About ten minutes of interviews of attendees of the Nashville Tea Party convention reveal how widespread among its adherents are "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."[1] ...


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SCENES FROM AN AMERICAN DISASTER: TEA PARTY CONVENTION ATTENDEES SPEAK


New Left Media
February 12, 2010

http://pubrecord.org/multimedia/6907/scenes-american-disaster-party/


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 D.C. March, and more self-conscious of 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.

This New Left Media film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera).