Last April, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of Fox News parent News Corp., said that he doesn't think Fox News "should be supporting the tea party, or any other party," despite the fact that Fox News had aggressively promoted the April 2009 tax day tea party protests and has continued to promote tea party events ever since.
Now Fox News' Bill O'Reilly says that Fox News' Glenn Beck is the leader of the tea party movement. In his new book, Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama, O'Reilly writes:
If Barack Obama thought the last few months of 2009 were rough, well, the opening weeks of 2010 made them look like a piece of chocolate layer cake. Ladies and gentlemen, let the Tea Parties begin!
Exasperated by record-breaking government spending and a confusing health care bill that the President could not explain, thousands of everyday Americans began publicly demonstrating against the perceived signs of 'socialism' and, in general, the liberal tendencies of the Obama administration.
Led by Fox News commentator and radio talk show host Glenn Beck, and featuring high-profile encouragement from Sarah Palin, the so-called Tea Party movement blasted into the national consciousness.
But it was largely the ugly attacks against this group that drew them further into the spotlight and kept them there for so long. [emphasis added]
For his part, Beck has identified Fox News and the tea party as the "only thing" slowing down president Obama's legislative agenda.