Janeane Garofalo says tea parties were for rednecks

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Hey, if you participated in one of the 700+ "tea parties" held across the nation on April 15th, guess what?

Actress and former comedienne Janeane Garofalo doesn't like you.

Garofalo appeared on Keith Olbermann's show Thursday night, and with guns a blazing she condemned anyone who participated in the tax and spend protests on tax day.

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"Let's be very honest about what this is about," she said. "It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks."

Olbermann

That's a strong statement. Olbermann's reaction?

He didn't challenge her. Instead he wondered aloud if the network that gave the most coverage to the tea parties -- FOX News -- could survive if this were the case.

"If you spear your television network ... towards a bunch of guys looking who are just looking for a reason to yell at the black president, eventually you will marginalize yourself out of business, won't you?" he asked.

FOX doesn't seem that marginal yet. Last month, the network's ratings were more than double MSNBC and CNN combined. FOX commentator Bill O'Reilly has now hosted the number one cable news program for 100 months in a row.

Rick's Rant

Actually it was an NBC colleague of Olbermann's who started the whole tea party business. CNBC's Rick Santelli gave birth to the movement after launching into a tirade against the housing bailout back in February.

"We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July," Santelli yelled from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. "All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I'm gonna start organizing."

He didn't have to wait until July. The first tea party was held less than a week after the rant. Subsequent protests have been held throughout the nation ever since, culminating with the mass tea parties on Wednesday.

He seemed pretty pleased with himself on CNBC Wednesday morning.

“I think that this tea party phenomenon is steeped in American culture and steeped in the American notion to get involved with what’s going on with our government. I haven’t organized. I’m going to have to work to pay my taxes, so I’m not going to be able to get away today. But, I have to tell you -- I’m pretty proud of this."

Janeane

Maybe Garofalo's rant was just typical Garofalo. A partisan. Like a Rush Limbaugh but on the left.

Although she wouldn't likely like that comparison. She tore into Limbaugh two months ago, again while appearing on Olbermann's show. This time the discussion was about Rush and his high disapproval rating among women.

"The type of female who does like Rush is the same type of woman who falls in love with prisoners," she said getting a chuckle out of Olbermann.

"Eva Braun, Hitler’s girlfriend. That is exactly the type of woman that responds really well to Rush," she concluded.

Blogosphere

As you can imagine, there is much reaction in the blogosphere.

The PajamaPundit wonders: "So we're upset cause Fox News has "tricked" the American people into reading and watching it day after day (unlike her radio program which TANKS in the ratings). Anyone who doesn't agree with Barack Obama's policies is a racist. My "wife" has stockholm syndrome? These words aren't even funny...they are just plain out of line. Why does Ms. Garafolo have such hatred toward conservatives? Doesn't she come from the party of love, choice and tolerance?"

LetFreedomRain buys into Garofalo's argument: "Sure, Garofalo gets a little graphic and lumps all right wingers into the same pile, but her central argument that the tea parties are more about racism than about taxes is a solid one. If the right expects to regain any of its past glory, it will have to do a better job of accepting criticism..."

TheConservativeBulwark says enough of the race card: "The race card will always be locked and loaded as long as Obama is in the White House. Could she make a valid point as to why our ridiculous tax rates are needed and just? No. Could she argue that our tax laws are appropriate, even though they weigh a few tons? No. She falls back on the standard insult: You disagree with President Obama, therefore you are a racist. The End."

AikenAreaProgressive, on the other hand, gives a big thank you to Garofalo: "Janeane Garofalo, a real American hero, says it correctly: the conservatives are RACIST REDNECKS."

Not so, say ChicksOnTheRight. "Look at the love-fest happening between Janeane Garofalo and Keith Olbermann. He’s practically drooling at all of her hate-speech."

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