by Charles Lemos, Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 05:33:34 PM EST
Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera) of New Left Media have released a new short video entitled Scenes From An American Disaster. They interview various attendees to the recent National Tea Party Convention exposing the paranoid, delusional and conspiratorial assertions that run rampant in this crowd: Obama isn't a natural born citizen, he's a socialist, he hasn't released his college transcripts. It curious that so many complain about the expansion of government now and yet were silent during the Bush years when the Republicans not only expanded the size of government with irresponsible spending on unnecessary wars but also pushed for a more intrusive government that curtailed our civil liberties.
In this piece, I was most struck by the claims of Orly Taitz, the Queen of the Birthers who has filed numerous frivolous lawsuits, that she is "Facebook Friends" with 16 members of Congress. Given that one chooses one's friends on Facebook, it is bizarre that any member of Congress would associate with her on any level. So driven by curiosity, I looked into it.
She claimed 16, I found six - all Republicans. They are Mary Bono Mack of California, John Fleming of Louisiana, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and somewhat surprisingly Ron Paul of Texas (who by the way only has 110 other friends beside Orly Taitz). It is frankly reprehensible that any member of Congress associates with such a stark raving mad lunatic as Orly Taitz on any level.
Here's Chase and Erick's introduction to their film:
Last week, the group Tea Party Nation organized the first Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., a for-profit event. Some 600 people paid $550 to attend, and Sarah Palin was reportedly paid $115,000 to the be the keynote speaker. After criticism of the convention’s cost, for-profit status, and payment to Palin, multiple national Tea Party organizations withdrew their participation. But the event went on.
And so did the paranoid, conspiratorial assertions–that President Obama was born in another country, that he has covered up his college transcripts, that he is pushing a communist/socialist agenda, that he is protecting terrorists and endangering our country, etc.
The organizers of the convention made great efforts to limit access to the press, and even held “new-media training” sessions to help the Tea Partiers sound and look better on camera–the more people see inside this movement, the less like it. But we got ourselves into the event, where the right-wing, fringe sentiments were on plain display.
That said, these Tea Partiers–able to pay the cost of attendance–are more affluent than those at the 9.12 DC March, and more self-conscious of [the way] they are portrayed in the media. There were fewer signs and homemade t-shirts here, but the attitudes, if more subtle in delivery, were the same.
Both Chase and Erick attend Wright State in Ohio. If you can spare a few bucks, please consider throwing a few dollars their way. Their films are really some of the best short documentaries on the radical right being produced today.