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Olbermann’s Tea-Hee Party

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

Very punny: Keith Olbermann goes to town on tea bagging.

Yes, Keith Olbermann and other pundits (paging Anderson Cooper) had a field day with the right wing’s adoption of “tea bagging” as the driving metaphor behind their Tax Day protests. But no, the double entendres didn’t start “on the blogs,” as Bill O’Reilly’s “nice lady” guest Amanda Carpenter indignantly suggested on his show—the term has a long and storied etymological past.

Perhaps GOP grass-roots organizers should spend a little time with the Urban Dictionary before deciding how to frame their next PR strategy. However, given the recent findings about red states’ consumption of pornography, their apparent ignorance about the term seems a tad disingenuous, perhaps?

First, here’s the Olbermann clip from MSNBC:

And here we have O’Reilly’s outrage (from YouTube):


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By Jackson, April 19, 2009 at 5:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This whole thing is not about taxes, its about Obama, but who cares, I lost all faith in Obama him when he approved the shielding of the Bush/Cheney war crimes investigations. Looks like the murdering ex pres and vice pres are really going to be immune from any justice for their crimes. Obama   gave them his OK to not investigate them. Makes him one of them as far as I’m concerned. If you or I know of a serious crime and cover for the criminals we are in trouble, but not these wise guys. Immunity from the top!

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By guntotinsquaw, April 18, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

For those of you that don’t know, the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party was started and promoted by Youtube Thomas Paine. I was at the TEA party and as Polosi opens her stupid mouth calling this astroturf, perhaps she should READ the flag we fly ” DON’T TREAD ON ME!!” I’m real tired of being called a republican right wing, perhaps you should have come to the TEA party and listened to what was said. NO PARTIES!!! Are you hearing it clear enough. I’m not right or left, I am an AMERICAN and I like my FREEDOM. I happen to be be pro-choice, pro-gun, pro-gay marriage, pro-stem cell, boy I’m as right wing as they get. I’ve never asked the govt. for anything and never will. In turn the govt. never came around with a spare tit so they don’t get a voice in MY house. If I want a gas guzzler, MY choice. If I want a personal assult rifle, MY choice. The govt. doesn’t have the right to force me to be charitable. If I want to be charitable with my money, ITS MY CHOICE. I shouldn’t have to feel compassion for 20 million illegals with MY MONEY! English only PLEASE! Secure my borders, a nation without borders is NOT a nation. We are not a welfare state for corrupt foreign countries. I don’t want the govt. telling me what car I can drive, how much electric I can use, or what doctor I can see or how much I spend on my meds. I was mad with clinton, bush and obama. I sick of the direction they (republican and democrats alike)are taking MY country. I expect them to follow the constitution…. I started in life poor,as did my husband we worked hard to get were we are. We ain’t your daddy, the government ain’t your daddy, get off your lazy, you owe me a handout, butt and WORK. If you want to try a socialist lifestyle that’s great, pack your crap and move to France. I can’t move to another capitolist country, this is it and we have piggy backed the worlds finances long enough. NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND!!!!! I’ll keep my money and my guns YOU KEEP YOUR CHANGE

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By Paracelsus, April 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

The unfortunate etymology of teabag, transitive verb

I believe the term “Let’s teabag Congress” was astutely thought up as a protest by way of sending a teabag to Congress. Unfortunately, others saw the disastrous connotation of oral stimulation of the change purse so to speak, which could give the ugly picture of Arlen Specter or John Kerry getting his heart’s desire. Does Pelosi qualify for the teabag? Or perhaps she just drinks coffee.

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By irreligious72, April 17, 2009 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

I guess none of the teabaggers saw Step Brothers. I guess this will tea-ch them not to ignore Will Ferrell’s genius.

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By irreligious72, April 17, 2009 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ...etc. The part about the Teabaggers not getting the sexual innuendo is killing me. I haven’t laughed so hard in YEARS. This is the greatest “piece” of journalistic humor I have ever seen. Olbermann is giving it to them right in the teeth. He he

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By 5tein, April 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, you really should listen to what they’ve said. The key you’re missing? No protesters or protest organizers have referred to their actions as “teabagging” or to themselves as “teabaggers”. That sort of name calling did seem to begin on antagonistic blogs.

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By anarchistguru, April 17, 2009 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since this website is called truthdig, let’s try some.

I believe the historical event being referred to is known as the Boston Tea Party.  The events held throughout the US this week were called “tea parties”.
I believe the statement made by Amanda Carpenter in the O’Reily clip was that the term “tea bagging” was “started on the blogs” to deride these “tea party” events.  She was not trying to say that the blogs created the “urban definition” of the term, as Bea seems to suggest above.

Does nobody find it sad that the smarmy “Keith Olbermann and other pundits (paging Anderson Cooper)” would try to associate “teabagging- slang def. To take one’s tongue and lick a man’s scrotum and testicles with it” with the Boston Tea Party; the seminal event in American history that led to the founding of this great country?


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By Paracelsus, April 17, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

@ Purple Girl

“Do they realize if we no longer supported our armed services with our taxes- then mandatroy military service would be required by all able body citizens- like the Communist countries?”

If such were to happen there would be such a rebellion. It is all about starving the military industrial complex. The tax money for the most part with some small exceptions doesn’t go anywhere useful to the vast majority of the population. You say we need it for roads and highways. The roads and highways get plenty from the gasoline tax. The strange thing is that spending on our roads has been rather inadequate. Where is the money going?

Also what about CAFR? We have overfunded, bloated government trust funds that own trillions in stocks and bonds. Where is the money from the dividends and the bond coupons. With that money alone we would not have to worry about taxes, as the government already owns the economy. Please do a search on Walter Burien.

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By Paracelsus, April 17, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

I don’t know what part of “income taxes on the wages of labor is wrong” is not understood. I don’t see how this plays into anybody’s hands as harmful to the poor. We do have corporate income taxes. The ultimate sign of serfdom is having wage labor taxed. We already have a strong revenue base for federal government from all sorts of excise taxes and fees.

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By nobodywatching, April 17, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ratings fortune cookie say:
When Fox beats ALL other so-called news networks COMBINED with thousands of viewers to spare, who’s really being teabagged.

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By Purple Girl, April 17, 2009 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Obviously wouldn’t Recognize ‘socialism’ if it was Printed out in Bold letters on a Founding Document.
what part of ‘WE the people’ eludes their logic. How confused are they by the phrases ‘Inalienable rights’ and ‘For & by the People’...Do they see an (*) I have missed signifiying those credos only refer to White, christian, male, Hetero Repugs?what do they consider those ‘Inalienable rights’ to be? Could it be to be granted the resources and essentials denied to the Serfs of Merry Ol England. That idea that if you were poor- you were fucked, and so were your kids.
So will all you Tax deniers be taking your children out of public school, taking Granny home from the nursing home, Patrolling our streets and borders, putting our forest fires???
Do they realize if we no longer supported our armed services with our taxes- then mandatroy military service would be required by all able body citizens- like the Communist countries?
What aspects of Modern Western Civilization are these folks willing to forego, just to have a few extra bucks every week? and Pray Tell, what will you spend it on? School books, Mom’s Medicines, road repair?? Or just another day at Curves or a new IPhone for yourselves.

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By Oiko, April 17, 2009 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just goes to show that the Left has a sense of humor and the Right is…well…senseless.

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By Paracelsus, April 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

If most people don’t know the slang definition of “teabagging” is then they shouldn’t feel bad as they probably are busy living their lives.

teabagging- slang def. To take one’s tongue and lick a man’s scrotum and testicles with it.

Well, thank you Olberman. I think you and falafel man are exactly on par in decorum.

As to the protesters wanting more local government, and “wishing the world would go away”, I think with the mandates connected with federal funding as well as the devastation of devastation local industry by “free trade” these constituents have a good point. Why pay for government that treats them like trash while exacting taxes from their wages and salaries? Government even subsidizes the relocation of manufacturing to foreign nations with our tax money. I would like to see more working people hang onto their withholding taxes. We have gone to the voting booth for years trying to vote in good government, and it has been altogether obvious that there is a long term agenda being implemented in a bipartisan fashion to immiserate and enslave the American people. I see no restoration of liberties by Obama that were violated by Bush. Obama doesn’t even want to punish CIA employees who used torture techniques on their prisoners. The government is overrun by criminals, and as government must have the consent of the governed, and as it has lost this consent, then the best way to break this social contract is to not pay this monster any taxes. You can conflate this movement with all the Dick Army’s and Glenn Beck’s you wish. You can mention all the agents of co-optation like Mellon Scaif, but in the end this is a grass roots movement with no leadership or center. These Republican charlatans and carpetbaggers can never shine up their halos on this movement as most people know they are part of the problem of corrupt and criminal government.

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By Bea Moreira, April 16, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hahah, come on, “it started on the blogs”??!!

Even “Sex and the City” has a episode on it…I know that many people don’t get it, I had to tell my mom what it meant and THEN show her Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox (I almost died of laughter), but don’t just say “it started on the blogs”.

I also love (not) how O’Reily is condescending, even when women agree with him he acts like a jerk.

This whole tea-party protest is just pathetic. Protest all you want, but please, be smart about it, and KNOW what you’re protesting against. To be against taxes NOW that they were cut for most Americans? It’s just crazy.

If you look at the signs people brought to those events…Most of them were overtly racist. They weren’t protesting taxes, or even welfare state, they were protesting the idea of an African American as their president.

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By Ed Harges, April 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

In particular, the problem is the use of “teabag” as a verb. The noun’s pretty safe.

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By Iain, April 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Awww, diddums….

Seriously, if people decide to use the term “teabagging” to describe their protests, is comment on its only modern definition off limits?

And O’Reilly doing a piece about sexual insults with a “nice lady” reporter…is it ironic when they seem to thick/cynical to notice?

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