- Overall, we rate Tea Party Patriots Action Questionable based on extreme right bias, poor sourcing of information, promotion of conspiracy theories/pseudoscience as well as a lack of transparency regarding funding and failed fact checks.
Reasoning: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, Poor Sourcing, Lack of Transparency, Failed Fact Checks
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 2009, Tea Party Patriots Action is a conservative political organization that promotes the three tenets of the tea party movement “fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government”. The website provides news related to the Tea Party and conservative/libertarian politics. According to Tea Party Patriots Action “TeaPartyPatriots.org website is a joint website of the following separate organizations: Tea Party Patriots Action, Inc., Tea Party Patriots Foundation, and Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.” They state their mission is “to equip Americans with the resources and training they need to be engaged, citizens and effective activists.” According to Roll Call, the Tea Party Patriots was founded by former housekeeper and Home Depot manager Jenny Beth Martin, Attorney Mark Meckler, and former flight attendant Amy Kremer. In 2012 Mark Meckler resigned and is currently the president of the conservative organization Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG). In 2010, Amy Kremer was “ousted” from the TPP Board; later she joined the “Tea Party Express” as chairwomen, and in 2014 she stepped down stating “she plans to get involved in Senate primary races” As of 2020, she is running the website “Women for Trump”. Currently, Tea Party Patriots Action names Jenny Beth Martin as “Honorary Chairman”.
Funded by / Ownership
Tea Party Patriots Action does not have a board of directors/staff page however Rolling Stone reports about the board of directors here. Tea Party Patriots Action describes itself as “operates as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.” According to the IRS, the organization type “501(c)(4)” relates to “Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” Tea Party Patriots Action does not disclose ownership or funding on the website. Revenue is derived through donations, however, the website does not reveal donors.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Tea Party Patriots Action has promoted misleading information regarding Coronavirus. For example, according to the Washington Times on 7/27/2020, they released a video that was sponsored by America’s Frontline Doctors that was promptly removed by Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube for the promotion of false or misleading information regarding the Coronavirus. The President’s son, Donald Trump Jr. shared the video, and Twitter limited his account’s functionality for 12 hours and demanded the offending tweet be deleted stating “the tweets violated its “COVID-19 misinformation policy.”
In another video published via America’s Frontline Doctors: Press Conference – America’s Frontline Doctors Summit, Pediatrician and religious minister Stella Immanuel claimed that with Hydroxychlorquine “You don’t need masks, there is a cure.” Both of these statements are false. Hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment/cure for Covid-19 and mask coverings are an effective way to limit transmission. According to Johns Hopkins University infectious disease expert Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H, “Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19. A mask helps contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and/or nose when you talk, sneeze or cough” Stella Immanuel has also made questionable claims in the past such as “Endometriosis is caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches,” and that “alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are creating a vaccine to prevent people from being religious.” She also claims that the government is run by “reptilians.”
According to a New York Times article titled “The Quiet Hand of Conservative Groups in the Anti-Lockdown Protests”, conservative economics commentator Stephen Moore “had been coordinating with FreedomWorks, the Tea Party Patriots and the American Legislative Exchange Council in a coalition called “Save Our Country,” which was formed to push for a quicker easing of Covid-19 restrictions.” The Tea Party Patriots usually report news that is favorable to the right and denigrates the left such as this by Honorary Chairman, Jenny Beth Martin. “Tea Party Patriots Action Reacts to Joe Biden’s New Economic Plans.” Further, they do not support the consensus of science with Covid-19 as well as with climate change such as this Deranged Democrats on Climate Change. When it comes to sourcing they sometimes utilize poor sources such as The Federalist, which has failed fact checks. Finally, based on the promotion of misleading and false information regarding Coronavirus and climate change as well as failed fact checks they do not always report news factually.
Failed Fact Checks
- A TV ad from a tea party group plays word games in an attempt to align Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on health care, immigration and the federal debt. – Mostly False
- “8 years under Obama,” the U.S. lost “4 million jobs,” “unemployment peaked to 9.9%,” and GDP went “down 2.8%.” In contrast, it claims that in the “2 1/2 years under Trump,” the U.S. gained “5.1 million jobs,” “unemployment fell to 3.6%,” and GDP went “up 3.2%.” – Mostly False
- In Viral Video, Doctor Falsely Touts Hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 ‘Cure’ – False
- “This virus has a cure. It is called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax. I know you people want to talk about a mask. Hello? You don’t need (a) mask. There is a cure.” – False
Overall, we rate Tea Party Patriots Action Questionable based on extreme right bias, poor sourcing of information, promotion of conspiracy theories/pseudoscience as well as a lack of transparency regarding funding and failed fact checks. (3/8/2017) Updated (M. Huitsing 10/16/2020)