The much-maligned Tea Party group organizing the National Tea Party Convention this week has announced that portions of the controversial confab, including Sarah Palin’s speech, will be broadcast live.
In a press release, Tea Party Nation (TPN) spokesman Mark Skoda writes:
Working with the internet media company, PJTV [a division of Pajamas Media] 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.
According to Skoda, the opening of the convention, as well as speeches by Palin and others, will be included in the broadcast.
As we’ve reported, convention organizers have taken heat in recent weeks for numerous issues, including the decision to limit press credentials to select conservative media outlets including Fox News and Breitbart.com.
In the release, Skoda portrays the plan to broadcast part of the convention as something that organizers had long had in mind. “We kept this effort close to the vest,” he writes, and later adds, “[w]ith our team effort and the many friends we had in the new media, we planned this surprise.”
TPN also uses the release to acknowledge the barrage of attacks that the group has endured in recent weeks by critics who question whether the $549 price tag for the convention is consistent with the Tea Party movement’s grassroots ethos, and who that fear that organizers are motivated primarily by a desire to profit financially. TPN president Judson Phillips declares: “Tea Party Nation and my family have taken much criticism over the weeks preceding the convention,” and adds “we are all committed to grassroots activism.”
Two GOP members of Congress who had planned to speak, and several big-name sponsors, recently withdrew from the event.