the kicker

Tea Party Review to Debut

February 9, 2011

I think it was the Sunday Styles that brought us together. I think it was the Week in Review Tea Party Review.

Tea Party Review, a monthly print magazine complete with its own New York Times Weekender-like promotional video, launches this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., reports Roll Call (among others). TPR bills itself as “the first national magazine for, by and about the Tea Party Movement,” and can be yours for $34.95 a year.

Spacious skies. Amber waves of grain. “A physician on ObamaCare and what to do about it.” “What the Left will never understand about the Tea Party.” Flag. All these things (and more) can be found on the cover of TPR‘s “inaugural issue.”

To wit:

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Here, an excited pre-launch tweet from what appears to be Tea Party Review‘s Twitter account:

There is nothing quite like putting together a magazine. It truly is ALIVE and it rings with Freedom! Get Ready for a powerful publication

To which, you know, we at CJR can totally relate.

So, why a magazine? More from Roll Call:

“This magazine is a response to demands from tea party members across the country for a magazine that we can call our own” said Katrina Pierson, a member of the Dallas Tea Party and the magazine’s national grass-roots director. “People are weary of the distorted version of the tea party movement that we see in most of the media. Tea party members want a magazine for the movement, created by members of the movement and reflecting the values of the movement.”

And, more still, from the magazine’s web site:

We need a forum for Tea Partiers to come together, to trade ideas, to resolve disputes, to find out what other activists are doing and thinking…

… a place to develop plans for taking our country back from the elitist, arrogant, obnoxious, corrupt members of the Washington establishment and their friends in Hollywood, the news media, faculty lounges, and on Wall Street.

We need a magazine that tells people what we stand for… and what we won’t stand for.

All of which (coming together, trading ideas, developing plans, taking stands) might be achieved with a web presence alone. Magazine publishing, as Gawker puts it in a review of TPR, “is not what we’d call a ‘growth industry.'” Why print? A bit more about that can be found in that promo video:

Tea Party Review will reach a whole new audience… by making our story known on a platform that will allow people to connect in the privacy of their own home in a personal way that the Internet never could. And that is, in print.

Follow? Things subscribers might expect (beyond that comic strip in the first issue, says the magazine’s Pierson, “about a tea party Congressman dealing with the Red Chinese”): “complete coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign,” according to the web site, as well as explorations of “Who deserves Tea Party support?” and ¨Why the Elite Media Hate Us.”

Yahoo!’s The Ticket blog has more:

The magazine will retain a grassroots approach to soliciting contributions, Pierson says. Anyone is encouraged to submit work, which will be reviewed by the editors: Christina Botteri, of the National Tea Party Federation, will edit the online site (which will launch later this week); and Steven J. Allen, a writer and activist closely associated with conservative direct mail guru Richard Viguerie will edit the print publication. The publishers are a Christian/conservative company called Higher Standard Publishers.

The launch has been written up or otherwise mentioned by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Gawker, and both Huffington Post and AOL (Politics Daily), among others. But color one Jeanne Sager, blogger at The Stir, skeptical. Sager smells a hoax.

Why? That little tea bag that appears in (some iterations of) the magazine’s logo (see the top left corner on TPR’s home page). Writes Sager: “The Tea Party is full of people who walked around calling themselves teabaggers a few years ago … only to freak out when the media kindly pointed out exactly what ‘teabagging’ was…[T]here are enough people IN the party now who have distanced themselves from the reference that this should be your first clue.” Also? To Sager’s eye, “everything about this ‘magazine’ is just a tad too close to what a liberal wants to read in a Tea Party magazine.”

And…a CPAC-goer?

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.