Cross-posted from the Tucson Citizen
Last April, the Tucson Tea Party (TTP) gathered in Reid Park. 2011 had been a rough year for the TTP. Three months earlier, liberals and the media (yes, I repeat myself) made it sound as if Jared Loughner had been a fellow traveler with the Tea Party movement.
By April, though, it was clear that the TTP had been unfairly implicated in the tragic events of January 8th. (Meanwhile, as union thugs and liberal activists ran wild in Wisconsin, the left’s wintertime devotion to civility had melted away in the spring thaws.)
Thank conservative New Media for that.
Senator Alan Simpson once said that an allegation unchallenged is an allegation believed. The conservative blogosphere heeded his advice.
Conservative bloggers, such as Glenn Reynolds’ “Instapundit,” sprang into action on that horrible weekend, and quickly started dissecting and debunking the anti-Tea-Party insinuations and whispers. They pushed back against all the rumors and distortions, playing “whack-a-mole” as new accusors (David Fitzsimmons, Paul Krugman, etc…) mouthed off.
Prior to the rise of New Media, liberal reporters and opinion writers could ignore the rules of good statistics and show correlation (The Tucson Tea Party opposed Giffords; Jared Laughner is from Tucson, too) without bothering to prove causation. When you think about it—why wouldn’t they do that? Who was going to stop them? Virtually all of the other media voices who could challenge them were just as pro-liberal and conservative-loathing as they were.
Liberal-dominated media had come to expect that they could smear conservatives in banner headlines on page 1 of Monday’s newspaper or telecast, watch the smear run wild (and unchallenged) through the media the rest of the week, then run some minor corrections and perhaps a mea-culpa or two at the bottom of page 48 on Saturday.
By last January, however, things had changed.
By Monday of that horrible weekend, the mainstream media (MSM) was on notice that any anti-Tea-Party insinuations they enabled would be challenged. The insinuations tapered off…what a coinky-dink!
That April, many of the conservative blogosphere’s brightest lights came to Tucson to meet with and talk to the Tea Partiers they’d defended all winter. The result was a victory celebration, of New Media over Old.
Follow this link to my entire story. There, you’ll see photos of the bloggers who addressed the Tea Party crowd that day, hear Andrew Breitbart‘s tour-de-force performance and read reminiscences of Tucson conservatives who were in the crowd.
This is my tribute to Andrew Breitbart. The key to success in life is showing up when it counts. No one showed up like Andrew. Fair winds and following seas, sir.