Tea Party Convention Will Broadcast Palin Speech; Leader Says He Was Just Keeping His Powder Dry 'Until There Was Something to Shoot At'
So, it seems, the revolution will be televised -- at least in part.
Organizers of this week's Tea Party Nation Convention in Nashville have had a rough go over the last month, most recently with the withdrawal of two key speakers: Congresswomen Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., citing concerns over the financing of the for-profit conference.
Grassroots organizers chafed at the $549 conference fee, and members of the media groused about a virtual lock-out of all but a few select news outlets. After a month of bad press, the organizers relented, sending out a press release this morning announcing a live Webcast of portions of the convention -- including Sarah Palin's keynote, for which she is reportedly being paid $150,000 $115,000, according to Mother Jones.
From the press release:
Tea Party Nation has worked behind the scenes to arrange for the live broadcast of the opening of the of National Tea Party Convention, keynote speeches during the conference and a live broadcast of Sarah Palin's address. Working with the internet media company, PJTV as well as FOX News, CNN and Reuters TV, the National Tea Party Convention will allow the millions of Tea Party activists who could not be in attendance to view many of the proceedings live along with special interviews of delegates and speakers alike.
Judson Phillips, President of Tea Party Nation stated, "Tea Party Nation and my family have taken much criticism over the weeks preceding the convention. Working with our media relations team, the new media and our key broadcast journalists, we kept our plans close to the vest. Obviously, we believe that the delegates and banquet attendees are going to enjoy the networking and the excitement of being here directly.
However, as we are all committed to grassroots activism, we wanted to share this event with those who could not come to Nashville."
The release also features this quote from Mark A. Skoda, the convention's media relations assistant, who is credited with founding the The Memphis TEA Party. Skoda notes that Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips has "taken the shots from the left and the right," but suggests Phillips was simply holding his fire until all systems were go.
"As my father always said, you keep your powder dry until there's something to shoot at!" Skoda told the release writer.
Here's his full quote:
"I have been working with Judson, his wife Sherry and Pam Farnsworth over the past month. They are committed to this grass roots movement and have taken the shots from the left and the right. When I came on board to help,
Judson was clear that he wanted to make this conference available to a great many more people. With our team effort and the many friends we had in the new media, we planned this surprise. We are hopeful that these millions of activists will participate with the local delegates through technology. As my father always said, you keep your powder dry until there's something to shoot at! Judson & Sherry are patriots and I am proud to be associated with them and this event."