The Coffee Party is a political parasite which presents itself as something it is not. As reported in the NY Times [see update below], Park presents herself as not hostile to the Tea Party movement, and in fact, hopes to bring some Tea Partiers into her group:
“We’re not the opposite of the Tea Party,” Ms. Park, 41, said. “We’re a different model of civic participation, but in the end we may want some of the same things.” ....In fact, a simple internet search (which the NY Times apparently is not capable of doing) reveals that Park organized the Coffee Party for the specific purpose of undermining the Tea Party movement.
Ms. Park and chapter organizers said they would invite Tea Party members to join their Coffee counterparts in discussions. “We need to roll up our sleeves, put our heads together and work it out,” she said. “That’s, to me, an American way of doing this.”
Park is a former Strategy Analyst [Park's Linked In page has been taken down, here is a cached link] at the NY Times who was one of organizers and operators of the United for Obama video channel at YouTube:
A Korean-American filmmaker is in charge of creating video clips that are playing a role in increasing support for Senator Barack Obama, the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.Park's Twitter history leaves no doubt as to her hatred of the Tea Party movement, and the formation of the Coffee Party as a counterweight:
"I found that people have little understanding of the change that Senator Barack Obama is advocating. I thought from my experience in using videos for civil movements that videos would be the best way to promote the need for change and for Obama. That's why I decided to work for the Obama campaign," Annabel Park said.
Joining the contest in December last year as chief of a promotional video team, Park has produced some 20 five-minute video clips which have generated a positive response. A clip interviewing actress Kelly Hu in support of the senator was viewed some 10,000 times, and a music video called "Oh Bama" [embed below, Park appears at 1:35]] drew wide attention. She has also produced Spanish-language videos to draw support from Hispanics.
The 40-year-old Park is leading an Obama promotional section on video-sharing site YouTube (www.youtube.com/unitedforobama) with around 10 other volunteers.
It is very clear from Park's background, and her own Tweets, that the Coffee Party simply is part of the perpetual Obama campaign, a means by which to subvert the real grassroots Tea Party movement by co-opting part of the message, but in a way which supports keeping Obama in power.
Much like a parasite which feeds off of and ultimately takes over the host.
Update: Interesting, I received a phone call from Kate Zernike, the author of the NY Times article, who felt that I did not sufficiently credit her article with disclosing Park's background and motives. Specificially, Zernike pointed out that the Times' article said the Coffee Party "was formed in reaction to the Tea Party" and offered "an alternative" to the Tea Party. Zernike also felt that the pro-Obama nature of the Coffee Party was adequately disclosed because the article pointed out that one of the organizers in California (not Park) had campaigned for Obama.
I explained that I did not feel that the NY Times article adequately disclosed (i) the depth of the connection to the Obama campaign reflected in Park's background, or (ii) that the specific purpose of the Coffee Party, as expressed in Park's Tweets, was to undermine the Tea Party.
I told Ms. Zernike that I would do an update to this post, and I hoped that she would do an update to her article to explain Park's Obama connection and apparent motivations. Ms. Zernike declined, explaining that she had to limit her article to 700 words.
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