The Mystery of the Tea Party's Karl Rove-as-Nazi Photo

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 19 2013 4:11 PM

The Mystery of the Tea Party's Karl Rove-as-Nazi Photo

142006899
Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin joins other members of the Tea Party outside the U.S. Supreme Court during the third day of oral arguements over the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act March 28, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The drama is over now, but it started like this. On Tuesday afternoon, Tea Party Patriots—one of the first serious movement organizations, now in its fourth year—sent a fundraising pitch to conservative email lists. I'll excerpt a small portion of it.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Over just that last few weeks "Republicans" like Rove have called Tea Party members "racists","bigots," "paranoid" and even political "underbrush."
And that's just the "Republicans!" What the Obama liberals think is even worse!
That's why we launched this historic fundraising campaign.
We need to show the entire political establishment of both parties that the American people are angry, organized and that we will stand up to their corruption.
We've posted a special graphic on our website so that the politicians, the bureaucrats, the media and even Karl Rove can watch in real time as the American people take a stand for liberty and support our movement.
Advertisement

And so on. The problem: The original version of this email was illustrated by Karl Rove wearing Nazi garb, looking for all the world like a Hogan's Heroes guest star. Media questions started to come in, and shortly after 3:30, Tea Party Patriots pushed out a statement credited to Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and president:

In an email sent under the banner of Tea Party Patriots, a manufactured image of Karl Rove was added to the email which Tea Party Patriots did not know about or approve. The image, which was added by an outside vendor, Active Engagement, was inappropriate, wrong and we have ordered them to immediately cease further use of the image. We apologize to Mr. Rove.

It was just added? By who? What happened? Martin was actually traveling on Tuesday, and the email text was approved by another member of the group, Kevin Mooneyhan. The vendor, which did work for Herman Cain in 2011, took full credit for screwing up the mailing; the apology was circulated by Shirley & Banister, an Alexandria, Va., consulting/PR firm. Thus goes the grassroots Tea Party group.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.