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“C.S.I.” Premiere Exploits Justin Bieber to Target Tea Party, Says Breitbart

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Posted on September 29 2010 12:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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CBS exploited teen heartthrob Justin Bieber in its CSI season premiere last Friday in order to smear the Tea Party movement. So concluded Andrew Breitbart and others in the hubbub which followed:

Bieber plays “a domestic terrorist with Tea Party leanings” involved in a conspiracy to bomb the funeral of a police officer.

This is a public relations trap which conservatives may be too eager to fall into. Despite the “Tea Party” description among punditry, the unnamed violent anarchist fringe group depicted in the CSI premiere is so far removed from the Tea Party that describing it as such is like referring to Martin Luther King Jr. as a Black Panther.

Bieber’s character is introduced during a rally of an anarchist group at a community center. A middle-aged speaker rouses the crowd with a denunciation of “profiteers” who benefit from government bailouts. He urges those gathered to cut up their credit cards and driver’s licenses. “They can’t control you if they can’t find you,” he tells them, bolstering  the admonition with the story of a local neighbor who was arrested for driving without a license.

The scene ends with a police raid of the rally during which a particularly gaudy rural white stereotype faces off against a black police officer. Naturally, the scary white “right-winger” attacks the poor black officer without provocation. Such behavior has, to the best of my knowledge, never been documented amongst the Tea Party unless perpetrated by union-backed counter-protesters.

A subsequent scene depicts the booking process for those arrested at the rally. One of the anarchists is found to be carrying a wallet with nothing in it. “I burned ‘em,” he tells an officer in reference to his identification and credit cards. “[I] emancipated myself.”

Whatever this group is supposed to be, it’s not like any Tea Party I’m privy to. As an active coordinator among the movement in Minnesota, I have never encountered anyone who argued against a license to drive, or advocated breaking the law.

The most egregious depiction in the episode involves Bieber’s interrogation by George Eads. Bieber chirps  a simplistic sentiment which the Left loves to boil the Right down to.

You… represent the authority, everything that I hate, just like you probably hate me.

The Tea Party does not hate authority. It does not attack police officers. It is not anarchistic, opposed to credit cards and driver’s licenses.

The organization to which Bieber’s character belongs in the CSI premiere is never identified as a Tea Party group. Though the depiction is likely intended to misled the uninformed, conservative pundits do the real Tea Party a disservice by drawing a conclusion the producers do not. Aside from a professed affinity for the Constitution and a penchant for displaying the American flag, there is nothing which links CSI’s fictional band of anti-government misfits with the real patriotic citizens who make up the Tea Party. The depiction is so silly, such a characture, that conservatives ought to be more bemused than offended.

Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota’s North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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