Monday, February 08, 2010

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about coverage of the recent Tea Party Convention. The stuff about Sarah Palin's palm notes is amusing (and has led to the sort of goofy support gestures we've come to expect from these people), but beside the point. The Tea Partiers have gotten a bit of press by holding rallies, some of them quite large, but lifted their coverage and profile exponentially by holding a small convention with celebrities in a hotel. Whatever the impact or import of the local events, the Tea Party is becoming a brand name that sustains itself with traditional PR gestures, of which sympathetic bloggers take advantage by making grand claims -- a Third Great Awakening? -- while they have the punters' attention. That's how populism works these days: as a guerrilla advertising advance campaign for traditional marketers. Their products, though, are hardly revolutionary.

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