,

  55. 55
    flukebucket says:

    @frankdawg:

    Please don’t google goatse.

    Don’t worry. I won’t. I also have no intention of looking at two girls and one cup.

  56. 56
    Leonard Stiltskin says:

    @frankdawg:

    @flukebucket

    or Tubgirl

  57. 57
    sukabi says:

    @shortstop: he probably won’t drop by again… he’s updated his original post with this half-assed, non-correction statement:

    UPDATE: Some liberal bloggers, taking issue with this post, have noted that some Tea Partyers coined and embraced the term “tea-baggers.” That seems true, and I didn’t address the coinage of the term above. But it was fairly soon, by April 2009, when anchors on CNN and MSNBC were employing the term with mocking innuendo, as seen in the links above, and pretty quickly after that Tea Party activists began taking umbrage with it. It’s now a common way for some on the left to mock Tea Partyers.

    once a douche, always a douche.

  58. 58
    birthmarker says:

    In March of last year, I received a forwarded email from an otherwise lovely friend suggesting that we all send tea bags to congress on some specific date. I think it was either April 1st or 15th. It was some kind of tax or deficit protest. So there you go. They claimed the teabags, they should own them.

  59. 59
    bobbo says:

    Tea Party activists loath the term “tea baggers,”

    It’s “loathe,” moron.

  60. 60
    Bill Section 147 says:

    @sukabi: Yes. “Some liberal bloggers…”

    If you make a factual error, say “liberal bloggers, take issue…”

    Because yes we do like teh awesomeness of teh truth. LBs and DFHs FTW.

    “Liberal bloggers” is the the go to for shifting the blame… like the, “your just like Hitler” ninja move of someone losing a debate.

  61. 61
    sukabi says:

    @Bill Section 147: If only he wrote his “update” with nothing but the truth and the facts as his allies, and not his own bias his update might have looked something like this:

    UPDATE: My Bad. It has been pointed out to me that folks in the Teaparty movement first began by calling themselves Teabaggers. In the following pictures taken between March 30 and April 15th, 2009 at the first Tea parties you will see ample evidence of the self described Teabaggers in action. It wasn’t until mid April 2009 after the Teabagger movement was first reported on that folks within the movement became hip to the fact they’d named themselves after a particular sex act. Then they changed their name to the Tea Party, after whining about being made fun of. And really, who can blame anyone for snickering a little or a lot over a bunch of uptight, “morally better than you”, irony impaired malcontents being a bit obtuse in their choice of name?

  62. 62
    catclub says:

    @DanLarkin:
    I agree completely.

    If you joke about doing civilized things to people – there is no joke.

    Bill Cosby album “… The Belt, was nine feet long, eight feet wide, and it had hooks on it that would tear the meat off you if it ever hit you…”

    Child abuse! Torture! Who will think of the children?

  63. 63
    sukabi says:

    @DanLarkin: I think Fineman handled Keith pretty well… something along the lines of “You don’t have daughters, do you? It’s something fathers with daughters think about.”

    Hell, as a single mother, I’d jokingly tell the boys that came sniffing around my daughter that I was a sharpshooter in the Army.

  64. 64
    Martian Buddy says:

    Good grief. The “teabag the White House” talk was all over the place when they were mailing teabags to protest TARP. Remember the mail a teabag for $1 people? They were advertising on wingnut sites with “send a teabag to the White House and teabag Obama” banner ads. They knew exactly what it meant and only started blaming liberals when the prudes in their ranks started having fits of the vapors.

  65. 65
    Martian Buddy says:

    Also, too, the GOS link from that thread mentions Jon Stewart running a Fox News clip where the Fox reporter actually uses the phrase “teabag the White House.”

  66. 66
    LD50 says:

    Tea Party activists loath the term “tea baggers,” which has emerged in liberal media outlets and elsewhere as a method of mocking the activists and their concerns.

    Ho ho ho. The same people calling Obama a Nazi are now whining about being called mean names. They can go fuck themselves.

  67. 67
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @sukabi: Yup. I will mock the teabaggers as often and relentlessly as possible because they deserved to be mocked. To call them Tea Partyers or whatever else is lending them credibility that they do not deserve. If Jake is gonna clutch his curlies over this shit, then maybe he could manufacture a tenth of the outrage over the shit that the Republicans have said and done in the past year? Oh forget it. Trying to talk sense to a Villager is the same as expecting correct spelling from the Teabaggers.

  68. 68
    Patriot 3 says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Should the Teabaggers really be calling themselves Teabaggers? Of course they should…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZFtGUNyHdo

  69. 69
    The Fool says:

    Well if they don’t like “teabagger” I suppose “felcher” is out of the question, huh?

  70. 70
    canuckistani says:

    @DanLarkin:

    If Obama could see some of the specimens I’ve found sniffing around my daughters, he wouldn’t restrict himself to conventional weaponry.

  71. 71
    sarainitaly says:

    That woman holding the “I’m teabagging for Jesus” sign is a fake. The photo was photoshopped, the original phrase on her sign was replaced with “I’m teabagging for Jesus”.

    The other example you provide is a photo of a kid….

    Griff Jenkins using the term Tea bag the White House was referring to people mailing teabags to the WH.

    How do any of those examples support the theory that the Tea Party referred to themselves as teabaggers? Do you really think the Grannies knew what the term “teabagging” meant?

    The derogatory use of the term teabaggers started with the Left.

    http://www.salon.com/news/poli.....ging_guide

  72. 72

    […] The tea nuts object to being called tea baggers. Even though they call themselves tea baggers – Mr. Balloon Juice has the pictorial evidence. […]

  73. 73
    LazyCrib says:

    @sarainitaly: Uh, no. The derogatory(?) terms “teabag” and “teabagger” existed long before the examples you and Slate posit. “The Left” was certainly not alone in noticing the Teabaggers’ cluelessness – I would think most anyone under 30 did – but it seems that no one remembers anyone else pointing it out.

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