Tags: Zell | tea party | Obama | media

Sam Zell: News Media Treats Tea Party 'Like A Disease'

Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 11:51 AM

By John Morgan

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The tea party movement gets consistently biased negative coverage in the news media while the White House receives a free pass for similar stubbornness, says billionaire entrepreneur Sam Zell.

"The tea party is a reaction to an imperial White House," Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investments, told CNBC. "The idea that they are treated as though they are crazy is ridiculous, and not very representative of a democratic society."

Zell knows something about the news media courtesy of his short and unhappy ownership of the Tribune Co., which ended in bankruptcy.

Editor’s Note:
Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

By refusing to negotiate in the escalating government standoff with Congressional Republicans, President Obama should be called to task for not seeking to unify the nation, he noted.

"The way in which this is being postured is as though the president sits on high and says, 'I will not negotiate.' And everybody is expected to lay down. I don't understand that."

"What makes this man different than anyone else? The president is elected to negotiate."

While Zell admitted he's "not a big fan" of the tea party movement, they represent a sizeable bloc of voters and deserve to be heard.

"We treat the tea party like they are some kind of disease, and the very same thing on the other side the press don't even cover it," Zell told CNBC. "Can you imagine the press vilifying the ACLU?"

Perhaps Zell was thinking of some of his former newspapers in his remarks.

The Chicago Tribune published a letter to the editor Monday with a headline that described tea party members as "fanatics."

A front page news story in the Los Angeles Times described tea party and conservative Republicans as the "Chick-fil-A" caucus. It suggested they were responsible for preventing a caucus vote that could end the budget stalemate and said they have "torpedoed deal after deal" aimed at ending the impasse with the White House.

Zell stated the budget standoff is "an excuse for the stock market to correct."

Zell's apparent negative feelings toward the news media are sometimes returned with fervor.

Forbes reported that in a 2010 farewell memo at the Times that received some outside attention, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dan Neil wrote, "It's been a rough few years here, mainly because of the jackasses in Chicago who own us. To them I say, with as much gusto as I can muster in an email, f— you."

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

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