Friday, July 15, 2011

Tea Bugged

Kenneth M. O’Brien

I have recently been the subject of criticism for permitting the use of the term “teabaggers” on this site.

Now, I have made it clear that I will not allow the use of libelous speech.

I have similarly indicated that I will not condone indulgence in the use of language that is not acceptable in polite company.

This particular term, however, has caused some reflection.

A number of the bravest souls have voiced their objections in anonymous comments.

Others have seen fit to voice their objection via private emails or phone calls.

Universally, of course, their political persuasion might be fairly characterized as somewhat right of center.

In one respect I find this somewhat amusing.

After all, it is that portion of the political spectrum that has been most virulently outspoken in the denunciation of political correctness.

However, viewing myself as on the opposite end of the political spectrum, I suppose that I have to realize that a lack intellectual integrity should be allowed to be forgiven when it is the other fellow’s ox that is being gored.

Consequently, while I will not ban the use of the word, I will ask that commenters attempt to refrain from using the term in consideration of the potential emotional damage that might be inflicted upon our Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck embracing brethren. After all, we should practice the same level of verbal restraint and compassion for which they are so renowned.

There are those who want to perpetuate the myth that it was the liberal media that introduced the term “tea bagger” as an epithet. This is simply not true. The tea party movement itself adopted the term. It was only after the fact that they were made aware of the pejorative implications.

See for example:
Alan Colmes presents Liberaland

September 12, 2009 Tea Party March on Washington:


  1. Fan of TINA TURNERJuly 15, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    You know Buried in this post i think is the message to have respect for all mankind. To have respect for people who think differently than you, who look differently from you, who choose to mate differently than you, who vote differently from you. You know the dream of hope and change. Who knew it would be the tea party to have to remind people of that. Tally ho tea Party!!

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  3. is that the platform of stealing other's platforms and mocking them? That is way worse than name calling and you can only hide under that scarf for so long. It is also behavior considered very far from the blog owners call for RESPECT. You may have learned that strategy from your fancy lady college but i'd be looking for a refund if i was you. There is no RESPECT in that strategy.

  4. Semiotic patriot, typical Tea Bagger strategy of inventing the facts where none lie. Either you can't read and digest it, or you're a complete idiot. Ken didn't call for respect in this article. The only time he used the word was in a different context. One of the many problems wit Tea Baggers is that they don't recognize sarcasm. See, Ken was making fun of you and your stupid cult of modern day Klansmen, women and children. The next person who says the Tea Baggers didn't start this? I'll send you the links showing you did and then ask you to plan your next rally. Tea Baggers seem to have trouble seeing in front of them for some reason. The truth hurts, Tea Baggers.

  5. Some questions for the local Republican party, of which I believe Mr. Jaynes is chair:

    1. If the Tea Party is not an extensions of the GOP, why do Republicans need and defend them?

    2. If you are opposed to gay rights and gay marriage, how do you reconcile this with smaller government, as you want government to prevent their rights from being exercised?

    3. What liberal on Fox has a fair and balanced program, ala Mike Huckabee?

    4. Where should transgendered people go to the bathroom, since this is a big issue for you?

    5. As head of the SRTC, could you tell us about yourself? What line of work are you in? I want to make sure my friends and I aren't taking the jobs you want.

  6. Wow, are liberals so vicious because they know they are losing?

  7. Why are Republicans such wusses? The Democratic party is losing nothing. Why do right wing whacks refuse to answer questions? We only lost when Bush stole the election--twice. It took Obama to find Bin Laden. Poor W and his "sensitive" dolts. Mission Accomplished!!!!

  8. Notice not one Republican or teabagger uses their name here? What are they afraid/ashmed of? The same thing Klan members were afraid of. Being known. Gutless children. Bye bye Scott Brown.

  9. As long as the tea party supports candidates like Sarah Palin and Bachman, no one with a functioning brain will take them seriously.

  10. What is offensive about the term "teabagger". Everyone calls them teabaggers, just like we call Republican people Republicans, and people that are democrat Democrats.

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  12. "- All views are welcome. "

    You should take that off your blog, cause it clearly is not true.

  13. EXCUSE ME (Anonymous)!!!

    What views are not welcome?

    The only comments that have been removed (other than at the commenter’s request) violated the conditions of avoiding obscenity or libel.

    Have you got something that you want to say? My email is right there. Send it off to me.

    You want to remain anonymous? Use a blind Hotmail account.

    The only restriction are, as I said, libel or obscenity.

    If the restrictions applied to political opinion, why did Joe Marino come to me when the Southbridge Evening News wouldn’t publish his letter?

    Jeez, you people make accusations like babies soil diapers!

  14. All views that support the Tea Party, Ken.

    Question for Mike Jaynes:

    Will you publicly declare if you and the SRTC acknowledge that Obama is a natural born US Citizen?

  15. Dennis:

    Apparently there are those insecure souls who feel that because I say that their views are welcome I am consequently prohibited from disagreeing with them.

    They must be fun at Thanksgiving dinner!

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  17. John P. FitzgeraldJuly 16, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    The video by the young man in DC? Great job. Does anyone wonder why these numnuts are referred to as Tea Baggers? Thanks, Ken, for allowing all sides! Where's that right wing nut Jaynes now? Head of the GOP locally, apparently he can't find the words to defend these morons now? Excellent work exposing the truth.

  18. All sides?

    You guys don't even know the issues - never mind "all sides".

  19. the comments on this post went downhill quickly. Thanks to Harry B Alse for setting the democratic tone of disrespect. Thanks for proving that all views aren't welcome here and that the commenters here are as viscious and hateful as they come. Hate a republican hate all republicans, hate a tea tea party member hate all tea party memebers. why not they are aren't democrats and aren't your kind. the hypocrisy shown on this blog site is extreme even for massachusetts.

  20. mr. obrien why do you persist in attacking a senior citizen of this community. He came to you because clearly he didn't realize this site was a wolf in sheep clothings. Does any one here really want to defend the southbridge evening news betrayal of this community? Well then cut mr Marino some slack or continue to look like cut throat bloodthirst hanks that I've been witnessing here.

  21. Dear scarf face, aka amelia, one question for you.
    what is your fascination with Jane? Don't you have any feelings or connections for George, Judy or Elroy? As a Jetson fan Amelia - your fired!

  22. I just think Jane is smarter and more Interesting than George, Judy or Elroy. She's an intelligent, professional, successful, civic-minded woman who is very articulate on the radio & a legitimately interesting person, despite her strange fascination with illegal immigration and her lack of understanding of discounted bulk mail postage rates. I can't help but like her, even though every time I try to have a conversation with her she avoids me like I'm Darth Vader or something, which I'm totally not.

    (I'm mostly a bored suburban housewife; if there's a vast left-wing conspiracy out there I will tell you that they haven't recruited me yet. Southbridge is too far off the grid for that sort of thing; I'm sure of it.)

    I really, really like her friend Paul, though. I don't really agree with a whole lot of his politics, especially those concerning Hook Street billboards, but he writes quite well and (mostly) puts up with me, which goes pretty far in my book.

    I really do wear too many scarves, don't I...

  23. Anonymous:

    Please show where I attacked Joe Marino.

    Joe and I are, dare I say it, friends.

    We both understand the ability to disagree on political issues while never making it personal.

    I am not accountable for those who are unable to practice such equanimity, but I also am not going to stifle their freedom to express themselves.

    That even applies to you.

  24. Mr. O'Brien:

    Thou shalt not allow criticism of senior citizens with opinions. God instructs you to only post comments that agree with the old guy. No dissent.

    Thou shalt not tease Republicans pr Tea Baggers. Only they can call others Tea Baggers and have it be funny. Tea Baggers/Republicans are thin skinned, and can dish it out but not take it.

    Thou shalt only speak of happy things in Southbridge. Like that other BS site rin by a councillors cousin. Thou shalt kisseth the asses of the cops for their "war on drugs" and covering up crimes of their own.

    I have seven more of these for you, but I'm tired and need rest. It's Sunday and I have to watch Fox. It maketh me laugh.

  25. Amelia,

    You say you love lesbians? Is that because they are lesbians?

  26. Enh, I might still be kind of burned out on lesbians after the whole Smith thing. think I prefer fraternizing with the Transgender community these days.

    (Not to imply I have anything against Transgender people who happen to be Lesbians. I met some very nice ladies the last time I was at the State House talking to legislators. Did you know there's a Trans Equal Rights Lobby Day?! Gotta love Massachusetts!)

  27. So you love people based on what they are not who they are.

    That is just ugly.

  28. "So you love people based on what they are not who they are.

    That is just ugly."

    Oh, come on. You and I both know I never said that.

    In all honesty, I really love pretty much everybody. I'd probably even love you.


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