The North Iowa Tea party, like many sympathizers of the movement, denounce media attempts to portray tea party members as extreme or outside the mainstream. On its website, the North Iowa Tea party links directly to a report by the conservative Media Research Center that decries the media’s characterization of Tea Party protesters as “’ugly,’ ‘unruly,’ ‘nasty’ mobs, with reporters presenting the most odious images (such as pictures of Obama drawn as Hitler) as somehow representative of the entire group.” Ironically, despite disassociating themselves from Obama-Hitler comparisons in the past, the North Iowa Tea Party is now a leading propagator of this abhorrent image. Last week, they created a billboard that features President Obama “flanked” by Adolph Hitler and Vladimir Lenin:
A new billboard in downtown Mason City features a photo of President Obama, flanked by pictures of German dictator Adolph Hitler and Communist leader Vladimir Lenin.
The billboard features phrases like “Live Free or Die” and “Radical leaders prey on the fearful and naive.”
It’s the same spot where a billboard last fall featured the phrase “Obama-Nation, Live Free or Die” with the Communist symbol of a hammer and sickle. The billboards were paid for by the North Iowa Tea Party.
Iowa Tea Party leaders now say they disagree with the use of the pictures, but not the Obama-is-Hitler message. North Iowa Tea Party co-founder Bob Johnson stated that while the “the pictures might be overwhelming,” the sign “highlights” the right message. Iowa state Tea Party coordinator John White agrees that while the “sign goes” where “the Tea Party doesn’t want to be”, “everything Obama has done is ‘lock-step’ with what Hitler did in his day.”