On Friday, Fox News.com — which has been aggressively advocating on behalf of radical anti-Obama “tea party” protests — reported that they could find “only two members of Congress — both Republicans — who have committed to attending the demonstrations on the day income taxes are due.” On Fox’s America’s Newsroom this morning, host Megyn Kelly pushed the report in an interview with one of the lawmakers, saying that “only two members of Congress have agreed to join in, in these events, one of them is South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.”
During her interview with DeMint, Kelly repeated that he was “one of only two lawmakers, we could find, who was openly participating in these tea party events, which are happening coast to coast.” As she said this, a chyron on the screen read: “1 senator, 1 congressman set to attend tax day tea parties.” Watch it:
Fox News appears to have not tried too hard to find lawmakers attending the events. As ThinkProgress reported last week, at least 11 Republican lawmakers and governors have signed on to speak at local events:
— Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) will be speaking at the Salt Lake City protest.
— Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) and a representative from Rep. Sam Graves’ (R-MO) office will be speaking at the Overland Park protest.
— Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) will be speaking at the Shreveport protest.
— Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) will be speaking at the Jacksonville protest.
— Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) will be speaking at the Wauseon protest.
— Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) will be speaking at the Phoenix protest.
— Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) will be speaking at the Charlotte protest.
— Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) will be speaking at the Brevard protest.
— Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) will be speaking at the Longview protest.
— Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) will be speaking at the protest in Columbia.
Additionally, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported yesterday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will be appearing at tea party protests as well. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), and Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) have also been urging their constituents to attend tea party protests while Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is sponsoring a bill in Congress to honor the protests.
In his New York Times column today, Paul Krugman writes that “it turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment.” Instead, Krugman notes that a key role in organizing the “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events” is being played “by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires.”