OPINION: 'Learn To Speak Tea Bag'
New Animation From Independent Syndicated Columnist Mark Fiore
by MARK FIORE
November 12, 2009
Learning a new language doesn't have to be hard, especially when "Tea Bag" is so minimalistic! Mark Fiore offers his personal take in this animation. The Wall Street Journal dubbed Fiore "the undisputed guru of the form." He creates political animation from an undisclosed location somewhere in San Francisco.
Loud Protests on NPR's 'Tea Party' Cartoon
January 8, 2010
For nearly two months, the animated political cartoon sat on npr.org virtually unnoticed. And then someone discovered it, was disgusted and launched it into the blogosphere -- making it a raucous rallying point for conservatives.
The conservative tom-tom was extremely impressive.
When the "Learn to Speak Tea Bag" cartoon making fun of "Tea Party" activists was published on Nov.12, there were 5 comments. By 6 p.m. this past Monday, there were 258. By Wednesday night, over 1,100 people had commented and it was still the most-recommended link on NPR's web site. On Monday and Tuesday, calls came in every 10 minutes. Over 300 wrote to me -- most of them angry.
The 90-second animation, which creator Mark Fiore calls satire, rather summarily dismisses participants in the Tea Party movement as inarticulate, paranoid bumblers. The video "teaches" the viewer to speak conversational "tea bag."
Moderator: Finally, learning a new language doesn't have to be hard. You can be fluent in conversational tea bag in just a few short minutes. Lesson one: Don't get distracted by the confusing words of other languages.
Character: I think the public option and the competition it would foster would really -- socialist, socialist.
Moderator: Good, very good. Lesson two: If you're having trouble understanding the words of others or being understood yourself, use teabag's stronger, more descriptive words.
Character: "Nazi, Nazi, Nazi."
It's actually not that funny -- especially to those on the right, including members of the Tea Party movement, which is populated by passionate Americans who don't like the direction President Obama is taking the country.
"The cartoon is a perfect caricature of what NPR looks like to conservatives: liberals snidely imagining conservatives to be monosyllabic clods who can't make an argument beyond name-calling," said Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the conservative Media Research Center. "Conservatism is 'satirized' into a form of political retardation."
"Conservatism is 'satirized' into a form of political retardation."
Does he imagine teabaggers to be representative of conservatives?
Rise of an Epithet
‘Teabagger’ and what to do
To “teabag” or not to “teabag”: That is not the most pressing question of these times, but it is a question to consider. Routinely, conservative protesters in the “tea party” movement are called “teabaggers,” and those calling them that do not mean it in a nice way. Many conservatives are mulling what to do about this term: fight it, embrace it, what?
First, a little history. After Barack Obama was sworn in as president, with his big majorities in Congress, the Democrats launched quite a bit of federal spending: particularly with the “stimulus” package. Some Americans were determined to counter this. And, before you knew it, we had the “tea party” movement. What protesters were doing, of course, was invoking the spirit of the American Revolutionaries, and their Boston Tea Party. According to the website of the Tea Party Patriots, the movement is committed to three “core values”: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets.
The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was “Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.” A protester was spotted with a sign saying, “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.” So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.
I have no doubt you are sexually hip, but just in case you’re not, please know that “teabag” has a particular meaning in certain circles. In order to have a discussion of our general topic, we must be aware of that meaning, and I call on the Source of All Knowledge, Wikipedia: “‘Teabagging’ is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth or on or around the face (including the top of the head) of another person, often in a repeated in-and-out motion as in irrumatio. The practice resembles dipping a tea bag into a cup of tea.” I could quote you more, but you have had enough.
By Gwen Outen
The Tea Party movement will hold its first national convention this week. The grass roots organization advocates for smaller government, fiscal responsiblity and holding politicians accountable for their actions. The group rose to prominence last summer when members mobilized at town hall meetings to express their anger over President Obama's new health care proposals. A former Republican member of Congress and a tea party organizer talk about the rise of the Tea Party movement, and its influence on this year's mid-term elections.
Tea Party To Hold Its First Natl. Convention
February 1, 2010
The Tea Party movement rose to prominence in the summer of 2009 when members mobilized at town hall meetings to express anger over President Obama's proposals. Mark Skoda, founder of the Memphis Tea Party movement, and Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, discuss the organization and its goals for the 2010 mid-term elections.