The fact is this—anyone paying careful attention could have told you that the Tea Party was simply the old far right dressed up in funny new clothing. Its numbers historically hover between one-fifth and one-third of all voters depending on the times. These were the people who thought President George W. Bush was still doing a bang-up job at the end of his catastrophic presidency. Hence, pretty much nothing can make them rethink what they believe they know to be true.
Interestingly, the opposite dynamic appears to be at work in the coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is far more popular with the public than with the media. Even before its current slide in popularity, the Tea Party was never even remotely as popular as the Occupy Wall Street movement was when it began and remains today. As CAP’s Ruy Teixeira demonstrated back in October, the movement’s favorability rating was already “twice as high as that of the conservative Tea Party movement.” Teixeira noted that 54 percent of the public, according to a Time/Abt SRBI poll, said they were “favorable to the movement that has been protesting policies that ‘favor the rich, the government’s bank bailout, and the influence of money in our political system.'”