CNN political producer Shannon Travis just finished a “five-city Western swing” following the Tea Party Express for the network’s coverage and has posted this CNN.com dispatch of his experience:
Being at a Tea Party rally is not quite like seeing it on TV, in newspapers or online. That’s the reason CNN is covering this political movement — and doing so in ways few others can or choose to do.
It is important to show the colorful anger Americans might have against elected leaders and Washington. But people should also see the orange-vested Tea Party hospitality handlers who welcome you with colorful smiles.
Travis, who’s African-American adds, “There were a few signs that could be seen as offensive to African-Americans. But by and large, no one I spoke with or I heard from on stage said anything that was approaching racist.”
Politico’s Michael Calderone writes that CNN, not just Fox, has devoted significant resources to covering the tea parties and that “such editorial decisions have even rankled some on the left, who believe CNN is giving a disproportionate amount of airtime to activism coming from the right.