I don't know how desperate a radio station or morning show would have to be to hire a member of the fringe St. Louis Tea Party as a "political analyst," but I do know that the decision is guaranteed to produce embarrassing results. The latest example of the St. Louis media's institutionalized rightward tilt (with exceptions and caveats) is the fact that the McGraw Milhaven show has right-wing extremist and tea party organizer Gina Loudon on once a week to provide "political analysis."
So let's check out the embarrassing, disingenuous political theater that constitutes Gina Loudon's political experience. Yesterday, one day after setting images of Russ Carnahan on fire while saying, "this is the smell of tyranny burning" (cheered on by Ed Martin), the St. Louis Tea Party brought a coffin to Carnahan's office. Was the coffin for people who died or are suffering, like say the thousands of soldiers who died in Iraq? No, it wasn't. In fact, the coffin wasn't for any real people. It was for people that the Tea Party imagines will die under "Obamacare" because they don't understand the bill. But this was too ridiculous even for them, so they later changed the message to say that the coffin represented the death of freedom.
But here's the really disturbing behavior. The Tea Party, with Gina Loudon and her husband John Loudon, then carried the coffin to Russ Carnahan's house. This, combined with the fact that there's been multiple acts of violence committed by tea party extremists around the country, racial and homophobic slurs shouted by tea party crowds, the burning of Carnahan's photo, and Bill Hennessy's claim that the Tea Party has no moral or legal obligations to the government, pretty clearly is intended to send a dark message of intimidation and suggest the threat of violence. They're telling Representative Carnahan, "not only are we willing to kick and burn images of you to try to drum up extremist rage in the mob, but we know where you live!" And near the front of the pack was Gina Loudon:
(Gina Loudon is right behind Bill Hennessy).
How could a radio station possibly think it's OK to have a "political analyst" who's willing to literally stalk members of congress? What form of analysis will Loudon provide this week? A detailed report on the contents she found in Representative Carnahan's dumpster? An analysis of what his discarded shoes smell like? Listing the times of day that he leaves his curtains open? Loudon's behavior is absurd and dangerous, and KTRS's willingness to give her a microphone to promote Glenn Beck style misinformation makes them complicit in this.
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