The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

The Rick Santelli ‘Tea Party’ Controversy: Article Kicks Up a Media Dust Storm

Posted by invizweb on March 4, 2009

Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, of  eXiled Online, wrote for AlterNet

..Santelli’s reversal resulted from the controversy surrounding a Playboy article by journalists Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. The article, which was later taken down from Playboy‘s site after possible libel claims, exposed the connection between the right-wing group FreedomWorks and the online Tea Party organizers, and suggested that Santelli’s tirade was a “carefully planned trigger” for the Tea Parties.

In addition to his public statement on CNBC, Santelli suffered the ignominy of canceling an appearance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show this week, and further revelations and accusations are flying between Ames and Levine’s ExiledOnline Web magazine and the New York Times and Atlantic Monthly blog, among others.

In a statement on the controversy, sent to me in the afternoon on March 3, Ames and Levine write:

“There has been a lot of speculation as to why Playboy removed our original article from its site. Let us put it this way: When you look at the fallout from our article — FreedomWorks admits its role in the teaparty, Santelli issues a giant lawyer-penned opus about how he loves Obama, and CNBC (whose parent company is the megaconglomerate General Electric) frightens a bunch of Astroturfing Web sites into dropping Santelli’s name and into revealing their own PAC sponsors — then it’s clear we hit the bull’s-eye and stirred up the wrath of a very scary monster.

“Given all of this, it would not be unreasonable for one to consider the possibility (as many have) that the multigazilliondollar megabeast GE threatened the much smaller independent media company Playboy with a terrifying and expensive lawsuit, which, given the current financial crisis, is not something anyone but another GE-sized megabeast could cope with. ‘Nuf said on that.”

Read more.

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