For the second time this week (and perhaps for the dozenth time this year) the Post-Dispatch has surrendered its front-page to the Tea Party -- the vocal minority of conservative fear-mongers who want the Obama administration to fail at every turn no matter how innocuous the issue.
On Tuesday the St. Louis daily plastered on its pages the Tea Party's incredibly silly "buycott" of Whole Foods after the co-founder of the overpriced grocery chain wrote an op/ed panning President Barack Obama's healthcare reform. (Let's hope they picked up some fair-trade Earl Grey while they were there!)
Then today, Friday, the Post-Dispatch follows with a cover story on how the Tea Party is rallying its troops to block Obama's televised address to school children. In the message, Obama was to challenge students to "work hard, set education goals, and take responsibility for their learning."
So, what's wrong with the president's address?
Well, according to one conservative St. Louis radio host and blogger -- who's capitalizing on the Obama hate to draw national attention to herself -- the president's message was crafted with help from "White House Teaching Fellows, some of whom are activists with documented hostility towards the very tenets of our republic."
So let me get this straight, encouraging kids to improve their lives through education is somehow a detriment to the republic?
I suppose it is if these kids someday become freethinkers who are smart enough to question the demagoguery coming at them from groups like the Tea Party.
Sadly, though, many schools are kowtowing to these conservative groups even though the last president to address schoolchildren was Republican George H. Bush, whose address created scant -- if any -- controversy.
As is becoming all too clear, America is much more partisan than it was back in 1991 when Bush had his conversation with the kiddies. It's also become evident that the political left were never the sore-losers like today's conservatives, who'll stop at nothing to roadblock Obama no matter how harmless the president's issue.
The question then becomes how much attention to give these conservative groups? Would everyone be talking about the Tea Party movement if the press just ignored them for a week or two?
On the website of the St. Louis Tea Party, organizer Bill Hennessey, writing about Obama's address to students, calls the press a "state run media". But given the amount of ink his organization has received in the local daily -- and elsewhere -- you'd think he'd be grateful for all the free publicity.